Ivanka Trump’s forthcoming keynote at the Consumer Electronics Show has sparked a backlash from critics who argue that the White House senior adviser is unqualified to address the massive tech show, which kicks off in Las Vegas Tuesday.
Trump is scheduled to take part in a keynote talk with Gary Shapiro, president of the Consumer Technology Association, which organizes CES. The talk on “the path to the future of work” will take place at 2 p.m. local time on Tuesday.
The discussion will address “how the administration is advocating for employer-led strategies that invest in reskilling workers, create apprenticeships and develop K-12 STEM education programs,” according to the CES website.
The CTA describes CES as “the world’s gathering place for all who thrive on the business of consumer technologies.” More than 175,000 people attended last year’s event in Las Vegas.
Ivanka Trump, senior adviser to the president of the United States and daughter of President Donald Trump, looks on during a plenary session of the Doha Forum in the Qatari capital on December 14, 2019 – file photo.
(Photo by MUSTAFA ABUMUNES/AFP via Getty Images)
However, a number of people have slammed the decision to make Trump a keynote speaker at this year’s CES.
In a column for Forbes, tech analyst Carolina Milanesi explained that she was “far from pleased” when she heard that Trump was to be a CES keynoter. “The reason is certainly not found in my political beliefs or my opinion of Ivanka Trump as a businesswoman,” she wrote. “The reason for my upset is rooted in the fact that there are many more women who are in tech and are entrepreneurs who could run circles around Trump on how technology will impact the future of work.”
“Beyond the politics of the Trump administration – Ivanka is not a woman in tech. She’s not a CEO. She has no background,” tweeted Brianna Wu, a computer programmer and Democratic candidate for the House of Representatives. “It’s a lazy attempt to emulate diversity – but like all emulation it’s not quite the real thing.”
Some users on social media have even called for a boycott of her keynote talk and the CES show itself.
“How dare they. Ivanka Trump is utterly unqualified to be addressing CES. People should boycott this meeting,” tweeted Susan Higgins.
In a statement emailed to Fox News, the CTA said that policy discussions are a critical part of the CES program, noting that this year’s event hosts over 150 policymakers.
“CTA invites officials from every White House – both Republicans and Democrats – to participate in and speak at CES. The future of work is a critical policy topic for the technology sector. Life-changing tech innovations – from artificial intelligence to drones to self-driving vehicles – will create countless new jobs, and our industry has a responsibility to prepare American workers for the jobs of the future,” it said. “Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump leads the White House efforts on job creation and economic growth through workforce development, skills training and entrepreneurship – and she will address them directly at CES 2020.”
Other keynote speakers at CES this year include former HP and eBay CEO Meg Whitman, who is now CEO of the Quibi video platform, Delta CEO Ed Bastian, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff and Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao.
Fox News has reached out to the White House with a request for comment on this story.
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