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White House hosts corporate executives to get tech ideas for government

The federal government has corporate envy.

So the Obama administration has invited dozens of the nation's top executives to the White House on Thursday seeking tips on how the federal bureaucracy can become leaner and meaner. That means thinking of ways to cut costs and getting federal agencies to place a higher priority on better serving the public, in areas including immigration, education and the census.

White House officials are hoping to use new technologies, such as the Web and text messaging, to make that all happen. But the private sector's entrepreneurial zeal may not translate so easily to federal agencies. For example, the Census Bureau spent $600 million on a project to make its 2010 count electronic, but the effort failed and the census will be conducted by paper this year.

"We see a big gap in technology from the private sector and the federal government in terms of productivity and service quality," said Jeffrey Zients, the Office of Management and Budget's deputy director for management.

Zients, federal Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra and federal Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra said in a group interview Wednesday that they invited executives from various industries who have demonstrated excellence in cost management, customer service, and the use of high-tech tools to achieve those ends.

Check out the full story in Thursday's newspaper.

The White House forum begins today just after 1 p.m. And here is a list of expected attendees:

Shantanu Narayen, Adobe Technology
John McGlade, Air Products & Chemicals
Klaus Kleinfeld, Alcoa Consumer Goods
Angie Hicks, Angie's List
Cheryl Milone, Article One Partners
Andrea Jung, Avon
Debra Lee, BET Holdings
Gregory Page, Cargill
David Dougherty, Convergys
Craig Newmark, Craigslist
Samuel Allen, Deere & Co.
John Riccitiello, Electronic Arts
Chris Hughes, Facebook
Michael Thompson, Fair Oaks Farms
Ping Fu, Geomagic
Wendy Lea, GetSatisfaction
Andrew Mason, Groupon/The Point
Daniel Weirich, GW Micro
Al Fuller, Integrated Packaging
Millard Drexler, J. Crew
Carl Camden, Kelly Service Staffing
John Lee, Lee Technologies
James Crowe, Level 3 Communications
Bill McComb, Liz Claiborne
Jeff Joerres, Manpower
Steve Ballmer, Microsoft
Sal Iannuzzi, Monster
Panday Punita, netCustomer
Jeffrey Jordan, OpenTable
Charles Harrington, Parsons
Indra Nooyi, PepsiCo
Peter Darbee, PG&E
Robert Glaser, RealNetworks
Tom Adams, Rosetta Stone
Sam GIlliland, Sabre Holdings
Gary Kelly,Southwest Airlines
Daniel Hesse, Sprint Nextel
Ronald Sargent, Staples
John Chen, Sybase
James Kennedy, T. Rowe Price
Jeff Bewkes, Time Warner
Dan Bane, Trader Joe's
Glenn Tilton, United Airlines
Scott David, UPS
Joe Robles, USAA Insurance
David Segura, VisionIT
Daniel Fulton, Weyerhaeuser
Jeff Fettig, Whirpool
Jeremy Stoppelman, Yelp
Harold MIlls, Zero Chaos

By Cecilia Kang  |  January 14, 2010; 8:00 AM ET
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This idea is fantastic and the list is an impressive mixture of innovative companies. I think Zappos should have a seat at this table. They are a strong company based on the rock solid foundation of customer service. Wouldn't it be great if the US government espoused a similar mantra?

Posted by: bobrobertson | January 14, 2010 8:43 PM | Report abuse

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