Ivanka Trump, the daughter of President Donald Trump, will be on stage on Tuesday at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas to talk about the future of work – but her invitation has caused controversy.
Gary Shapiro, the chief executive of the company which runs CES, defended inviting Ms Trump and refused to answer the BBC when it asked whether her appearance had been requested by the White House.
Ms Trump has been appointed co-chair of two governmental advisory boards, including the national council for the American worker.
She will share the stage with eight senior business leaders, only two of whom are female, prompting criticism that women who understand how tech will impact the future of work are being under-represented.
The US has enjoyed record levels of jobs growth throughout Mr Trump’s administration, something which the president has credited to his eldest daughter.
Footage released by Emmanuel Macron’s office during the summer revealed Ms Trump unsuccessfully attempting to chip in during a discussion between the French president, the then UK PM Theresa May and Canadian PM Justin Trudeau.
Also present was the then International Monetary Fund managing director Christine Lagarde, now the president of the European Central Bank, who appears to have a pained expression as Ms Trump interjects.
Mr Shapiro told the BBC he did not regret Ms Trump’s invitation, and described her as “a business leader and entrepreneur [who] is an advocate for creating family-sustaining jobs”.
“CES has consistently proven to be one of the most influential technology events in the world,” Ms Trump said.
“I am excited to join this year for a substantive discussion on the how the government is working with private sector leaders to ensure American students and workers are equipped to thrive in the modern, digital economy,” she added.
Last year CES caused controversy by stripping a sex tech business of its innovation award on the grounds its sex toy could be considered “immoral, obscene, indecent, profane”.
Lora Haddock, the chief executive of the company Lora DiCarlo, accused CES of gender bias after they retracted the prize, noting sex dolls marketed to men featured on the exhibition floor, as did a virtual reality pornography company.
CES eventually apologised to Lora DiCarlo and gave the company a $2m prize.