Apple CEO Tim Cook to attend State of the Union address as Obama seeks to act on cybersecurity

Apple CEO Tim Cook to attend State of the Union address as Obama seeks to act on cybersecurity

Apple CEO Tim Cook has received and accepted an invitation by US First Lady Michelle Obama to sit next to her during next Tuesday’s State of the Union address. Technology looks to play a part in the annual speech as Bobak Ferdowski, NASA’s “Mohawk Guy” with the Mars Curiosity team, has also been invited.

Typically, the First Lady invites distinguished members to join her in the galley of the US House of Representatives to observe the President give the State of the Union address. Last year also had an Apple tie-in too, with the late-Steve Jobs’ wife, Laurene Powell Jobs, joining Mrs. Obama, along with Mike Krieger, co-founder of Instagram.

In 2011, Obama said:

We have to do everything we can to encourage the entrepreneurial spirit, wherever we find it. We should be helping American companies compete and sell their products all over the world. We should be making it easier and faster to turn new ideas into new jobs and new businesses. And we should knock down any barriers that stand in the way. Because if we’re going to create jobs now and in the future, we’re going to have to out-build and out-educate and out-innovate every other country on Earth.

His administration says that Obama recognizes technology as an “essential ingredient” of economic growth and job creation and with Cook announcing last year that Apple would build a plant in the US to handle manufacturing of its computers, it’s no surprise that the Apple CEO would be invited to the speech.

Last year, the President visited an Intel plant in Arizona where he spoke about domestic manufacturing last year — right before his State of the Union address.

It is believed that Obama will focus more on cybersecurity and technology issues in his second term. Some say that he will issue an executive order about this issue after the State of the Union and you can probably bet that this will be included in the speech.

Also joining Mrs. Obama is Ferdowski, the man who became famous for his mohawk when NASA’s Mars Curiosity landed on the Red Planet last year. It’s most likely that when these two technology celebrities are referenced, it will be about how they are inspirations.

Other legislative leaders have invited guests to attend the address as well. According to the Mercury News, Representative Mike Honda (D-San Jose) has requested the attendance of Counsyl CEO and co-founder Ramji Srinivasan. The company focuses on helping couples plan for their family by testing and identifying more than 100 recessive genetic conditions, which may lead to severe birth defects, chronic disease, and more.

Related: The cybersecurity circus comes full circle: Lieberman calls for mandatory standards in executive order, How Obama’s reelection may spur work on cybersecurity in the United States, Legislative options dead, a fresh draft of the executive order on cybersecurity has been leaked

Photo credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Read next: Twitter lures advertisers with mobile users, noting they're 96% more likely to follow 11+ brands