The Strategic and Policy Forum is chaired by Blackstone CEO Stephen Schwarzman, who recruited the advisory committee's members. They include the CEOs of General Motors, JPMorgan, and Walmart. For the first meeting, the council discussed tax and trade, regulation, infrastructure, women in the workforce, education, and immigration.
Notably absent were Walt Disney CEO Bob Iger, who said he could not attend due to a scheduling conflict, and Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, who resigned just a day prior to the meeting in response to pressure from his employees and customers in the wake of Trump's immigration ban.
"We're bringing back jobs, we're bringing down your taxes, we're getting rid of your regulations, and there are some really exciting times ahead," Trump told the press ahead of the meeting.
Here's who had a seat at the table in the White House's State Dining Room.
Stephen Schwarzman — Cofounder, chairman, and CEO of Blackstone
Schwarzman, the king of private equity, is the chairman of Trump's business council. As chairman, he selected its members, and told CNBC that the president "loved them all."
At the World Economic Forum in Davos in January, Schwarzman said he was bullish on Trump's effect on the economy. "We're going to have higher growth rates in the United States. We're liable to have a stronger dollar," he said. He noted that "We have to watch to see what happens [with] some of the tax proposals because they are highly complex. ... We have to be mindful of that."
Indra Nooyi — Chairwoman and CEO of PepsiCo
Nooyi, along with IBM CEO Ginni Rometty, was assigned to the tax and trade topic for the first meeting.
The PepsiCo CEO found herself in a Trump-related fiasco following the election in November: In an interview with the New York Times' Andrew Ross Sorkin, Nooyi — who supported Hillary Clinton — congratulated Trump on his victory but noted that many of her employees were crying the day after his election, with minorities wondering if they would be safe in his administration. This led to a couple of viral fake-news posts and an online call to boycott Pepsi.
Nooyi joined the business council in December as has not commented on the administration since.
Doug McMillon — President and CEO of Walmart Stores
Though there are three female executives on the council, McMillon and EY CEO Mark Weinberger were tasked with speaking to the topic of women in the workforce.
The Walmart CEO has not personally released a comment about Trump. But Walmart joined the Americans for Affordable Products group, along with more than 100 retailers like Target and Best Buy, who are in opposition to the Republican-controlled House's proposed "border adjustment tax" that would place a 20% tax on imported goods.
Jamie Dimon — Chairman, president, and CEO of JPMorgan Chase
In January, Dimon said in a public statement that he would do what he could to help the Trump administration improve the economy.
"The United States is well positioned to build on the momentum the US economy is already showing," he said. "President Trump and the new Congress have both identified economic growth and job creation as top priorities, and America's business leaders fully agree."
Dimon and the rest of JPMorgan's leadership team sent a memo to staff following Trump's immigration ban offering support to affected employees and pledging dedication to a diverse workforce.
Mary Barra — Chairwoman and CEO of General Motors
Barra was put in charge of the topic of regulation, along with Patomak Global Partners CEO Paul Atkins, and has already met with Trump and other automotive CEOs to discuss her industry.
She told Vanity Fair in January that General Motors, with its "build where we sell" policy, has "much in common with the new administration," and that she is looking forward to working on the business council.
Following the immigration ban, GM's head of HR sent a company-wide memo full of resources for helping employees affected by the travel restrictions.
Mark Weinberger — Chairman and CEO of EY
Weinberger, along with fellow male CEO Doug McMillon, led the discussion of women in the workforce.
The EY CEO told Fortune in December he was "optimistic" about Trump's presidency, notably tax reform and infrastructure spending.
In a statement sent to Business Insider following Trump's immigration ban, Weinberger said that while he understands the importance of national security, he was committed to assisting employees affected by immigration restrictions and noted that the restrictions "will have an impact on our ability to work as a globally connected organization."
Ginni Rometty — Chairwoman, president, and CEO of IBM
Rometty was assigned to leading the the discussion on tax and trade, along with PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi. She is also a member of Trump's tech council.
Following Trump's victory, Rometty wrote an open letter congratulating him and offering advice on the topics of vocational training, infrastructure, healthcare, government spending, tax reform, and veteran care. In response, an IBM engineer gathered support among colleagues to sign an online petition calling for the company to expand diversity programs and refuse to take government contracts — it got 1,000 signatures.
In response to the immigration ban, IBM released a statement saying it was committed to diversity and inclusion and said it would advocate for openness in the world.
Larry Fink — Chairman and CEO of BlackRock
Fink led the discussion on infrastructure, along with Global Infrastructure Partners chairman Adebayo Ogunlesi.
At Davos, Fink said that he expects tension between Trump and the Federal Reserve and that the administration would need to carefully navigate relationships with Japan and China, the country's two biggest lenders.
One day ahead of Friday's business council meeting, Fink sent a memo to BlackRock staff calling for a recommitment to maintaining strong relationships with teams overseas and developing a diverse organization, during an "uncertain" and "uneasy" retreat from globalization.
Elon Musk — CEO and CTO of SpaceX, CEO of Tesla Inc., chairman of Solar City, co-chairman of OpenAI
Trump has an affinity for Musk, inviting him to his recurring tech council as well as his first big meeting at the White House. It is also in Musk's favor to have cordial ties to the administration, since Musk's companies Tesla, SpaceX, and Solar City have benefited from billions of dollars in government subsidies.
After Trump's election, Musk said he was optimistic about Trump's dedication to American manufacturing.
Musk clearly expressed his disapproval with Trump's immigration ban and said he would discuss it with the business council. Following Kalanick's resignation from the business committee ahead of its first meeting, Musk released a statement saying that he was remaining on the council because while his participation did not suggest an approval of all of the administration's policies, "I believe at this time that engaging on critical issues will on balance serve the greater good."
Jack Welch — Former chairman and CEO of General Electric
Welch, known for his intense and highly successful tenure as the head of GE from 1981-2001, has expressed his support for Trump primarily through his Twitter account.
Following the release of Trump's lewd comments in an "Access Hollywood" leaked tape in October, Welch said he felt Trump was "the wrong messenger" for values he agreed with, but eventually reverted to a vocal endorsement of Trump's policies.
Paul Atkins — CEO of Patomak Global Partners and former commissioner of the SEC
Atkins — as Trump's lead regulation advisor, outside of the committee — led the discussion on regulation, along with GM's Barra.
Atkins was the Securities and Exchange Commission's commissioner from 2002-2008, and is a vocal opponent of the 2010 Dodd-Frank law, which scaled back risk-taking among America's largest financial institutions in the wake of the financial crisis. Trump is expected to sign an executive order that would repeal the law, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Adebayo Ogunlesi — Chairman and managing partner at Global Infrastructure Partners
Ogunlesi led the discussion on infrastructure, along with BlackRock CEO Larry Fink.
The Nigerian billionaire investor has not commented publicly on his work with the Trump administration.
Toby Cosgrove — President and CEO of the Cleveland Clinic
Politico reported that Cosgrove, a Vietnam War veteran, was Trump's pick for Veterans Affairs secretary, before Cosgrove withdrew himself for consideration in January. He had previously turned down the same offer from President Barack Obama.
He told the Wall Street Journal in January that he was honored to have the president seek his advice.
Rich Lesser — President and CEO of the Boston Consulting Group
Lesser took to his LinkedIn page the Wednesday following Trump's immigration order to express concerns about the restrictions and promise that he would contribute to the discussion around "America's open culture and welcoming spirit."
Dealbreaker reported Friday that it received claims from inside BCG of dissatisfaction with Lesser's response to Trump's executive order, believing Lesser was not firm enough.
Jim McNerney — Former president and CEO of Boeing
McNerney, the former head of Boeing, has not spoken recently in public about his views on the Trump administration, but last March he told CNBC that he found Trump's rhetoric around trade to be "very dangerous."
Kevin Warsh — Distinguished visiting fellow in economics at the Hoover Institute and former governor of the Federal Reserve System
Warsh was the Federal Reserve's Wall Street liaison during and after the 2008 financial crisis.
He is seen as one of Trump's potential picks to fill a Fed governor slot, according to Politico.
Daniel Yergin — Pulitzer Prize-winning author and vice chairman of IHS Markit
Yergin, an expert on energy, told Bloomberg after Trump's election that he expected the president to reverse the progress of regulation, and that global trade needs the most concern and focus within Trump's first 100 days.