Advocacy Boot Camp*

2016 Employment Law & Legislative Conference
Whether you’re a first-timer or a veteran of the Capitol Hill Visits, join SHRM’s Government Affairs team for a deep-dive into timely legislative issues to discuss with lawmakers, plus tips on how to strategically advocate on behalf of the profession.

*Pre-registration required.

We look forward to witnessing another monumental HR advocacy effort on Wednesday, March 16 during SHRM’s Advocacy Day, when hundreds of HR leaders take advantage of this rare chance to visit the offices of their U.S. senators and representatives on Capitol Hill. All those who will be participating in Capitol Hill Visits and meeting with members of Congress and their staffs should attend this preparatory educational briefing and interactive strategy session. During this session, SHRM’s Government Affairs team—and some of your fellow HR peers—will provide the latest updates and information on the timely issues you will be discussing with lawmakers during your Advocacy Day meetings, as well as how you can best represent the profession as an advocate both during your Capitol Hill Visits and after you return home from Washington, D.C.

Never attended a SHRM Advocacy Day? This is the perfect opportunity to join your peers and fellow advocates in reviewing talking points and how-to strategies, and even witness live demonstrations and scenarios to help you effectively communicate your views and experiences on legislative issues with congressional offices.

A seasoned participant of SHRM's Capitol Hill Visits? Don't miss this particular session to proactively analyze the legislative issues pending in this key national election year that directly impact the HR profession, and how you can use your leadership to ensure a successful Advocacy Day, and an exciting 2016 for HR.

Date(s) & Time(s): 
Tuesday, March 15, 2016 - 5:15pm to 6:30pm

Chatrane Birbal


Chatrane Birbal is Vice President, Public Policy in SHRM national’s Alexandria, Va. office. In this capacity, she is actively involved in solidifying strategic partnerships and research to address policy issues on Capitol Hill that impact the workplace. In her role, Ms. Birbal lobbies Congress and develops policies and positions in support of workplace public policy issues including workplace healthcare, workforce development, workplace equity, workplace flexibly and leave, workplace immigration and employer-sponsored benefits (retirement, education assistance, unemployment insurance, among others).   

Prior to joining SHRM, Ms. Birbal was the director of government relations at the Council on Foundations, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit membership association of some 2,000 grant making foundations and corporations, with assets totaling more than $282 billion. During her tenure at the Council, Ms. Birbal implemented strategies and launches programs in support of the organization’s public policy and government relations work. She lobbied Congress on tax legislation relating to charitable giving, raised the Council’s profile with Congress and other nonprofit organizations, advised members on legislative activities impacting philanthropy and planned and executed the Council’s annual legislative fly-in conference, “Foundations on the Hill.”

Prior to joining the Council, Ms. Birbal was a federal legislative lobbyist at the American Psychiatric Association (APA), an Arlington, Va.-based medical specialty society with over 38,000 U.S. and international member physicians who work together to ensure humane care and effective treatment for all persons with mental disorders, including mental retardation and substance-related disorders. During her tenure at APA, Ms. Birbal lobbied Congress on behalf of psychiatrists, planned and executed the association’s annual advocacy day training session for membership as well as developed the APA’s online advocacy action center to further legislative efforts on behalf of the psychiatry profession.

Chatrane previously served on the Board of Directors for the ACT for Alexandria community foundation.  ACT for Alexandria brings the community together to elevate local philanthropic giving and engagement to new heights, supports local nonprofits working to aid the most vulnerable and develops solutions for the community’s most pressing challenges. During her tenure on the Board Ms. Birbal supported the foundation’s initiatives including ACTion Alexandria, an online civic engagement platform and Spring2ACTion, 24 hours of online giving to support local nonprofits.

Chatrane obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from the State University at Buffalo in Buffalo, N.Y. and received her graduate degree of public administration and public policy from George Mason University in Fairfax, Va.


Ms. Birbal currently serves on the Board of Directors of Women in Government Relations (WGR) - the premier, non-partisan professional society dedicated to advancing and empowering women by fostering professional development and growth opportunities through a community that supports women’s leadership in government relations. She is a member of the Tax Coalition, which provides a forum for the exchange of ideas among professionals in federal tax policymaking to encourage the professional development of women in federal tax policy and Birbal also serves as a Director-at-large on George Mason University’s Alumni Board.

Kathleen Coulombe


Kathleen Coulombe is a Senior Advisor, Government Relations at the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).  In this capacity, she is actively involved in tax and benefit public policy issues on Capitol Hill that impact the Human Resource profession.  Prior to working in this capacity, Coulombe served as the State Affairs Specialist where she managed public policy issues on the state level for SHRM. She is based in Alexandria, Va.

Kelly Hastings


Kelly is responsible for SHRM legislative activities on employment and labor issues, including the Americans with Disabilities Act, the National Labor Relations Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act and other federal employment issues as they affect the management of human capital.

Prior to joining SHRM, Kelly worked as the legislative director for Congressman Lou Barletta (PA), a member on the House Education and the Workforce Committee. In this role, Kelly developed an overall legislative strategy for the office and managed the Congressman's legislative team. She specifically focused on Congressman Barletta's Committee portfolio of issues including, labor, health, and education policy

Meredith Nethercutt


Meredith Nethercutt is the Manager of Member Engagement at the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). She provides leadership and direction to establish, maintain and strengthen relationships with SHRM Volunteer Leaders, members, and affiliates to achieve the Society's strategy and objectives on membership. Meredith develops and executes a comprehensive strategy to educate and inform volunteer leaders on membership programs, services and resources and to support them in their Volunteer Leader role. Meredith was previously the director of member advocacy at SHRM, overseeing the Advocacy Team (A-Team) network of volunteer advocates, where she facilitated relationships between SHRM members and lawmakers to strengthen the Society's advocacy objectives in legislative districts nationwide. In addition, Meredith provided training and guidance to HR advocates on how to effectively communicate with lawmakers regarding workplace policies.

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