Government Affairs: SHRM Policy Priorities

2021 Volunteer Leaders' Business Meeting

In this session, attendees will learn how SHRM determines when and how to engage on policy including a description of its six core Policy Pillars: Workplace Governance, Workplace Flexibility & Leave, Workplace Equity, Workplace Health Care, Workforce Development and Workplace Immigration. Attendees will also learn how SHRM leads with a focus on Policy, Not Politics, and how federal policy impacts their workplace.

Date(s) & Time(s): 
Wednesday, November 10, 2021 - 3:20pm to 4:10pm

James Redstone


James Redstone joined the SHRM External Affairs team after nearly 10 years of service in the U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, and White House. As the Special Assistant to the President responsible for workforce development policy, he oversaw initiatives to modernize federal hiring, expand public access to higher education performance data, provide more granular state and local labor market data, and collaborate with Congress on legislation governing employer-provided education assistance. As the lead workforce development policy expert for the House of Representatives, he negotiated the recent reauthorization of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act and oversaw the implementation of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.

Chenai Kirkpatrick


Emily M. Dickens, J.D.

Emily M.

Emily M. Dickens, J.D., serves as SHRM Chief of Staff, Head of Government Affairs & Corporate Secretary.  She is the executive responsible for coordinating staff to implement the CEO's vision, serving as corporate secretary for the SHRM Board and subsidiary boards, as well as managing external partnerships and providing oversight for the Government Affairs division.

Dickens is an attorney with significant and progressive experience in government, higher education and the non-profit sector. She has served as a member of the leadership team at the University of North Carolina system, the Association of Governing Boards of Colleges and Universities and the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. Her prior roles include general counsel, chief relationship officer, senior vice president, vice president for public policy and assistant vice president for federal relations. Dickens has also worked at Duke University and Fayetteville State University in administrative and external affairs roles. 

Emily is actively engaged in board service. She formerly served on the Fayetteville/Cumberland (NC) Chamber of Commerce (Secretary of the Board), the Cumberland County Workforce Development Board, the North Carolina Partnership for Defense Innovation Board, and the Educational Advancement Foundation. She is currently a member of the Advisory Council of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI), the Advisory Board of the College of Arts and Sciences at North Carolina Central University, and chairs the International HBCU Task Force for Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated.

She is a graduate of North Carolina Central University and North Carolina Central University School of Law. 

Emily is a member of the SHRM Speakers Bureau.

James Banks

Banks, Jr.

James L. "Jim" Banks serves as SHRM's General Counsel, managing SHRM's legal functions, overseeing the work of outside counsel, and serving as key lawyer and legal advisor on major business transactions.

Previously, Banks served as City Attorney to the City of Alexandria, Va., representing and advising the mayor, city council, city manager and city departments on a variety of legal matters. He was previously a partner at Seyfarth Shaw LLP and McGuireWoods LLP, where he focused on employment litigation.

Banks began his legal career in Richmond, Va., and he practiced law in the private and public sectors, including serving as both prosecutor and judge. He has a broad background in legal ethics and spent over 10 years in the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary system, ultimately serving as Chair of the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board. He was an instructor for the Virginia State Bar Professionalism Course and has taught frequently on topics of ethics and professionalism. He is also an adjunct professor at Virginia Tech in the Master of Public Administration program.

Banks is a veteran of the U.S. Army and Virginia Army National Guard and earned his Juris Doctor from the University of Virginia, a master's degree in Public Policy from Walden University and a bachelor's degree from Gettysburg College.

Caroline Hurley


Katie Hunter


Katie Hunter was a veteran Hill staffer with over 10 years of policy experience serving multiple members of Congress before joining SHRM. Katie most recently served as Legislative Director for Congressman Rick W. Allen (GA-12), Ranking Member of the HELP Subcommittee of the House Education and Labor Committee. Katie’s primary focus during her time on the Hill has been labor, health, education, and tax issues. Katie started her career with Congressman H. Morgan Griffith (VA-09), member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Session Type: 
Concurrent Session
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