Policy In Action: How Your Workplace Can Create a Better World


Not all policy change starts in Washington. Every day workplace leaders use their voices and resources outside of the halls of Congress to bring about and inspire change. Good policy is often based on existing programs and activities that improve the bottom line and build more equitable and inclusive workplace cultures. SHRM and its members help drive social and economic change in the workplace with “policy in action” initiatives that address important issues like strengthening the education pipeline, providing second chances for the formerly incarcerated or hiring people with disabilities.

Learn about these initiatives in an interactive session that explains how you, your employer and your chapter can demonstrate HR’s role as a social force in advocating for change.

Learning Objectives:    

  • Learn about policy-in-action initiatives focused on lifelong learning and the school-to-career transition. 
  • Learn how to create partnerships between business, public education and government to create talent pipelines.
  • Engage with experts to discuss how you and your organization leverage external relationships with not-for-profits and government to meet business needs.
Date(s) & Time(s): 
Monday, March 16, 2020 - 2:15pm to 3:15pm

Heather Dean


Heather Dean is the Deputy Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer at NSBA where she oversees the areas of finance, human resources, conference and meetings, information technologies, office services and facilities and business development. Prior to joining NSBA, Dean was the deputy executive director of programs and operations for the National Parent Teacher Association. She also worked as a Sarbanes Oxley officer and senior financial analyst at Siemens Energy, manager of financial planning and reporting at the National Rifle Association, and auditor at a Big Four accounting firm. A certified public accountant, Dean has more than 20 years of experience working with and/or in non-profit management.  She has a proven track record of helping non-profits with financial turn arounds and streamlining operations. Dean holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and accounting from Gettysburg College.

Nate Bailey


Drawing on his diverse communications, public policy and public affairs experience, Nate Bailey serves as chief of staff to U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. He is responsible for implementing the Secretary’s strategy for education reform in America and overseeing the Department’s 3,600 employees and $72 billion discretionary budget. Prior to assuming his current role, Bailey served as the Assistant Secretary for Communications and Outreach (delegated) at the Department.

Before joining the Department, Nate was the president of a boutique public affairs, communications and advertising firm based in Alexandria, VA. There, he provided senior leadership to a diverse range of clients involving health, energy, trade, telecom and foreign policy matters.

Previously, Nate was a Senior Vice President at Edelman, the world’s largest public relations firm, where he led a team of grassroots, digital and public affairs professionals and executed campaigns for major trade associations and Fortune 100 companies.

Earlier in this career, Nate had held roles at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, with a senior member of the House Appropriations committee, the Michigan Attorney General’s office, and in numerous electoral campaigns.

Nate is a graduate of the James Madison College at Michigan State University, where he studied international affairs, economics. He and his wife, Kylee, live in Alexandria with their three children.

Janelle Duray


Janelle Duray has over ten years of experience in education and workforce development consulting and nonprofit management. She serves as the Executive Vice President of Jobs for America's Graduates, a national nonprofit that has served 1.35million youth since its inception 40 years ago, and currently serves 74,000 youth across 1,400 communities. In her role, Janelle oversees internal and external departments, working closely with JAG's President and the JAG National Board of Directors Members to support JAG Affiliates in program implementation. Janelle collaborates states leaders, including Governors, Chief State School Officers and Commissioners of Workforce Development and Labor, to provide critical services to youth and young adults through the JAG Model program. Janelle also oversees JAG's national partnerships, working to develop strategic relationships that expand beyond financial development to fully engage JAG students and employer partners for more meaningful impact and engagement at the programmatic, local level. Finally, in her role at JAG, Janelle is a key resource to JAG's 35 State Affiliates, supporting their organizational development and strategic direction to maintain fidelity to the JAG Model and our students.
Janelle received her Masters of Arts in Public Administration from George Mason University in Fairfax, VA and her Bachelors of Arts in Global Studies from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. Prior to her time at JAG and Strategic Partnerships, Janelle held positions at the Association of American Law Schools and former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty's office.

Outside of JAG, Janelle enjoys traveling, concerts, good wine and musing about the cosmos.

Jonathan Berry


Jonathan Berry was appointed Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy in April 2018. In this role, Berry is responsible for the policy direction and operations of the agency as he works with other agency leaders to deliver on the Department's policy priorities and regulatory agenda. 

Berry previously served in the Office of Legal Policy at the U.S. Department of Justice. At DOJ, in addition to judicial nominations, Berry assisted with the work of the DOJ Regulatory Reform Task Force, including in the development of department-wide policies to harmonize DOJ's regulatory work with the rule of law. Prior to his service in the Federal government, Berry worked as a regulatory and appellate litigator at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP and Jones Day. Berry also served as a law clerk to Judge Jerry Smith of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and to Associate Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr. of the Supreme Court of the United States.

Berry has a Bachelor of Arts (with distinction) in Philosophy from Yale University and has a Juris Doctor from Columbia University School of Law, where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar and won the E.B. Convers Prize for best original legal writing.


Emily M. Dickens, J.D.

Emily M.

Emily M. Dickens, J.D., serves as SHRM's Corporate Secretary and Chief of Staff. 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.

Mount Vernon Square
Session Type: 
Concurrent Session
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