Keynote Speakers

  • Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., SHRM-SCP

    Johnny C.
    Taylor, Jr., SHRM-SCP

    Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., SHRM-SCP, is President and Chief Executive Officer of SHRM. With nearly 325,000 members in 165 countries, SHRM impacts the lives of more than 235 million workers and families globally.

    As a global leader on the future of employment, culture, and leadership, Mr. Taylor is a sought-after voice on all matters affecting work, workers, and the workplace. Recently named one of the “Most Influential People Shaping Public Policy” in our nation’s Capital by Washingtonian Magazine, Mr. Taylor is frequently asked to testify before Congress on critical workforce issues and authors the weekly USA Today column, "Ask HR."

    Mr. Taylor's career spans over 20 years as a lawyer, human resources executive, and CEO in both the not-for-profit and for-profit space. He has held senior and chief executive roles at IAC/Interactive Corp, Viacom's Paramount Pictures, Blockbuster Entertainment Group, the McGuireWoods law firm, and Compass Group USA. Most recently, Mr. Taylor was President and Chief Executive Officer of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund.

    He is the author of the national bestseller, RESET: A Leader’s Guide to Work in an Age of Upheaval, which delivers a candid and forward-thinking vision for leaders to reimagine their company cultures in a time of global upheaval and presents data-driven strategies to make the necessary foundational reset of all things work. Immediately upon its release in September 2021, RESET was in the top three of the Wall Street Journal’s list of best-selling hardcover business books. All author proceeds benefit the SHRM Foundation, which is committed to empowering HR as a social force for change.

    Mr. Taylor sits on several corporate boards, including as Lead Independent Director of XPO Logistics (NYSE: XPO) and as an Independent Director of Guild Education and Flores & Associates. In addition, he dedicates himself to non-profit organizations, serving as Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees of the University of Miami and as a Trustee of the United Way Worldwide. Mr. Taylor was appointed chairman of the President’s Advisory Board on Historically Black Colleges and Universities and as a member of the White House American Workforce Policy Advisory Board during the Trump Administration.

    The Women Business Collaborative (WBC) named Mr. Taylor as one of its 2023 Trailblazers in Gender Equity and Diversity for his work to achieve equal positions, pay, and power for all women in business. In 2020, he received the Distinguished Executive of the Year Award from the Academy of Management, and he was named 2021 ALA Professional Society CEO of the Year by CEO Update.

    He is a Fellow of the National Academy of Human Resources and is licensed to practice law in Florida, Illinois, and Washington, D.C.

    Monday, October 30, 2023 - 9:00am to 10:00am
  • Rich Tafel


    Rich Tafel is a strategist whose passion is to build bridges between unlikely partners to create successful coalitions to solve the most significant challenges of our day. He works at the intersection of faith, business, and policy.

    A minister by training, Rich is the pastor of the Church of the Holy City in Washington, DC, where his ecumenical ministry translates spirituality for a rising generation. He focuses on addressing toxic polarization by offering training to leaders in his Cultural Translator model. A graduate of Harvard Divinity School, he served as an Assistant Minster at Harvard’s Memorial Church. Today, he serves on the governing board of the National Council of Churches.

    Rich is a pioneer in the social entrepreneur field, having provided strategy to over one hundred social ventures. He facilitated the nation’s first statewide social entrepreneur competition for Michigan. He strategically supported creating the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. He co-founded the Workplace Wellness Council of Mexico and SameSky Health, which connect patients with doctors in their language using a phone app. Today, he is the Director of Social Capital Advisers at Marcum LLP in Washington, DC, where he works with for-profit and nonprofit entities to build business models to create transformative change.

    He has long sought to bridge the divide in the public policy sphere in America in Washington, DC, building successful right-left coalitions in the battle to treat AIDS and support same-sex marriage. He served as Adolescent Health Director for the State of MA.

    He has led programs at Pepperdine School of Public Policy, Johns Hopkins University, and today serves as a Senior Fellow at George Washington University’s Center for Excellence in Leadership. He is the President of the board of directors of Citizen’s University, a national organization focused on educating the rising generation on civic engagement.


    Emily M. Dickens, J.D.

    Emily M.
    Dickens, J.D.

    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.

    Wednesday, November 1, 2023 - 10:30am to 11:30am