Former Government Officials Panel Discussion

SHRM Global Mobility and Immigration Symposium

When it comes to understanding how the government works and how agencies make decisions, you can’t beat the expertise of those who have been in the trenches. This panel of government insiders will share lessons they’ve learned from being inside the agencies, best practices on how to work effectively with government officials, and how their personal experience informs what they believe lies ahead for the immigration landscape.

Date(s) & Time(s): 
Tuesday, November 5, 2019 - 3:45pm to 4:30pm

Bo Cooper


Bo Cooper is a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy.  He is an expert on legislative and administrative process and provides strategic advice to corporations, universities, trade associations, international media outlets and individuals facing complex immigration problems.  Before entering private practice, Bo served as General Counsel of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) from 1999 until 2003.  He has testified frequently before Congress, both as a government official and as a private expert, and has made many television, radio, and print media appearances.  He also maintains an extensive pro bono practice.

Leon Rodriguez


As former federal prosecutor and leader of multiple federal and local agencies, clients look to Leon to give them direct advice on the risks related to investigations, to give them guidance on responding to investigations, to advocate for an optimal resolution, or to aggressively litigate their matters to positive outcomes.

Leon is a founding member of the firm's Immigration and Compliance specialty team. He has helped clients understand this rapidly changing and increasingly risk-laden area. Leon has assisted a number of clients with I-9 audits, training on best I-9 practices, and negotiating with government authorities when enforcement events arise. When clients have difficulties obtaining visas to travel to or remain in the US, he assists them either by negotiating with government authorities or by bringing litigation to secure a positive outcome to their case.

In his practice, Leon draws upon his foundational training and experience as a litigator and investigator, primarily gained as a federal and state prosecutor, along with his wide variety of substantive experiences secured through high-level government leaderships posts. From 2014 to 2017, Leon served as the Director of US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), following a more than two decade career as a prosecutor, law firm partner, and government agency leader. From 2011 to 2014, Leon served as the Director of the US Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights. This diverse range of experiences make him most effective for multidisciplinary matters involving multiple and serious risk vectors for clients.

Leon serves as chair of Seyfarth Government Relations Policy Group and works with clients to develop multifaceted strategies to achieve desired public policy outcomes. A veteran of many congressional hearings, he also assists clients who either have been summoned to testify or provide documents before congressional committees. Leon has also handled interdisciplinary problems requiring an attorney with extensive and diverse experience in litigation and investigations, in interacting with the government at all levels, and interacting with media and external stakeholders.

Leon is also chair of the firm's Health Care Regulatory and Compliance group, and a co-chair of the Health Care Privacy, Security and HIPAA group. He assists firm clients with complex and novel HIPAA questions. Leon also counsels and assists clients who have experienced data breaches or otherwise under investigation by the Department of Health and Human Service Office for Civil Rights.

Leon enjoys Seyfarth's collegial environment across its international services, and the firm's commitment to using innovative delivery and pricing approaches to deliver consistently positive outcomes for clients.

Prakash Khatri, Esq.


Prakash Khatri has a national Immigration Law practice ( located in Bethesda, MD. His practice focuses primarily on assisting individuals, companies and law firms in resolving post filing complications at the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, other DHS entities as well as at United States embassies and consulates abroad. He has been practicing law for more than 35 years. He is a nationally recognized expert on Immigration law and process.

Recognized as one of the “50 Most Influential Indian-Americans” by India Abroad in 2007, Khatri is a renowned specialist and public speaker on immigration law and related matters. He has provided expert commentary on immigration issues for television and radio programs and has shared his insights at countless immigration conferences, seminars and debates. He has also been an expert witness in Federal and State courts.

From July 2003 until March 2008, Khatri served as the nation’s first Ombudsman for Citizenship and Immigration Services in the newly formed Department of Homeland Security. Khatri managed the growth of this independent office from a one-person entity to a professional team of more than two dozen professionals and administrative staff.

As CIS Ombudsman and a recognized expert on immigration matters, Khatri provided senior executive leadership, vision, and direction to policy makers in several cabinet level agencies. An immigrant himself, Khatri was regularly consulted for advice by policymakers in the Departments of Homeland Security, State, Labor and Justice, the Office of Management and Budget, and the White House on immigration-related matters.

Khatri is a graduate of Stetson University and Stetson College of Law in Florida. He is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court, the Florida Supreme Court, the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, and the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. He is a member of the District of Columbia Bar, the Florida Bar, and the Maryland Bar.



Laura D. Francis

Laura D.

Laura D. Francis, a senior legal editor with Bloomberg Law, has been covering immigration and employment for more than seven years. Her reporting spans all three branches of government, and she has provided in-depth analysis of developments related to various immigration programs and policies, including the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, Temporary Protected Status, the H-1B visa program, Optional Practical Training, the EB-5 Immigrant Investor program, H-4 employment authorization documents, and the H-2B visa program. Laura also has made numerous appearances on Bloomberg Radio and has participated in immigration-focused podcasts and panel discussions. She holds a J.D. from the George Washington University Law School.

Renaissance Ballroom
Session Type: 
General Session
Intended Audience: 
All Levels
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