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 is a Partner in Fragomen’s Washington, DC office, and leads the firm’s Government Strategies and Compliance Group. He regularly guides clients through complex immigration strategy challenges and represents clients in large-scale federal audits and investigations. Bo served as General Counsel of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) during two administrations, advising the Commissioner of the INS, the Attorney General of the United States, the White House, other Executive Branch agencies, and the U.S. Congress on all aspects of U.S. immigration law. He also has extensive federal litigation experience, including several years as a trial attorney in the Civil Division of the Department of Justice. He has testified in Congress on many occasions, both during government service and in private practice, and has advised the Department of Homeland Security as part of a Homeland Security Advisory Committee Task Force. Bo has served as an expert witness and as amicus curiae in federal litigation over immigration issues. He also maintains a robust pro bono practice, with a focus on asylum and related protection issues.

Bo earned Juris Doctor and Bachelor of Arts degrees from Tulane University. He has taught immigration law courses at the University of Michigan School of Law, the Georgetown Law Center, and the Washington College of Law at American University.

Leon Rodriguez


Leon Rodriguez is a partner in the Labor and Employment Department of Seyfarth Shaw LLP’s Washington, D.C. office. Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Rodriguez served as the Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) from 2014–2017, following an over twenty-five year career as a prosecutor, law firm partner, and government agency leader. During his tenure as director of USCIS, he lead the implementation of the Obama Administration’s core immigration priorities, including the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy, policies to improve U.S. business access to high-skilled workers, and the U.S. Refugee Admissions program at a time of unprecedented world-wide displacement.

Mr. Rodriguez is a founding member of the firm’s Immigration and Compliance Specialty Team, chair of the firm’s Health Care Regulatory and Compliance Affinity Group, and co-chair of the Health Care Privacy, Security and HIPAA Affinity Group. Mr. Rodriguez assists clients in navigating complex and high stakes enforcement and public policy issues. He brings an inter-disciplinary approach to solving client challenges, incorporating compliance, litigation, investigation, policy development/advocacy and public relations tools. His substantive expertise includes immigration compliance and enforcement, immigration policy, health care privacy and security, health care fraud and abuse, civil rights, diversity and inclusion, and professional ethics.

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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