Advocacy Boot Camp

2014 Employment Law and Legislative Conference

The boot camp will prepare those who will be meeting with congressional offices by providing talking points and "how-to" strategies to effectively communicate their views on legislative issues. The boot camp will also analyze legislative issues pending in the 113th Congress that directly impact the HR profession. First-time attendees participating in the Capitol Hill visits are strongly encouraged to attend this session, which will also include a congressional meeting "role play" to prepare HR professionals for successful advocacy meetings.  Both SHRM and Council for Global Immigration staff members will be on hand to provide tips and answer questions. 

*Pre-registration required

Date(s) & Time(s): 
Sunday, March 16, 2014 - 4:00pm to 6:00pm

Chatrane Birbal


Chatrane Birbal is Vice President, Public Policy in SHRM national’s Alexandria, Va. office. In this capacity, she is actively involved in solidifying strategic partnerships and research to address policy issues on Capitol Hill that impact the workplace. In her role, Ms. Birbal lobbies Congress and develops policies and positions in support of workplace public policy issues including workplace healthcare, workforce development, workplace equity, workplace flexibly and leave, workplace immigration and employer-sponsored benefits (retirement, education assistance, unemployment insurance, among others).   

Prior to joining SHRM, Ms. Birbal was the director of government relations at the Council on Foundations, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit membership association of some 2,000 grant making foundations and corporations, with assets totaling more than $282 billion. During her tenure at the Council, Ms. Birbal implemented strategies and launches programs in support of the organization’s public policy and government relations work. She lobbied Congress on tax legislation relating to charitable giving, raised the Council’s profile with Congress and other nonprofit organizations, advised members on legislative activities impacting philanthropy and planned and executed the Council’s annual legislative fly-in conference, “Foundations on the Hill.”

Prior to joining the Council, Ms. Birbal was a federal legislative lobbyist at the American Psychiatric Association (APA), an Arlington, Va.-based medical specialty society with over 38,000 U.S. and international member physicians who work together to ensure humane care and effective treatment for all persons with mental disorders, including mental retardation and substance-related disorders. During her tenure at APA, Ms. Birbal lobbied Congress on behalf of psychiatrists, planned and executed the association’s annual advocacy day training session for membership as well as developed the APA’s online advocacy action center to further legislative efforts on behalf of the psychiatry profession.

Chatrane previously served on the Board of Directors for the ACT for Alexandria community foundation.  ACT for Alexandria brings the community together to elevate local philanthropic giving and engagement to new heights, supports local nonprofits working to aid the most vulnerable and develops solutions for the community’s most pressing challenges. During her tenure on the Board Ms. Birbal supported the foundation’s initiatives including ACTion Alexandria, an online civic engagement platform and Spring2ACTion, 24 hours of online giving to support local nonprofits.

Chatrane obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from the State University at Buffalo in Buffalo, N.Y. and received her graduate degree of public administration and public policy from George Mason University in Fairfax, Va.


Ms. Birbal currently serves on the Board of Directors of Women in Government Relations (WGR) - the premier, non-partisan professional society dedicated to advancing and empowering women by fostering professional development and growth opportunities through a community that supports women’s leadership in government relations. She is a member of the Tax Coalition, which provides a forum for the exchange of ideas among professionals in federal tax policymaking to encourage the professional development of women in federal tax policy and Birbal also serves as a Director-at-large on George Mason University’s Alumni Board.

Kathleen Coulombe


Kathleen Coulombe is a Senior Advisor, Government Relations at the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).  In this capacity, she is actively involved in tax and benefit public policy issues on Capitol Hill that impact the Human Resource profession.  Prior to working in this capacity, Coulombe served as the State Affairs Specialist where she managed public policy issues on the state level for SHRM. She is based in Alexandria, Va.

Rebecca Peters


Mrs. Peters has worked with the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) since October 2018. She previously worked for SHRM’s former affiliate the Council for Global Immigration (CFGI) in the Washington DC metro-area for nearly fifteen years, helping to advance high skilled immigration and employment verification reforms with the U.S. Congress, the White House and the federal agencies. She has served as a chair of the policy committee of the Compete America coalition. She also serves on other coalitions and working groups to educate and advance immigration system efficiencies and to ensure critical changes to employer immigration compliance are reasonable.

Congressional C
Amount of Credit: 
Credit Type: 
HR Credit
Session Type: 
Concurrent Session
Business Acumen
Relationship Management
Intended Audience: 
All Levels
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