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White House Advisor Slated at SHRM Legislative Conference

By SHRM Online staff  2/16/2011

A top-level advisor to President Barack Obama will be a keynote speaker during the 2011
Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Employment Law & Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C., March 14-16.

Valerie B. Jarrett, senior advisor and assistant to the president for intergovernmental affairs and public engagement, is scheduled to address attendees during lunch on March 15.

Jarrett served as co-chair of the Obama-Biden Presidential Transition Team, as senior advisor to Obama’s presidential campaign and as finance chair for Obama’s 2004 run for the U.S. Senate before assuming her current position.

She served as executive vice president of The Habitat Co. for 12 years and became president and CEO of it in 2007. She served eight years in Chicago government as deputy corporation counsel for finance and development, deputy chief of staff for Mayor Richard M. Daley, and commissioner of the Department of Planning and Development.

Jarrett practiced law with two private firms before joining city government service.

She has extensive background in serving on corporate and not-for-profit boards, including as chair of the Chicago Transit Board from 1995 to 2003; chair of the Board of the Chicago Stock Exchange from April 2004 through April 2007, and as director of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago from January 2006 through April 2007.

Full Slate of Speakers

Other speakers at the conference, which will be held at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill:

  • Michael P. Aitken, SHRM’s director of government affairs.
  • Soledad O’Brien, anchor and special correspondent for “CNN: Special Investigations Unit.”
  • Douglas Brinkley, Rice University history professor and New York Times best-selling author.
  • Ronald Brownstein, National Journal Group’s editorial director and two-time finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of presidential campaigns.
  • Chai Feldblum, commissioner, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). She played a leading role in drafting the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and has been a leading expert on the proposed Employment Non-Discrimination Act.
  • Victoria A. Lipnic, commissioner, EEOC. She most recently was the U.S. assistant secretary of labor for Employment Standards, overseeing the Wage and Hour Division, Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs and the Office of Labor-Management Standards.

The conference theme is “Bridging the Divide: Connecting the Workplace and Washington.” Aitken will open the March 14 general session with a presentation on legislative, regulatory and judicial issues before the 112th Congress and federal agencies that will impact the HR profession.

Those issues include efforts to overhaul the nation’s immigration laws as well as proposals to require employers to offer paid leave, to restrict the use of credit reports in the hiring process and to provide new civil rights protections in pay discrimination claims.

Feldblum and Lipnic are scheduled to speak March 14; O’Brien is scheduled to speak at the March 14 luncheon general session, Brinkley at the March 15 breakfast general session and Brownstein at the March 15 closing general session.

The conference concludes with Capitol Hill Day, scheduled for 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 16. Attendees have the opportunity to meet and talk with their elected officials from the House of Representatives and the Senate about workplace-related legislation that affects HR professionals. Attendees can prepare for their visit by attending a March 15 “Advocacy Boot Camp: Policy Issues for Capitol Hill Visits.” Additionally, SHRM state delegations will meet March 15 to plan their Capitol Hill visit.

Feb. 28, 2011, is the deadline for registering to participate in the Capitol Hill visit.

The HR Certification Institute will award hour-for-hour recertification credit for each professional development session attended, including concurrent sessions. The conference website contains specific information about sessions that have been preapproved for recertification credit and the number of hours available.

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