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This month, SHRM added two new staff to its Government Affairs Team lineup.  Kelly Hastings joined SHRM in early March as a Senior Government Relations Advisor handling labor, employment, civil rights and workforce development issues before Congress, while Jason Gabhart joined the team in mid-March as SHRM’s California State Government Relations Advisor based in Sacramento, Calif.

Prior to joining SHRM, Hastings worked as the legislative director for Congressman Lou Barletta (R-PA), a member on the House Education and the Workforce Committee. In this role, she developed an overall legislative strategy for the office and managed the congressman’s legislative team.  She specifically focused on Barletta’s committee portfolio of issues including labor, health, and education policy. 

Before coming to the U.S. House of Representatives, Hastings worked in the U.S. Senate as a professional staff member on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee for ranking member Senator Mike Enzi (WY), where she worked on workforce development, disability, and education policy for six years on the committee.  Her Capitol Hill experience will be particularly helpful in positioning SHRM in the public-policy conversation around the skills gap.

Hastings earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Va., and a Master of Public Policy degree from George Washington University in Washington, D.C., with a concentration in public finance.

In his position as SHRM’s legislative point person in Sacramento, Gabhart will work closely with the California State Council of SHRM in advocating the HR perspective before the California State Legislature, the governor’s office, and various state agencies and departments.
Prior to joining SHRM, he served as external relations manager at the California Optometric Association (COA), where he assisted optometrists with third-party payer issues and with matters they confronted as small business owners. His previous career experience includes advocacy positions with the Association of California Life & Health Insurance Companies (ACLHIC) and Griffin & Associates, where he was a legislative and regulatory advocate with both entities.

Gabhart began his career as an attorney with the law firm of Rich, Fuidge, Morris & Iverson, and received a Juris Doctorate degree from UC Davis Law School, and a Bachelor in Arts degree in political science from UC Berkeley. 

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