SHRM Hires New Director of Public Affairs

Sep 17, 2008

Amy L. Thompson joins SHRM External Affairs Division

Alexandria, Va. – The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) today announced the appointment of Amy L. Thompson as director of public affairs.

Thompson will lead a seven-member department to grow SHRM's public affairs outreach in raising awareness among business leaders about HR’s critical role in successful business operations. She will focus of partnerships, advertising and media relations while also working closely with the government affairs team.

As director of public affairs, Thompson joins SHRM External Affairs, the division responsible for launching the Society’s first ever multi-platform, national campaign. The campaign is most recognizable for its two Telly Award winning, 30-second, animated, television advertisements themed “Most Important Asset” and “Winds of Change”. The advertisements currently air on CNN, FOX Business News, and FOX News.

“Thompson’s expertise will be key to SHRM creating new initiatives to advance the HR profession globally and serve our 245,000 members,” said William J. Maroni, chief of external affairs at SHRM.

Thompson brings nearly 20 years of political, public affairs, and media experience to SHRM. She has designed and implemented media and communications programs, public affairs campaigns, and strategic partnerships on behalf of Fortune 100 companies, trade associations, non-profit organizations and government agencies.

“I am thrilled to be joining an esteemed organization at such an exciting time,” said Thompson. “The opportunity to expand SHRM’s acclaimed brand and further build its presence in the public policy and business arenas is an incredible opportunity.”

Most recently, Thompson established and managed the external affairs function for a new, non-profit digital music group. This work included creating the organization’s first marketing, branding and communications program.

Prior to this assignment, Thompson was head of public relations and media spokesperson for The Atlantic Monthly, where she created strategic business partnerships with National Public Radio, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and CNN. In this role, she also established a media relations program for the 2007 Aspen Institute’s Ideas Festival, including TheAtlantic@Aspen blog.

Thompson also served seven years as a Senior Vice President for the Washington, D.C. public affairs and communications firm Powell Tate | Weber Shandwick. Prior, she was a government affairs representative for RJR Nabisco, Inc., where she helped coordinate federal lobbying to defeat a $500 billion tax bill. Additionally, she was responsible for coalition building with the hospitality industry, and represented the company at the National Restaurant Association’s Annual Conventions and at the International Society of Restaurant Association Executives.

Thompson’s past roles also include managing the day-to-day operations of the RJR Nabisco Foundation’s “Next Century Schools” program — $30 million, five-year education reform initiative for K-12 public schools. As the program’s administrator, she worked closely with an advisory board that included former President Bill Clinton (then governor of Arkansas) and former U.S. Secretary of Education Lamar Alexander (then governor of Tennessee).

Thompson received her B.S. in journalism from the University of Maryland at College Park. She has owned and managed a successful catering business in Annapolis, Md., and is affiliated with the Maryland Restaurant Association.


About the Society for Human Resource Management

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the world’s largest association devoted to human resource management. The Society serves the needs of HR professionals and advances the interests of the HR profession. Founded in 1948, SHRM has more than 245,000 members in over 130 countries, and more than 575 affiliated chapters. Visit


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