Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Vivamus convallis sem tellus, vitae egestas felis vestibule ut.

Error message details.

Reuse Permissions

Request permission to republish or redistribute SHRM content and materials.

SHRM CEO Announces Kal Penn as Keynote Speaker at SHRM INCLUSION 2021

A man in a blue suit standing in front of a blue wall.

Alexandria, Va., - Next week, SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management) will host INCLUSION 2021 in Austin, Texas and virtually October 25 – 27. On the agenda is a keynote discussion with Kal Penn, actor, producer, former Associate Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, and author of the upcoming memoir You Can't Be Serious (out Nov 2nd). The conference is aimed at empowering HR professionals to go beyond traditional diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) practices by embracing actions that create workplaces that truly work for all.

Kal Penn is known for starring roles including the Harold and Kumar franchise, House, Designated Survivor, and most recently the patriotic immigration comedy Sunnyside, which he co-created with SNL alumnus Matt Murray for NBC and Hulu. From 2009 to 2011, Penn took a sabbatical from acting when he was appointed by President Obama to serve as an Associate Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, where he focused primarily on outreach to young Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and the arts community.

He joins an outstanding speaker line up which includes Gretchen Carlson, Mimi Dixon of Crayola, Mark and John Cronin of John's Crazy Socks, Casey Adams Jones of Johnson & Johnson and many more. 

"I'm excited to have Kal Penn join SHRM for INCLUSION 2021 to discuss his journey as an Asian American tackling the complexities of Hollywood, stereotypes, and making the jump to work in the White House under America's first black president," said SHRM President and CEO Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., SHRM-SCP. "In today's changing world of work, fostering sustainable diversity, equity and inclusive workplace cultures is imperative to the future of our workforce. This not only requires thoughtful discussion, but deliberate action to break through barriers that stand in the way. Kal certainly personifies someone who has broken down these barriers and been successful in numerous arenas."

Strong DEI strategies play an integral role in cultivating safe, productive workplaces and sparking positive change. INCLUSION 2021 attendees will learn the latest strategies and tactics needed to boldly address today's inequities and lead workplaces into a better tomorrow.

INCLUSION 2021 will bring together professionals from a range of industries and backgrounds to cover topics ranging from unconscious bias and emotional intelligence to empathy and allyship. HR professionals will learn how to implement more inclusive programs and policies needed to mitigate bias, shift exclusive workplace habits, transform workplace culture, and ultimately, boost both employee satisfaction and bottom-line business results.

About SHRM

SHRM, the Society for Human Resource Management, creates better workplaces where employers and employees thrive together. As the voice of all things work, workers and the workplace, SHRM is the foremost expert, convener and thought leader on issues impacting today's evolving workplaces. With 300,000+ HR and business executive members in 165 countries, SHRM impacts the lives of more than 115 million workers and families globally. Learn more at and on Twitter @SHRM.


​An organization run by AI is not a futuristic concept. Such technology is already a part of many workplaces and will continue to shape the labor market and HR. Here's how employers and employees can successfully manage generative AI and other AI-powered systems.