Advocacy Leader published Khelan Bhatia in Preparing for a New Congress in 2019: Freshening up Your Strategy 2018-10-12 17:22:49 -0400
Manager of Voter Engagement, AARP
Khelan is a seasoned political strategist and campaign director with 18 years of experience in elections, voter education, political intelligence, grassroots organizing, advocacy, congressional and legislative relations, external outreach, coalition building, and legislative analysis.
For nearly 17 years, Khelan has been a part of AARP’s advocacy efforts. He’s currently running "Be the Difference. Vote", AARP’s non-partisan voter engagement and mobilization effort. In 2017, he co-led the Association’s health care campaign, which was successful in defeating legislation that would be harmful to Americans age 50-plus. In 2015 and 2016, he managed "Take a Stand", AARP’s non-partisan campaign which pressed the presidential candidates to offer their plans to strengthen Social Security for future
Khelan first began with AARP as an advocacy specialist in the Association’s Texas State Office where he had the opportunity to lobby both the state legislature and the Texas congressional delegation.
In 2005, he transferred to the national office and has worked in a number of roles in advocacy and campaigns. Khelan was a member of the Public Education team, first leading external outreach and coalition building for "Divided We Fail" and then spearheading political intelligence during the health care reform campaign. He also was a lobbyist in Congressional Relations & Political Affairs, and provided tactical guidance for state and federal campaigns in the Grassroots and Elections department. Khelan also served as special advisor to the Executive Vice President for AARP’s Social Impact Group. In 2011, he had the opportunity to serve as the Interim State Director of the Iowa State Office which gave him the opportunity to lay the groundwork for the Association’s activities in the Iowa Caucuses.
Before coming to AARP, Khelan worked in the Texas State Legislature as an aide to two State Representatives and as an analyst for the Speaker of the House.
Khelan has a BA in Government and Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin.
When he’s not working, Khelan has a lucrative hobby as a local DJ and recently started a podcast focused on pop culture. He resides on the U Street corridor in the District of Columbia.
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As society changes, Congress has stood still. Innovations in technology have revolutionized how people communicate with one another, yet Congress by and large still operates the same way it did in the 1960s. The result: offices find themselves unable to handle ever-increasing volumes of communications, critical knowledge cannot be shared in a timely manner, and staff experience unnecessary frustration, stress, and burnout. The institution itself has been weakened. How can Congress transform itself to better meet the demands of the Information Age?
The Congressional Management Foundation's Congress 3.0 project will answer this question with the help of the people who know best: Hill staffers themselves. A demographically diverse group of 17 House and Senate personal offices are participating in Congress 3.0's cohort, where they will discuss amongst themselves the best ways to update congressional office operations. With the help of an experienced team of political scientists, CMF will learn which ideas can best help offices meet the needs of today's world. The research began in January 2016 and will continue through 2017. The final outcome will be a toolkit distributed to House and Senate offices that provides research-based guidance on how to transform their processes to better meet the needs of 21st Century Members, staff, and citizens.
If you want Congress to step into the 21st century, please sign our petition to show your support.
September 08, 2017
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