Khelan Bhatia

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
generations.

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.