Lauren Augustine joins Office of Government and Community Relations
The Virginia Tech alumna, an active member of the Alexandria community, brings more than a decade of federal lobbying experience to her role as associate director of government and community relations
Virginia Tech’s advertising of a position in its Office of Government and Community Relations prompted a barrage of emails to Lauren Augustine’s inbox and texts to her cell phone. Each one came with a link to the ad.
“I actually have had an alert set up on my own to let me know when Virginia Tech was hiring on the government affairs team,” Augustine said. “So I sort of had all these pings coming in at once. I threw my hat in the ring after getting many reminders that this would be a great position for me.”
Augustine ’09 applied for the position, went through an open search interview process, and on Nov. 28, began her new role as the associate director of government and community relations. The Virginia Tech alumna, who graduated with a degree in international affairs from the School of Public and International Affairs, will work in Arlington and report to Chris Yianilos, the university’s vice president for government and community relations.
“My primary focus will be on local government, community, and federal relations,” Augustine said. “I will be serving as a connection point for Northern Virginia elected officials and community leaders to engage with the university, including the Innovation Campus, the National Security Institute, and other Virginia Tech initiatives and priorities in the greater Washington, D.C., area. In addition, I will help advance the university’s federal priorities with administration, Congress, and national trade associations.”
“Virginia Tech is excited to welcome Lauren Augustine to the government and community relations team,” Yianilos said. “Lauren will be engaging the local governments and communities of Northern Virginia and serving as another point of connection with the U.S. Congress, federal agencies, and relevant Washington, D.C., trade associations. Given the fact that she is a Hokie alum, a veteran of the U.S. Army, a longtime resident of Northern Virginia, and a government relations professional with a tremendous record of achievement, Lauren will be able to hit the ground running on day one on behalf of the university.”
Augustine, who lives in Alexandria with her husband and daughter, comes to Virginia Tech after spending nearly five years as the vice president of government affairs for Student Veterans of America. She lobbied both the executive and legislative branches of the federal government on the organization’s policy priorities, most of which focused on education and economic programs. In addition, she managed the government affairs team, including policy associates, legal fellows, and policy researchers.
Augustine, who will graduate with a master’s degree in policy management from Georgetown University this spring, also has served as a director of government relations for We Got Your Six, a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering veterans, and as a senior legislative associate for Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, which fights to improve the lives of post-9/11 veterans.
Those career choices came following a three-year stint in the U.S. Army, where she reached the rank of sergeant as a drone operator.
“I've been doing government affairs work in the veterans and defense space for nearly a decade now,” Augustine said. “In my time, I've spearheaded a number of advocacy efforts and been really engaged on the executive branch side, working with Veterans Affairs, Department of Defense, Department of Labor, and the Department of Education. I think that those experiences and the network that I built, particularly working on the higher education portfolio, will be directly translatable to coming to the Virginia Tech team.”
Augustine always wanted to get back to Virginia Tech because she wanted to give back, saying that she started developing the skills she needed to be successful while at the university. Her new role offers her the opportunity to do just that.
“I wanted to give back to a school and a mission that has meant so much to me in my personal life,” she said. “This was great timing and a great fit with what I appreciate about Virginia Tech and what I hope to contribute.”