While Virginia Tech’s Office of Government Relations has a strong team located near the halls of governmental power in Washington, D.C., and Richmond, Virginia, the equally important Blacksburg component of that government relations team has been vacant for the past few months.

Rebekah Gunn filled that void recently when she started as the assistant director of government relations based on the Blacksburg campus.

Gunn arrived in Blacksburg after four years in Roanoke, where she worked as vice president of public policy for the Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce and, before that, as associate director of development for North Cross School. Gunn had previously worked in North Carolina government. Gunn grew up in Waynesville, North Carolina, and earned a degree in political science from North Carolina State University.

Despite her North Carolina roots, Gunn said she considers herself “an adopted Hokie” since moving to Roanoke. And she’s excited for the chance to contribute to Virginia Tech’s advancement.

“I look forward to working each day to advance the mission and values of Virginia Tech by serving as a resource for the campus community and government leaders,” Gunn said. “Virginia Tech is creating meaningful opportunities at every corner of the commonwealth, and I’m excited to play a role in the economic and educational development that the university is cultivating throughout the region, state, and nation.”

Gunn will work in with the Office of Government Relations on a team anchored by Executive Director of Governmental Relations Christopher Yianilos in Arlington and Director of State Relations Elizabeth Hooper in Richmond. Gunn provides a Blacksburg presence for the team, with a post within the Office of the President.

“A lot of my work will be being the anchor of the government relations team in Blacksburg, serving as a resource for the campus community, and getting to know what’s going on in terms of research and initiatives throughout the university,” Gunn said.

“In order to be successful in Richmond and Washington, it is paramount for us to have a deep, working knowledge of the vast array of exciting things happening on campus. We are thrilled to have Rebekah join our team and know she will be a major asset as we work to advance and protect the mission and priorities of the university.” Yianilos said.

Gunn comes from a family with Hokie blood. Her brother, Caleb Bradley ’18, and sister-in-law, Kristen Strouth Bradley ’18, both attended Virginia Tech.

But Gunn also found herself drawn to Tech’s service ethic and motto of Ut Prosim (That I May Serve).

Ut Prosim reflects the values that I strive to embody in my professional and personal life,” Gunn said. “My career has been built around public service and mission-oriented organizations, and it’s been fulfilling to see the impact of my professional contributions.”

Gunn also volunteers with the Junior League of Roanoke Valley, through which she’s involved with other Roanoke Valley nonprofit organizations, and serves as a youth advisor at Second Presbyterian Church in Roanoke. When not volunteering, she can be found hiking with her husband, Daniel Gunn; reading; or spending time with her dog Cam and cat Piper. 

— Written by Mason Adams

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