National Capital Region | Virginia Tech

Executive Director, Government Relations

Chris Yanilos

Chris Yianilos, J.D.

Chris Yianilos joined Virginia Tech in 2009 as the university’s first director of Federal Government Relations. In 2013, Yianilos was named Virginia Tech’s executive director of Government Relations, overseeing all state and federal government priorities for the university.

Prior to joining Virginia Tech, Yianilos worked for more than a decade with United States Senator John Warner as his deputy chief of staff, legislative director, and legislative counsel. He also worked for Congressman Robert Wittman and the Honorable David A. Faber, U.S. District Judge in the southern district of West Virginia.

While working on Capitol Hill, Yianilos earned the respect of those on both sides of the aisle and a reputation as someone with a strong portfolio of legislative accomplishments. Legislative highlights of his work include: The Teacher Tax Relief Act (Public Law 107-47); The 21st Century GI Bill of Rights (Public Law 110-252); The Gang of 14 “Agreement on Judicial Nominations;” Preserving and Implementing the $5 billion rail to Dulles Airport project; the Lifespan Respite Care Act (Public Law 109-442); and The Virginia Ridge and Valley Wilderness Act (Public Law 111-11).

In addition to promoting the university’s federal priorities with members of Congress, staff, and federal agencies, Yianilos was also tasked by President Charles Steger with establishing a Virginia Tech Capitol Hill-focused internship program, Hokies on the Hill. Assisted by Professor Richard Rich, the program was launched in the 2010 spring semester and has offered students a unique opportunity to gain a full semester’s worth of academic credit while interning on Capitol Hill and participating in small classroom seminars focusing on real world, timely policy topics and including guest lecturers like United States Senator John Warner; United States Senator Mark Warner; Congressman Tom Davis; Congressman Robert Wittman; and Ambassador David Abshire.

Yianilos graduated from Washington & Lee University’s School of Law in 1997 and served as a member of the Law Review there. He graduated from Virginia Tech in 1994 with a double major of political science and history. A member of the Virginia State Bar, Yianilos is author of The Law School Breakthrough: Graduate in the Top 10% of Your Class, Even If You’re Not a First-Rate Student.

Contact Information


Office: (571) 858-3005