As Virginia Tech continues to advance its presence in the greater Washington, D.C., area and enhance its impact in the region, the university is positioning programs and personnel to lead the pursuit of strategic priorities.

With an emphasis on creating stronger alignment in program, research, and personnel expertise, Virginia Tech is connecting the thematic focus areas of its locations in Northern Virginia with critical regional and national industry needs.

The Virginia Tech Research Center  Arlington will emphasize research and expertise in national security while plans are being formulated to focus the Falls Church facility on programs and partnerships around smart design and construction. The establishment of the Virginia Tech Innovation Campus will accelerate the university's opportunities to align and advance strengths in human-centered networks and will serve as a driver for computer science and information technology workforce development.

“Aligning the strengths of our people and programs in Northern Virginia with our priorities for the region is key to achieving our Beyond Boundaries vision and the initiatives that will position Virginia Tech to achieve global reach and impact,” said Cyril Clarke, executive vice president and provost. “This repositioning will allow us to enhance program offerings, provide experiential and personalized learning opportunities for our students, and expand our partnerships throughout the region.”

Part of the revisioning process includes the establishment of the Office of Strategic Alliances, which will lead the development and support for strategic partnerships with federal agencies, greater Washington area-based foundations and business groups, and academic institutions. Emerging from a transition and redefinition of the former National Capital Region structure, Steve McKnight has assumed a new university role as vice president for strategic alliances.

McKnight will lead and facilitate university-wide collaborations and engagement with faculty and staff throughout the greater Washington, D.C., metro area, and with colleges and units across the institution to advance strategic alliances and partnerships in order to achieve university priorities and goals.

“I'm excited to stand up this new office in the greater Washington area,” said McKnight. “By capitalizing on our geographic proximity to numerous federal research agencies and laboratories, we have a growing opportunity to develop strong partnerships that will enable us to achieve our ambitious strategic goals.”

Nick Stone will serve as interim senior director of Virginia Tech Research Center  — Arlington operations and provide continuity in the region. He will represent the Provost's Office within the greater Washington area and help with transition planning and change-management initiatives, working collaboratively with others across the university. He will also continue to direct operations at the Virginia Tech Research Center — Arlington.

“I am fortunate to have served the university in many different roles, both in Blacksburg and in the D.C. metro area, and now to have the opportunity to help Virginia Tech implement its bold plan for our presence in and around the nation’s capital is very exciting,” said Stone. “I believe my experience in both locations, working across colleges and with the academic and operational sides of the university, will be beneficial as we tap the talent and experience we’ve built in the area.”

“Nick’s knowledge of the varied programs in the Arlington facility and his understanding of our opportunities in the region position him well for this interim role,” said Ken Smith, vice provost for academic resource management. “He will help to ensure we maintain progress during a dynamic period and position us for success as we plan and execute the next phase of our expansion in the region.”

Serving as director of strategic projects and initiatives in Northern Virginia, Lauren Bulka will move to Virginia Tech’s Division of Business Affairs and will assume a leadership role in planning, developing, and overseeing and assisting with implementation programs and projects that support the university’s vision and short- and long-term plans in the Washington, D.C., metro area.

“I am excited to continue working closely and collaboratively with individuals from across the university to advance Virginia Tech's ambitious plans in the greater Washington, D.C., metro area and the broader administrative and operational transformation efforts led by Dwayne Pinkney, Lisa Wilkes, and the chief business officer team,” said Bulka. “Virginia Tech’s current opportunities in the region are a critical part of better realizing the university’s value and enhancing the experience for our students, faculty, staff and partners.”

The realignment of personnel and pursuit of strategic priorities in the region will allow Virginia Tech to better leverage its faculty and staff strengths in Northern Virginia, prepare for the leadership of a new vice president and executive director of the innovation campus, and focus operations on creating new opportunities to advance the university’s land-grant mission and impacts.