Advocating for Georgia Tech in the State of Georgia and Beyond

The Office of Institute Relations is Georgia Tech’s primary connection to federal, state, and local governments, communities, and businesses. IR works to ensure Georgia Tech’s strategic priorities receive recognition and support from local, state, and federal government partners. Through active advocacy and relationship-building, IR is centered on enhancing the image of Georgia Tech, building support for its causes and serving the state of Georgia. Through campus visits, district visits, and briefings at the State Capitol and on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., IR showcases Georgia Tech’s tradition of excellence. This presentation will provide an overview of the office's four main departments and who they serve, as well as information about the office’s role with the University System of Georgia Board of Regents.

Chris Burke
Director of Community Relations, Institute Relations

Chris joined Georgia Tech’s Office of Institute Relations as Director of Community Relations in 2011, where he works with local government, business, religious, and civic leaders to assure that Tech plays an integral part at improving the quality of life in the metro-Atlanta region. Chris also co-created an HTS class, Near Peer Mentoring: An Experience in Urban Education, that provides students a platform for understanding how race, poverty and other social dynamics impact educational and career outcomes. Prior to Georgia Tech, Chris spent more than 17 years working in housing and community development, including The Atlanta Project, the American Planning Association, and the Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association.  Chris is a 2019 graduate of Leadership Atlanta, and a 2014 graduate of the Regional Leadership Institute.  He holds a BA in Sociology and MPA in Public Policy, both from Clark-Atlanta University.  

Caulder Childs
Director of State Relations, Institute Relations

Caulder is the Director of State Relations for Georgia Tech. Caulder joins the Office of Institute Relations from the Georgia House of Representatives, where he served as a leadership staffer for the previous four years. Most recently, Caulder served as Policy Advisor for House Majority Leader Jon Burns (R-159) where he was responsible for developing and negotiating legislation, advising members of House leadership and the majority caucus, and crafting communications and messaging guidance. Previously, Caulder held a number of roles with the House Majority Caucus, including policy and communications manager and political director.

Lynn Durham
Vice President, Institute Relations

Lynn serves as vice president for Institute Relations and oversees university relations with federal, state, and local government officials. On campus, she reports to Georgia Tech’s president and works closely with fellow members of the president’s cabinet and other campus leaders to preserve and enhance external support for the Institute. Durham previously serviced as associate vice president and chief of staff in the Office of President. She led numerous campus initiatives including student mental health, sexual violence prevention, and ethics awareness. She led the search for the general counsel and vice president for ethics and compliance. She directed the operations of the Office of the President, including financial and administrative functions, and represented the president and the Institute through interactions with faculty, student leaders, alumni, corporate and other external partners, government leaders, and the University System of Georgia Board of Regents. Durham joined Georgia Tech in 1995, managing the legislative advocacy program in the Office of Government and Community Relations. In 2006 she joined the Office of the President, assuming the role of chief of staff in 2010. She served as a co-instructor for GT1000 classes for seven years, represents Georgia Tech as a member of the Board of Directors of the Atlanta Science Festival, and is a board member of the Georgia Center for Oncology Research and Education. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Radford University and a Master of Public Administration from Kennesaw State University, and a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Higher Education Management from the University of Georgia.

Greg King
Associate Vice President for Economic Development, Institute Relations

Greg King serves as Georgia Tech’s Associate Vice President for Economic Development, responsible for developing key relationships that leverage the Institute’s strengths in education, research, and innovation. Working closely with new and established corporate partners, Greg helps their innovation, technology and business teams create meaningful engagements across campus. In support of the state’s recruitment and economic development efforts he identifies and mobilizes the university resources most relevant for those companies considering a location in Georgia. Greg leads Georgia Tech’s work with industry involving the creation and operation of innovation or technology development centers on or near campus. He provides stewardship of the network of these co-located corporate labs, actively pursuing linkages and focusing university resources to grow these communities of innovation. For Technology Square and other Georgia Tech anchored innovation and research areas he helps to develop and accelerate programs that enhance the area as a platform for corporate innovation and technology development. Greg has over 18 years of technology-led economic development experience working with regional partnerships and local communities. He has held joint appointments as Director of Economic Development and as an Assistant Vice Chancellor with the Board of Regents, University System of Georgia. Greg previously served as an officer in the United States Navy, where his experience spanned over two decades and included a range of demanding executive, staff, and operational assignments worldwide. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Management from Georgia Tech and a Masters in Economics from the University of Oklahoma. He was also part of the Fulbright International program (Germany) representing the topics of university-industry partnerships and economic development. He is a certified economic developer (CEcD) through the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) and on the Board of Directors for the Association of University Research Parks (AURP). 

Robert Knotts
Director of Federal Relations, Institute Relations

Robert Knotts is the Director of Federal Relations at the Georgia Institute of Technology and is based in Georgia Tech’s Washington, DC office.  A Georgia native, Robert has worked in Georgia Tech’s Office of Federal Relations since 2007.  He is a former member of the Association of American Universities (AAU) Council on Federal Relations Steering Committee and the former co-chair of the Council on Government Relations for the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities.  In 2020, he was awarded the Leadership Award by the AAU. Prior to working for Georgia Tech, he worked for five years as a legislative staffer for a senior Member of Congress who served on the House Committee on Armed Services and the House Committee on Education and Labor.  Robert is a veteran of the U.S. Army where he served as an active duty field artillery officer and deployed to Kosovo as part of Operation Joint Guardian.  He is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.    

Return to Demystifying How Georgia Tech Works main page