DC2RVA Spotlight – Chris Smith

January 11, 2017

Chris Smith
Director of Policy, Communications, and Legislative Affairs
Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation

Historian, avid traveler, and experienced public policy professional, Chris Smith recently joined the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) where he serves as the Director of Policy, Communications, and Legislative Affairs. He is excited to be a part of shaping Virginia’s rail vision through completion of the proposed DC2RVA project.

Chris is skilled in developing and executing successful advocacy and implementation strategies for diverse public policy issues and brings a wealth of experience from his eight years as the senior program manager for freight at AASHTO, the national trade association for all state departments of transportation.  A native Floridian, Florida State University alum and die-hard Seminoles fan, Chris got his first taste of transportation policy during a summer internship at the Tampa Port Authority. Later, he served as Chief Lobbyist, Advocate and Public Information Officer for the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce, where it quickly became clear to him that an efficient transportation system is necessary for true economic development.

Setting his sights on the epicenter of national government and policy making, Chris moved to Washington, D.C., where he joined AASHTO. His work included leading freight and rail policy and advocacy programs and working as a national advocate for the states.

Chris now calls Richmond home where he lives in Midlothian with his wife Suzanne, one-year old son Grant, and Maya, their 65-pound black lab.   

Ever the Civil War buff, Chris loves living in Richmond where he can explore the city’s rich wartime history. He also is currently scouting out the latest and greatest restaurants in the city and is taking all recommendations.

Chris has spent the last eight years as a national transportation advocate for the state; he is excited to now be on Virginia’s team.