Sarah Kate Purnell
On Monday, Jan. 9, Clayton Somers was instated as the Vice Chancellor of Public Affairs and secretary of the university at UNC-Chapel Hill, a role that was created for him by the university.
Somers previously served for two years as N.C. House Speaker Tim Moore’s chief of staff.
In his new position as Vice Chancellor of Public Affairs, Somers will be responsible for assisting the University in solving issues within its operations that associate with state and federal governments.
“He will partner with President Margaret Spellings’ staff at UNC General Administration to advocate for the UNC system’s state and federal initiatives, monitor proposed legislation and public policy issues, coordinate UNC-Chapel Hill’s relationships with state and federal agencies, and strengthen campus contributions to state and national committees, advisory panels and policy boards,” the UNC-Chapel Hill Gazette stated.
“As Secretary of the University,” The University Gazette continued, “he also has primary responsibility for supporting the UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees through strategic planning and management under the direction of Chancellor Folt, as well as the board chair and vice chair.”
With these many duties, all at UNC-Chapel Hill are anticipating Somers’ performance in his new role.
“I am pleased to add a highly skilled professional of Clayton Somers’ caliber to our senior leadership team,” UNC Chancellor Carol Folt said in a news release Monday Jan 9. “The diverse range of Clayton’s public affairs and business experience, combined with his unique knowledge of the General Assembly and state government, will be a tremendous asset as we assess the university’s future needs and vital role in serving North Carolinians.”
In his position as Moore’s chief of staff, Somers has assisted in many different aspects of legislation and has served Moore as his top aid.
According to the Charlotte Observer, Somers completed his undergraduate degree at UNC-Chapel Hill and Wake Forest University Law School. In his previous work experience, Somers has worked at Raleigh law firms, the North Carolina Turnpike Authority and the N.C. High School Athletic Association.
As of now, it is unclear who will replace Somer’s position as Moore’s chief of staff.
According to the Associated Press, Moore is expected to be re-elected to another term as speaker.