NC House Speakers chief of staff Clayton Somers takes new role at UNC Chapel Hill

Several former McCrory staffers floated as replacement

UNC-Chapel Hill—UNC-Chapel Hill
Clayton Somers

RALEIGH — A new year brings a new job for Clayton Somers, the now-former chief of staff for N.C. House Speaker Rep. Tim Moore. Somers started Monday at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as the vice chancellor of public affairs and secretary of the university.Somers, who served two years as chief of staff for Moore, was approved by the UNC Board of Governors and reports to Chancellor Carol Folt, who created the new role, as liaison between the university, the board of governors and the legislature.As vice chancellor, Somers will partner with President Margaret Spellings’ staff at 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.In his role as secretary, Somers will support the board of trustees through strategic planning and management.A native of Reidsville, current Durham resident, and an alumnus of UNC Chapel Hill and Wake Forest University law school, Somers spent nearly a decade in private law practice before leading the N.C. Turnpike Authority and eventually serving as Moore’s chief of staff.Folt praised Somers’ experience and the importance of the role he’ll play.”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,” Folt said. “He also brings an important perspective to our relationship with the federal government, which supports and shapes the vast majority of the faculty’s life-changing research — a nearly $1 billion annual enterprise.”Somers annual salary in the new role is $280,000. Compensation for the chief of staff for Speaker of the N.C. House totals $158,500.Several former staffers of former Gov. Pat McCrory have been floated as candidates for the chief of staff position.