The University of Alabama System has strategically revitalized its Office of External Affairs by appointing new leaders.
At the helm, Charlie Taylor takes on the pivotal role of Vice Chancellor for External Affairs. His rich background, previously serving as the UA System Director of External Affairs, equips him to manage governmental relations for the affiliated institutions, including The University of Alabama, The University of Alabama at Birmingham, The University of Alabama in Huntsville, and the UAB Health System.
Porter Banister steps up as Vice Chancellor for State Affairs, poised to lead the System’s efforts in Montgomery with his deep-seated experience in political affairs. He’s also tasked with the crucial role of economic development liaison across the state.
Ray Cole is welcomed aboard as Vice Chancellor for Federal Affairs, where he will be the UA System’s advocate in Washington, D.C. Cole’s impressive track record at Van Scoyoc Associates and previous governmental roles prepares him to effectively navigate the federal landscape for the benefit of the UA System.
“Working with our local, state, and federal leaders is instrumental as we continue advancing The University of Alabama System’s mission to improve the lives of all Alabamians through teaching, research, and service,” remarked UA System Chancellor Finis St. John. He expressed his firm belief in the capabilities of the new team, “Charlie, Porter, and Ray are highly accomplished leaders in this field, and their efforts will reinforce the UA System’s steadfast commitment to enhancing the quality of education and healthcare in our state.”
These leadership changes coincide with Clay Ryan’s transition to Alabama Power Company, leaving behind a legacy of achievement. “The University of Alabama System greatly benefitted from Clay’s tremendous leadership over the years, and we thank him for his distinguished service to our institutions and to our state,” commended UA System Board of Trustees President Pro tempore Scott Phelps. He also voiced his expectations for the future: “The UA System plays a pivotal role in the continuous growth and development of the state of Alabama, and I look forward to our talented External Affairs team continuing the work that provides crucial support to our institutions.”
The Office of External Affairs, pivotal in interfacing with legislative and executive officials, is essential in advancing education and healthcare, in synchrony with state and local leaders in the public and private sectors. It also ensures the UA System remains at the forefront of Alabama’s workforce development and maintains its strong liaison with The University of Alabama Board of Trustees and government entities.