The University of Alabama (UA) System announced new leadership after the former senior vice chancellor for external affairs, Clay Ryan, left to work for Alabama Power.

Charlie Taylor was chosen to replace Ryan, who announced his resignation last month.

“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,” said UA System Board of Trustees President Pro tempore Scott Phelps. “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.”

Taylor previously served as the UA System Director of External Affairs.

Porter Banister was named vice chancellor for state affairs and will also serve as the liaison for economic development. Banister previously worked for the Business Council of Alabama before beginning his career with UA in 2003.

Ray Cole was named vice chancellor for federal affairs. Cole previously worked as a senior staff member to U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Tuscaloosa), as an advisor to the U.S. Department of Commerce and political consultant. He spent the last 24 years at government affairs firm Van Scoyoc.

“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,” said UA System Chancellor Finis St. John. “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.”

The UA System includes the University of Alabama, The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), The University of Alabama in Huntsville and the UAB Health System. It is the largest employer in the state.

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