Vice President Mike Pence named KSU alumnus Nick Ayers his new chief of staff on June 29, according to the White House.
Nick Ayers, who graduated from KSU in 2009, was chosen as the replacement for Josh Pitcock, Pence’s former chief of staff. Pitcock resigned after 12 years of service to Pence. Ayers previously worked as Pence’s chief political strategist during the 2016 presidential campaign.
Ayers will formally begin serving in the new position on August 1. He will oversee the vice president’s staff, manage his schedule and work to resolve problems and disputes before they make it to the vice president. The chief of staff also functions as advisor, aiding the vice president with important decisions.
Ayers, a Cobb County resident and a graduate of South Cobb High School, began his political career campaigning for former Gov. Sonny Purdue upon graduating high school in 2002. Over next seven years, he earned a bachelor’s degree in political science while serving as executive director of the Republican Governor’s Association. He was voted among “Time Magazine’s 40 Under 40” most influential people in politics in 2012.
“During my years as governor, then as a candidate and serving as vice president, I have come to appreciate Nick’s friendship, keen intellect and integrity,” Pence said in a White House press statement. “I couldn’t be more excited to have him come to the White House as my chief of staff.”
Ayers echoed the vice president’s enthusiasm.
“I have such deep respect and admiration for the Pences and believe so deeply in the policies the vice president and the president are fighting for,” Ayers said in a statement. “Leaving Georgia, albeit temporarily, was only possible because of how important my wife and I believe this mission is. I am honored with the trust the vice president has in me and [am] excited to serve in this capacity.”
Steven Ellis, president of the KSU alumni association, said having a KSU alumnus serving in such an esteemed office raises the national visibility and credibility of the university, which is a benefit to every student.
“[Ayers has] always been an impressive and successful leader that gains the respect of all those around him,” Ellis said.
Ellis, a KSU alumnus himself, said that KSU alumni everywhere should be proud of Ayers’ achievements.
“It takes being black and gold and proud and bold to a whole new level,” Ellis said.