Clay Ryan serves as Senior Vice Chancellor for External Affairs for The University of Alabama System. In his role, Clay is responsible for federal, state and local governmental affairs activities for UA, UAH, UAB, and the UAB Health System. He also coordinates economic development activities Systemwide and is intimately involved in strategic communications and marketing efforts on all three campuses and at UAB Health System.
Prior to joining the System in October 2015, Clay chaired the Governmental and Regulatory Affairs practice group at Maynard, Cooper & Gale, a national law firm with 14 offices coast to coast. In this leadership role, Clay directed legislative, regulatory, strategic communication, and legal matters for clients in the healthcare, higher education, insurance & financial services, energy, real estate, manufacturing, telecommunications sectors, forestry, wildlife conservation, and sports entertainment. He also counseled numerous statewide elected officials, managed gubernatorial transitions, handled election disputes, and provided ethics compliance advice to public officials, principals, and lobbyists. Recognized as an Alabama Super Lawyer on several occasions, Clay was the firm's youngest practice group leader at the time of his departure.
Clay received his J.D. with honors from The University of Alabama School of Law, where he served as a Senior Editor of the Alabama Law Review. He also holds a B.A. degree with honors from Birmingham-Southern College. Clay is a graduate of both Leadership Birmingham and Leadership Alabama. He has been recognized by the Birmingham Business Journal’s “Top 40 Under 40” and Yellowhammer News’ “Power & Influence 50.” He is a member of the board of directors of the Business Council of Alabama, has served as a board member of the Glenwood Autism & Behavioral Health Center and as chair of the Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama’s Roundtable.