Governor Pat McCrory announced Wednesday that Art Pope will step down as state budget director in September to return to the private sector. Succeeding Pope will be Lee Roberts, a Raleigh banking executive who the governor appointed to the North Carolina Banking Commission last year.
While Pope has been a controversial  figure for the administration, McCrory offered nothing but praise for Pope’s service:
“Art Pope has been an invaluable public servant for the people of North Carolina,”
Governor McCrory said. “His knowledge and leadership helped produce historic tax reform while producing two balanced budgets that put North Carolina back on the road to prosperity. He has dedicated much of his life to the betterment of North Carolina and it has been a privilege to have him at my side.”
As for the man tapped to fill those shoes, McCrory said Roberts would help state government ‘thrive’:
“Lee has a terrific sense of fiscal sensibility and responsibility, and I’m excited to have him join our team,” said Governor McCrory. “North Carolina state government will thrive under his oversight. His experience in the global marketplace will provide a useful and original perspective, and his leadership skills will further our administration’s goal of thoughtful, deliberate stewardship of taxpayer dollars.”
According to the McCrory administration, Roberts also founded a real estate investment and advisory firm, Coley Capital, LLC. He has worked for Morgan Stanley & Co., Cherokee Investment Partners and as an associate with Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld LLP.
Roberts received his undergraduate degree in political science from Duke University. He graduated cum laude from Georgetown University, where he received his J.D.
Roberts is also the son of political commentator Cokie Roberts.