James Nicholas Ayers is an American political strategist and consultant who served as Chief of Staff to Vice President Mike Pence between July 2017 and January 2019. He had previously served as national chairman for Pence's vice-presidential campaign in 2016, and as the former executive director of the Republican Governors Association from 2007 to 2010.
In 2010, Ayers was named as one of Time's 40 most influential people in politics under the age of 40. He also was principal of the lobbying firm C5 Creative Consulting, and is one of four leading figures in America First Policies, a pro-Trump nonprofit organization founded in January 2017. From November 2016 to January 2017, Ayers was a senior adviser to President-elect Donald Trump's transition team.
In December 2018, multiple news organizations described him as a leading contender to succeed John F. Kelly as White House Chief of Staff, but he decided not to take the job. Ayers also stated that he would leave the Trump Administration by the end of the year.