Copyright notice

This article is from the Encyclopedia of North Carolina edited by William S. Powell. Copyright © 2006 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

Printer-friendly page

Council of State

by John V. Orth, 2006; Revised December 2021

The Council of State comprises North Carolina's executive branch of government. Under the North Carolina Constitution, it is composed of ten elected officers: the governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, state auditor, treasurer, superintendent of public instruction, attorney general, and commissioners of agriculture, labor, and insurance. Article III of North Carolina's State Constitution enumerates the composition and powers of the state's Executive Branch, as well as the function and powers of the Council of State. The locus of considerable power in the antebellum period, the modern Council of State is assigned little power directly by the state constitution. It is given an important role by statute in certain decisions, particularly in the purchase of property by the state.

Additional Resources:

Website for the Office of the Governor of North Carolina:

Website for the Executive Branch of the State of North Carolina: (includes listing of Council of State)

State of North Carolina. Constitution of 1971: Article III.