Before moving into higher education, Ray worked in Maryland state government and the private sector. He served as assistant press secretary and press secretary, respectively, for two Maryland governors -- both of whom were overwhelmingly re-elected, thanks in part to Ray’s efforts -- in addition to serving as the chief media relations spokesperson for several state agencies, including the departments of environment, juvenile services, and transportation.
Following his 12 years in Maryland state government, Ray held three increasingly responsible communications positions with the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Metro). He was Metro’s top media spokesperson on 9/11/01, and during the days, weeks and months that followed was interviewed extensively on safety, security and terrorism issues by local, national, and international media. He also helped develop post-9/11 customer communications and served as the public information officer for the Metro Transit Police Department, including the coordination of media logistics for a police officer’s line of duty death.
In the private sector following eight years with Metro, Ray was a senior public relations manager at a Maryland-based communications consulting firm that specialized in media relations, government relations, community relations and crisis communication.