Ray is the Executive Director of Headwaters Economics, an independent, nonprofit research group in Bozeman, Montana. Their mission is to improve community development and land management decisions in the West.
Topics include: wildfire; federal payments to counties; energy tax policy; the economic role of public lands; and a number of free analytical tools for helping understand the link between the economy and the environment. Their partners include rural communities, state legislatures, the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management, universities, and non-profit organizations.
Ray has a Ph.D. from the College of Forestry (economics), Oregon State University; a Masters of Agriculture from Colorado State University (agricultural marketing); and a Bachelors of Science (wildlife biology) from the University of Washington. Ray also holds an affiliate position at Montana State University.