William RayDirector, Emergency Management

Will Ray

William Ray was appointed director of Emergency Management in July 2021 and is charged with leading efforts to ensure the state’s preparedness and coordinating needed staff and resources to support local responses to, and recovery from, all hazards and threats.  He also serves as the state’s deputy homeland security advisor and a member of the State Emergency Response Commission.

Ray most recently served as the chief of staff at North Carolina Emergency Management. As such, he was the principal deputy coordinating and supervising the work of NCEM and the North Carolina Office of Recovery and Resiliency, including managing complex programs, as well as developing and implementing strategic priorities, initiatives and plans. He joined NCEM in early 2018 as the assistant director for Plans and Homeland Security section. Ray also has served in several emergency response roles at the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, in local government and in the private sector.

Ray holds a bachelor’s degree in international studies from the Virginia Military Institute and a master’s degree in public health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He and his family currently reside in Durham.