CEO Spotlight – Barbara Ray, North Highland

Barbara Ray serves as Managing Director and Global Public Sector Lead for management consulting firm North Highland, bringing more than 20 years of experience in Government to the firm. Her specific areas of expertise include consulting to Fortune 500 business executives and state government executives on the business of good, cost-effective, delivery-effective government. She has also held positions in private organizations, as well as top leadership positions with two Florida state agencies.

Beyond her role as Public Sector Lead, Barbara also serves as the market lead for North Highland’s mid-size and public sector markets, including four Florida offices, Austin, TX, Denver, CO, Washington, D.C., and the Richmond, VA markets. She has helped strengthen and leverage the firm’s relationships throughout the U.S. as North Highland continues to expand and operationalize its Public Sector capabilities from coast-to-coast. In four years, she has doubled the Public Sector practice’s revenue and led a team that has served over 300 federal, state, and local agencies. Barbara understands North Highland’s strong culture of professional services and expert consulting and has incorporated these tenets into a strategy that delivers smart solutions for the firm’s clients and strengthens the values of its people.

As to her leadership approach, Barbara says, “I strongly value a team mentality, and building the right teams has been a key factor in my career success. Motivating others, working collaboratively, and taking care of my people – these are all high priority items for me. With the right team in place, everyone looks good.”

In addition to her leadership within the firm, Barbara was appointed as a member of the Florida Government Efficiency Task Force by the State of Florida Senate President in March 2015. She is a graduate of the Leadership Florida program, an organization dedicated to enhancing and recharging the leadership skills of Floridians across the state. Barbara is a member of the board for the Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce and sits on the Business Advocacy Committee. She has been involved in a number of strategic planning engagements, including leading the strategic planning effort for the Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce. She was also selected from among 400 nominees and honored as a 2016 “Top 25 Consultant” from Consulting Magazine.

Barbara holds a Juris Doctorate with Honors from Florida State University and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Communications from Rollins College. Barbara is married to Gus Ray, CEO of Baycom Diagnostics, and has four children.

North Highland is a global management consulting firm known for helping clients solve their most complex challenges related to customer experience, performance improvement, technology and digital, and transformation. North Highland is an employee-owned firm, headquartered in Atlanta, Ga., with more than 3,000 consultants worldwide and 60+ offices around the globe. For more information on North Highland, please visit