Ray oversees the development and implementation of sustainability efforts, conservation partnerships, and threatened plant collections at the United States Botanic Garden. He was instrumental in the development of the Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES) and led the efforts to translate SITES into a tool for homeowners (Landscape for Life) and federal agencies. He served as Secretary on the Board of APGA and now as director at large. Ray is involved in Metro DC PFLAG, Mt Vernon at Home, and Christ Episcopal Church, Alexandria.

He has been the Director of Horticulture at Denver Botanic Gardens and the Washington National Cathedral and spent over a decade with the Dow Chemical Company. After the death of his longtime companion from HIV, he returned to school in 1994 to study horticulture. He also studied at the Royal Botanic Garden, Kew and early in his career spent two years in the Peace Corps working on small-scale irrigation and seed collection projects in the mountains of western Nepal.