The 2016 Top 25 Consultants: Barbara Ray


Barbara Ray North Highland Excellence in Public Sector 

Sometimes the path to being a great consultant starts out somewhere completely different. North Highland’s Barbara Ray began her career as an attorney before taking her current role as VP and Global Public Sector Lead for North Highland. She says her experience in that career translated into bringing a different perspective to the table she says her peers and leaders value.

And when it comes to career highlights, Ray says the Top 25 Consultants Award takes the cake.

“I appreciate that North Highland values the diverse experience I bring to consulting and welcomes my different way of thinking based on my past careers. Now, to be recognized for my consulting work, and as one of the Top 25 by Consulting magazine, is pretty amazing for me,” she says. “And more than that, to be even thought of by North Highland leaders as someone who is worthy of being nominated for this caliber of an award is an incredible recognition.”

When asked what she considers the biggest factor to her success, her answer could be boiled down to one word: integrity.

“It may sound simple, but when you have a high degree of integrity, you are trusted by your co-workers, clients, and more. Having integrity can get you very far in business and it’s a central part to who I am as a leader and a professional. I strongly value a team mentality, and building the right teams has been a key factor in my career success. Motivating others, and working collaboratively, taking care of my people—these are all high priority items for me. With the right team in place, everyone looks good,” she says.

Taking pride in her work and always doing her best is what Ray says motivates her to excel.

“My best needs to be everything I can give it and that’s a huge motivator. I want to do my best by my team and make sure they feel cared for, and that they are growing in the way they want to grow, both personally and professionally,” she says.

Ray says winning the Top 25 Consultants award affirms that she’s officially crossed over from the attorney career to consulting.

“For me, it’s a recognition that I’m truly a consultant, being acknowledged by my peers and having made the bridge from other careers to this one. The award is also an affirmation of North Highland’s leadership within the public sector consulting space – it’s a recognition of the great work that we do, and that the clients who hire us can continue to trust us and know they’ve made the right choice in working with us.”

What do you enjoy most about the consulting profession?

“I love that we solve problems and that we have real impact. The people I work alongside are highly motivated, people of integrity that have the same objectives as me. We all want to do right by each other and our clients. I can honestly say, having had a number of other roles in my life, this is the first one where I feel like I can help make a difference with my clients and the outcomes they are seeking.”