Washington, D.C. - The Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute (CHLI) is proud to spotlight CHLI Board Member, Ray Dempsey, Jr., Vice President & Head of External Affairs for BP America and President of the BP Foundation.
Dempsey serves on the CHLI Finance Committee and contributes to the Programs Committee. "Ray Dempsey is one of the key leaders of CHLI. He is brilliant, even-keeled, a constant voice of reason, and compassion. We are extremely privileged to be able to count on his leadership," said CHLI Chairman, former Congressman Lincoln Diaz-Balart.
Dempsey has worked at BP for nearly 25 years, in different parts of the energy industry. He has held a variety of management and operational roles in engineering, environmental, strategy, finance and external affairs.
Work assignments have relocated Dempsey and his family to locations all across the country and the United Kingdom, where BP's global headquarters is located. In his role as Vice President and Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, Dempsey travelled extensively in Latin America and developed a real passion for learning about Latin cultures, languages, and the importance of "la familia."
"Ray's dedication to CHLI, especially with young adults and interns is to be commended. I look forward to continuing to work with him on the CHLI Board of Directors," said CHLI Vice-Chair, Congressman Henry Cuellar.
For Dempsey, the moves have been part of a lifelong adventure. The son of an Army officer, he moved frequently with his family to locations across the United States and Germany. His family finally settled in Kansas, where he attended high school and college. Dempsey credits this upbringing with his ability to connect and engage with people from many places and backgrounds.
After graduating high school with honors, Dempsey received a number of scholarships, including one from the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering (NACME). He graduated from Kansas State University with a bachelor's degree in Industrial Engineering due to in part by the financial support the NACME scholarship provided him. Shortly after graduation, Dempsey took a role as an engineer with Amoco in their headquarters in Chicago. Through a merger which marked the start of the energy industry consolidation, the company became BP in the late 1990s.
Dempsey hosts BP community partners at the US Olympic Training Facility at the 2014 Warrior Games in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Dempsey meets with fellow Team Semper Fi volunteers during last year's Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, DC.
As Vice President & Head of External Affairs at BP, Dempsey is focused on leaving an enduring legacy. He is responsible for all third party relationships for BP in the United States and makes a special effort to ensure that BP works closely with organizations that represent minority communities. His work in those communities is focused largely on key priorities and concerns of mutual interest - like Science Technology Education and Math (STEM). He also leads supplier diversity efforts for the company and is aiming to significantly increase BP's spend with women and minority business enterprises.
Dempsey is also a member on the Board of Directors of the National Minority Supplier Development Council and NACME. Serving on the NACME board after being a NACME scholar brings Dempsey great personal joy.
Dempsey addresses the crowd after receiving the NACME Alumni Circle Award
Moreover, Dempsey is a Trustee for the African American Experience Fund, which provides support to the National Park Foundation. He is also a member of the Congressional Black Caucus Institute's 21st Century Council and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute's Corporate Advisory Board.
In 2012, Dempsey was named a "Game Changer" by Politic365, received the 2013 "Best of Black Business" award for Visionary Leadership in Energy from the American Academy of Business and Commerce and is a member of the Executive Leadership Council. He is a member of the Dean's Advisory Council for the College of Engineering at Kansas State University, where he was named a 2012 Alumni Fellow. Dempsey also holds a Master's degree in Business Administration from Northwestern University's Kellogg Graduate School of Management in Illinois.
For Ray Dempsey's complete biography Click Here.