Ray Lehr is a fellow with The Performance Institute (PI), supporting nonpartisan think tank efforts to improve government performance through the principles of transparency, accountability, performance, and engagement. Ray joined the PI team in 2015. Based in Virginia, he has worked with the State of Maryland focused on improving public safety interoperability, FirstNet issues, as well as research, training, and performance consulting.
Ray has more than 40 years of professional experience in Public Safety. He served as the Maryland Statewide Interoperability Director from 2009 to 2014, where he directed a Program Management Office responsible for projects to improve public safety communications including a Statewide 700 MHz Land Mobile Radio (LMR) project. He also served as Maryland’s State Point of Contact (SPOC) for FirstNet and initiated the first State Initial Consultation process with FirstNet that provided a framework for future engagements with the nation’s public safety leaders and State officials. Prior to the creation of FirstNet, Ray served as a Board member of the Public Safety Spectrum Trust (PSST) representing the National Governors Association.
As a Senior Executive Leader with substantial State and local service, he now works with the Mid-Atlantic Consortium for Interoperable Nationwide Advanced Communications MACINAC (MD, VA, DE, PA, and WV) to insure the deployment is seamless in the FEMA Region 3. While working with the State of Maryland, Ray offered testimony before the U.S. House Committee on FirstNet Oversight focusing his remarks on the need for strong and continuing involvement of the States in the critical steps in getting the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network designed, deployed, and operational for today’s needs, as well as planning for the operation, maintenance, and upgrade of the network in a reliable and cost effective manner for decades to come.
In 2013, book publisher, McGraw-Hill tapped Ray’s extensive experience for a contribution to its Homeland Security Handbook. He offered an overview of Emergency Response in the handbook, providing a better understanding of how homeland security challenges are interconnected. Ray’s practical experience, and his work with many state and local officials, gives him a strong understanding of the complexity of any particular homeland security challenge, and the ability to devise an efficient and viable strategy for dealing with the problem, and implement this strategy effectively.
Ray retired as Assistant Chief of the Baltimore City Fire Department (BCFD) after 30 years as a front line incident commander and public safety professional. In addition, he was project manager for the City of Baltimore’s consolidated 800 MHz Digital LMR system that supported Fire, Police, EMS, and other public service agencies. Retiring from the BCFD in 2000, he spent 10 years working for systems integrators on public safety projects in NYC, DC, and LA.
Ray has authored blogs, white papers, and has presented at public safety venues on future mobile broadband capability and on the First Responders Network. With a focus on needs and concerns of Federal, State, and local communications, he continues this work in the private sector.
Chief, Public Safety Consulting, Clear Management Solutions
Statewide Interoperability Director, State of Maryland
Business Development Manager, Northrup Grumman
Project Manager, TRW
Assistant Fire Chief, City of Baltimore
Ray is a Six Sigma Brown Belt and ITIL v3 certified in program management.