Ray Dempsey

Speaker Bio

Ray Dempsey's picture
Ray Dempsey

Ray Dempsey, Jr. is vice president & chief diversity officer for BP America and president of the BP Foundation. He works out of BP’s Houston and Washington, D.C. offices.

Dempsey has worked in the energy industry for more than 25 years in a variety of roles in engineering, strategy, finance, and external affairs in the US and abroad.    

In his current role, Dempsey leads BP’s diversity and inclusion agenda, linking external networks and partnerships with internal engagement to position BP as an industry leader.  Reporting directly to the BP America Chairman and President, Dempsey leads a broad portfolio including national strategic relationships and initiatives, supplier diversity, workforce diversity, and philanthropy. 

By stewarding community investments and through identifying what he calls “intersections of interest,” Dempsey and his team are focused on building lasting partnerships for the company – particularly in the areas of STEM education and veteran outreach. To strengthen supplier diversity, Dempsey and his team are working to create more opportunities for minority and women business enterprises to do business with BP. As the demographics of the country continue to shift, Dempsey understands the importance of having a supply chain – and a company – that reflects the communities where we live and work. 

As president of the BP Foundation, Dempsey guides global philanthropic giving programs, including employee matching gifts, disaster relief, and grants for education, environment, and economic development.  During Dempsey’s tenure, the BP Foundation has been recognized as a leading corporate foundation by the Houston Chronicle and as a best-in-class employee matching program by TriplePundit (a media consultancy that cultivates awareness and understanding among the business community of the “triple bottom line”—economic, ecological, and social).

Dempsey holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from Kansas State University and a master’s degree in business administration from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management. He Chairs the Dean’s Advisory Council for the College of Engineering at Kansas State University, where he was also named a 2012 Alumni Fellow. 

Dempsey is vice chairman of the board for the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering, and treasurer of the Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute.  He also sits on the board of the National Urban League, the National Minority Supplier Development Council, and the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Foundation.  Dempsey is a member of the Executive Leadership Council (ELC), the preeminent membership organization for the development of global black leaders.

Dempsey was named by Savoy Magazine as one of the “2016 Top 100 Most Influential Blacks in Corporate America.”  He was also named a 2012 “Game Changer” by Politic365, and received the 2013 “Best of Black Business” Award for Visionary Leadership in Energy from the American Academy of Business and Commerce. 

He and his wife Alysia have four daughters and reside in Vienna, Virginia.