Raymond Scheppach, Ph.D., was appointed executive director of the National Governors Association (NGA) in January 1983. As executive director, Ray oversees the day-to-day operations of the association and works closely with NGA's chair and vice chair and their staffs to help identify priorities for the nation's governors. Prior to NGA, Ray worked for seven years at the Congressional Budget Office, serving the last two years as Deputy Director. Under his leadership, NGA has risen to become one of the most powerful lobbying groups in Washington. NGA was ranked 12th by Fortune magazine in its 1999 annual survey of the most influential trade associations, labor unions, and interest groups. As an advocate for federalism, Ray has testified before Congress on behalf of the nation's governors on numerous occasions. He has written numerous professional articles on various public policy issues and has authored and co-authored four books on economics, including co-writing the 1984 book New Directions in Economic Policy: An Agenda for the 1980's. Ray is one of the country's foremost experts on the role of government in the new economy. He co-authored the NGA report, Governance in the New Economy, which examines the forces shaping the U.S. economy and influencing American governance; testified before Congress in support of wireless tax legislation; and has guided NGA's efforts to radically simplify state sales and use tax codes to support e-commerce in the 21st century. Ray received his bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of Maine, and his master's and doctorate degrees in economics from the University of Connecticut.