Mr. Billy Ray Hall is the founding president of the North Carolina Economic Development Center, a 20-year-old organization recognized nationally as a leader in innovative rural economic development programs and policies. Prior to the Rural Center, Mr. Hall served four governors of North Carolina in ascending levels of policy positions, ranging from Policy Director to Deputy Secretary for the Department of Natural Resources and Community Development. He also served as Chief Economist for the Office of State Planning. Governor Jim Hunt assigned him as Director of the Redevelopment and Disaster Recovery effort for North Carolina after Hurricanes Fran and Floyd. A graduate of NC State with a bachelor’s and master’s in economics, Mr. Hall received a College of Management Outstanding Alumni Award in 2000.
He has served on numerous economic development boards, including the NC Rural Internet Access Authority, The Biofuels Center of North Carolina Board, the NC Foundation for Soil & Water Conservation Districts Board, e-NC Authority Board, the Golden LEAF Long-term Economic Advancement Foundation Board, and is currently a member of the Kerr-Tar Regional Economic Development Corporation Board. Mr. Hall has also chaired the North Carolina Rural Development Council and served as the Executive Director of the NC Commission on Jobs and Economic Growth.