Dr Ray Norman is the WASH Global Sector Lead for World Vision International.
Ray Norman was raised in rural West Africa, the son of medical missionaries. He has spent more than 20 years leading and managing water, agriculture and poverty-reduction programs in developing regions. His early career work spanned 15+ years in Africa and the Middle East, as a researcher and development specialist in the water and agricultural sectors – serving with Cornell University (Niger), Winrock International (Niger), Sultan Qaboos University (Oman) and the African Development Bank (Côte d’Ivoire and Egypt). In 1999, he joined World Vision International (WVI) as the National Director in the Islamic Republic of Mauritania.
He later served as Dean of the School of Science, Engineering and Health at Messiah College for 12 years, while continuing to intersect with World Vision in an advisory and consulting capacity. Over the years, he has also worked as a consultant to the U.S. Agency for International Development, the World Bank, the Millennium Challenge Corporation, and various other international NGOs – largely as an agricultural and water management specialist. He returned to World Vision in 2015 in a full-time role as the Director for Faith Leadership for their Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) programs.
In 2018, he was appointed as Senior Director for WASH, WVI Global Field Operations, and in 2019 was appointed as the WASH Global Sector Lead for WVI. Ray represents World Vision frequently at conferences, symposia, workshops and donor events, and is a member of the WVUS Speakers Bureau. He is author of some 50+ technical and research publications in water, agriculture and faith integration disciplines. His recent book, “Dangerous Love,” published by Thomas Nelson - HarperCollins, chronicles the true story of the attempt on the lives of him and his daughter by a gunman in Mauritania in the aftermath of 9/11. The story, in part, articulates World Vision’s approach to fulfilling its Christ-centered mission in Muslim environments, unpacks the Norman’s spiritual and emotional journey of reconciliation and forgiveness, and recounts of the outpouring of love they received from their Muslim friends and World Vision colleagues in a time of deep, personal tragedy.
Ray holds a PhD in Agricultural and Biological Engineering from Cornell University, and maintains an appointment as a Scholar-in-Residence at Messiah College in the US. He is married to Hélène (a French national) and has two adult children, Nathaniel and Hannah. Ray and his wife are members of Living Water Community Church in Harrisburg, PA – an inner city; multi-ethnic church that works to bring justice and hope to the urban communities it serves.