Photograph of Mary-Caitlin Ray

Government Experience

  • Department of Veterans Affairs—Attorney Advisor (2013-2014)
  • Federal Aviation Administration—Attorney, Office of the Chief Counsel (2014-2018)


  • Washington and Lee University, B.A. (2009) cum laude
  • Washington and Lee University School of Law, J.D. (2012)


  • District of Columbia
  • Massachusetts
  • New York


  • Mandarin (Intermediate)

Transportation – The March to Digital Mobility

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Crowell & Moring's Regulatory Forecast 2020

Regulatory Forecast 2020

Mary-Caitlin Ray

Washington, D.C.
Phone: +1 202.688.3524
1001 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20004

Mary-Caitlin Ray is a counsel in Crowell & Moring’s Aviation Group in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office. Her practice focuses on complex regulatory and commercial concerns associated with the operation, sale, and acquisition of aircraft. Mary-Caitlin advises clients across multiple industries on safe, innovative integration of unmanned aircraft systems (aka UAS or drones) into their operations. Mary-Caitlin also advises clients on Federal Aviation Administration procurement issues, including  contract negotiation and administration, the Buy American Act, novation of contracts and compliance with the agency’s grant assurances. 

Representative Matters

  • Performed aviation due diligence for acquisitions and sales of aircraft operators engaged in civil and military operations, Part 145 Repair Stations, Holders of Type Certificates, Parts Manufacturer Approvals and Supplemental Type Certificates . 
  • Advised a manufacturer on the regulatory requirements for manufacturing and operating small recreational drones. 
  • Advised small unmanned aircraft operators on obtaining FAA approval for complex operations, including operations beyond visual line of sight.
  • Advised a mining company on obtaining a release to use FAA-funded airport land for non-aeronautical purposes.
  • Assisted clients in structuring entities to ensure compliance with U.S. citizenship requirements under federal aviation statutes. 
  • Represented and advised airline and aerospace companies on compliance with Federal Aviation Administration grant assurances and Buy America Act requirements.  

Prior to joining Crowell & Moring, Mary-Caitlin served as an attorney in the Federal Aviation Administration’s Office of the Chief Counsel, where she provided commercial and litigation risk advice on NextGen and UAS procurements. She also served as lead procurement counsel to the UAS Integration Pilot Program, a White House initiative allowing for state, local, and tribal governments to partner with private sector entities to accelerate safe integration of complex UAS operations.

Mary-Caitlin is an active member of the American Bar Association. She serves as the Young Lawyer Liaison to the Forum on Air and Space Law, and she previously served as a vice chair of the Public Contract Law Section’s Young Lawyers Committee.

Mary-Caitlin received her J.D. from Washington and Lee University School of Law and her B.A. (cum laude) from Washington and Lee University. In law school, she was an editor of the Journal of Civil Rights and Social Justice.


Admitted to practice: District of Columbia, Massachusetts, New York, U.S. Supreme Court

Professional Memberships

  • Chair, Young Lawyers Committee of the American Bar Association Forum on Air and Space Law
  • Young Lawyer Liaison to the American Bar Association Forum on Air and Space Law
  • Member, International Society of Transport Aircraft Trading
  • Member, Women in Aviation International
  • Vice Chair, ABA Section of Public Contract Law Young Lawyers Committee (August 2017-August 2018)

Speeches & Presentations

  • "Drone Law & Policy in Commercial Operations," 2020 AZDroneFest & Education Expo (October 22, 2020). Panelist: Mary-Caitlin Ray.
  • "Public Safety Drone Regulation and Policy," InterDrone Webinar Series (August 19, 2020). Presenter: Mary-Caitlin Ray.
  • "Parsing the Preemption Puzzle: Where is the Line?" ABA Forum on Air and Space Law Drone Law Conference, Washington, D.C. (June 18, 2018). Moderator: Mary-Caitlin Ray.
  • "Not Your Average Bid Protest," ABA’s 24th Federal Procurement Institute, Annapolis, MD (March 14-17, 2018). Moderator: Mary-Caitlin Ray.


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