David Thomas

David Thomas is Dean, McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University. He was formerly H. Naylor Fitzhugh Professor of Business Administration and Unit Head of Organizational Behavior at Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration, where he joined the HBS faculty in 1990 and became a tenured professor in 1998.

David Thomas is a recognized thought leader in the area of strategic human resource management. His research addresses issues related to executive development, cultural diversity in organizations, leadership and organizational change. His research has appeared in leading academic journals and practitioner oriented periodicals. He is the 1998 recipient of the Executive Development Roundtable’s Marion Gislason Award for Contributions to Executive Development Theory and Practice, the 2007 recipient of ASQ Award for Scholarly Contribution and the 2006 recipient of the Academy of Management’s Mentoring Legacy Award.

He is co–author of the Best Selling Harvard Business Review article “Making Differences Matter: A New Paradigm for Managing Diversity.” His book Breaking Through: The Making of Minority Executives in Corporate America (with John Gabarro) has met with critical acclaim in reviews by academics and journalists, and is the recipient of the Academy of Management’s George R. Terry Book Award for outstanding contribution to the advancement of management knowledge. It explores the career advancement and development of minority executives in large multinational corporations. Leading For Equity: The Pursuit of Excellence in Montgomery County, authored with Stacey M. Childress and Dennis Doyle is on Harvard Education Press.

Professor Thomas formerly served as the Course Head for the Harvard Business School’s required first–year MBA course, Leadership and Organizational Behavior; and the faculty chair for the HBS Executive Education program, Strategic Human Resource Management. For seven years, he taught and developed materials for the popular second–year elective course, Self–Assessment and Career Development. He is a frequent presenter in executive education programs as well as a consultant to private sector corporations, government agencies and not–for–profit organizations.

Professor Thomas received his Bachelor of Arts (1978), Master of Philosophy (1984) and Doctor of Philosophy (1986) degrees from Yale University. He also holds a Master of Arts (1981) in Organizational Psychology from Columbia University.

Prior to joining the faculty of the Harvard Business School, he was on the faculty of the Wharton School of Finance. He is a member of the Academy of Management, National Training Laboratories and the International Society for the Psychoanalytic Study of Organizations. Professor Thomas sits on the boards of several organizations, among them Cambridge Trust Company, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and the Posse Foundation.

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