Franklin A. Thomas

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Franklin Augustine (Frank) Thomas (born May 27, 1934) is the head of the TFF Study Group, a nonprofit institution assisting development in South Africa, since 1996; Chairman, September 11 Fund since 2001.[1]

Franklin A. Thomas made a name for himself as an inspiring leader in America. For seventeen years Thomas was president of the Ford Foundation, a vast and self-perpetuating trust originally endowed by car manufacturer Henry Ford and his son Edsel. With a reported $7.7 billion in assets when Thomas resigned his post in 1996, Thomas and his Ford Foundation staff used strategic sums of money—more than $200 million annually—to help needy communities, finance educational and cultural institutions, support civil rights in the United States and around the world, and strengthen and empower policy influencing organizations. Since leaving the Foundation, Thomas has continued to serve in leadership positions in America's largest corporations and has continued to work in philanthropic ventures in South Africa.

Recent business experience: President and CEO of The Ford Foundation from 1979 until 1996;[1]

Thomas was president and chief executive officer of Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation (a non profit community development corporation) from 1967–1977.

He served as Deputy Police Commissioner in Charge of Legal Matters for the New York City Police Department for two years, starting in 1965.[2]

Thomas was named Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York in 1964.[2]

He was attorney for the Federal Housing and Home Finance Agency in 1963. He graduated from Columbia University, where he was a star basketball player and team captain, and the Columbia Law School (the latter in 1963).

Other directorships: Citigroup Inc.,[1] Cummins, Inc., Lucent Technologies, Inc., Alcoa[1] CBS and PepsiCo, Inc.


  1. ^ a b c d Potter, Joan (2009-11-24). African American Firsts: Famous Little-Known and Unsung Triumphs of Blacks in America. Dafina Books. pp. 104–. ISBN 978-0-7582-4166-5. Retrieved 5 May 2011. 
  2. ^ a b "Mr. Franklin A. Thomas". United Nations Office for Partnerships. Retrieved 4 September 2014.