David A. Thomas (academic)

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David A. Thomas
Born(1956-09-26)September 26, 1956
Title12th President of Morehouse College
Academic background
Alma materYale University
Columbia University
Academic work
DisciplineOrganizational behavior
InstitutionsMorehouse College
Harvard Business School
McDonough School of Business
Wharton School

David Anthony Thomas (born September 26, 1956) is the 12th president of Morehouse College in United States since 2018.[1] In 2016 and 2017, he was the H. Naylor Fitzhugh Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School.

Thomas is the former Dean and William R. Berkley Chair of Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business. He was appointed Dean at Georgetown University in August 2011. Prior to Georgetown, Thomas was back at Harvard as Professor of Business Administration where he served from 1990 to 2011, and where he directed the school's Organizational Behavior Unit. He also was senior associate dean and director of faculty recruitment from 2005 to 2008. Before joining the faculty at Harvard in 1990, Dr. Thomas was an assistant professor of management at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania from 1986 to 1990.[2]

Early life[edit]

Thomas grew up in Kansas City, Missouri. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Administrative Sciences from Yale University from 1974 to 1978. After earning his Bachelors at Yale, he attended Columbia University in the City of New York to earn a Masters in Organizational Psychology. He completed his MA at Columbia in 1981 and returned to Yale to earn his Master of Philosophy in 1984 and his Doctor of Philosophy in 1986. When he was applying for undergraduate school, he wanted to go to Morehouse and was accepted, but instead chose Yale, where he was able to receive financial aid.[3]


Early years[edit]

After earning his Doctorate in 1986, Thomas was hired as an Assistant Professor of Management at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Upon his appointment, he was awarded the title of Atlantic Richfield Foundation Term Assistant Professor of Human Resource Management. He held both of these teaching and research positions until 1990 when he moved to Harvard Business School.

Harvard University[edit]

In 1990, Thomas began as an Assistant Professor at Harvard Business School and by 1993 was promoted to Associate Professor of Business Administration. In 1999 he served for one year as Professor of Business Administration until he was awarded the title H. Naylor Fitzhugh Professor of Business Administration.[4] He held this title until 2011 when he left Harvard to join the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University as Dean. In 2005, Harvard also appointed him Senior Associate Dean, Director of Faculty Recruiting, and in 2006 he was appointed as Unit Head of Harvard's Organizational Behavior Unit.

Georgetown University[edit]

In 2011, David Thomas joined Georgetown University as Dean of the McDonough School of Business. During his time at Georgetown he merged the administration of the full-time and evening MBA programs, redesigned the curriculum, and launched a new Master of Science in finance online degree program. He also started a number of new collaborations for the school including a summer internship on entrepreneurship with ESADE in Spain. The newly designed MBA curriculum focuses on breaking down silos between subject areas and is a more integrative approach to education. It is also focused on the global nature of business, which is one of the five strategic themes Dean Thomas has set for the school.[5]

In addition, Thomas expanded the evening MBA program to Tysons Corner, Virginia, launched a global business initiative, and recruited a diverse set of new faculty.[6]

David Thomas set five strategic themes for the McDonough School of Business after he arrived in 2011. (1) Provide a transformational educational experience for students. (2) Be in service to business and society. (3) Embrace global in everything the school does. (4) Excellence in research to impact practice. (5) Develop a community of philanthropic leadership to support the school.[7]


David Thomas is seen as an expert on organizational behavior. He has researched extensively on managing diversity in the workplace.[8] Dr. Thomas has co-authored two books: Breaking Through: The Making of Minority Executives in Corporate America (Harvard Business Press, 1999) and Leading for Equity: The Pursuit of Excellence in Montgomery County (Harvard Education Press, 2009). He has written more than 60 case studies and articles for academic journals and practitioner publications.

Archives and records[edit]


  1. ^ "Morehouse College - Profile". morehouse.edu. Retrieved 2018-02-04.
  2. ^ "CNN Money". cnn.com. Retrieved 3 February 2018.
  3. ^ Svrluga, Susan (2017-10-16). "After turmoil, Morehouse has a new leader — via the Ivy League". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2018-02-03.
  4. ^ [1] Financial Times
  5. ^ [2] Smart CEO
  6. ^ http://www.bizjournals.com/washington/blog/2013/09/georgetown-university-brings-its-mba.html?page=all
  7. ^ [3] Unity First
  8. ^ [4] The Focus