Franklin A. Thomas

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Franklin Augustine (Frank) Thomas (born May 27, 1934) has been on the board of the TFF Study Group, a nonprofit institution assisting development in South Africa[1] since 2005. Thomas was Chairman of the nonprofit organization September 11 Fund since 2001[2][1] and has been involved the Friends of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund.

Ford Foundation[edit]

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.

Thomas was President and CEO of The Ford Foundation from 1979 until 1996.[2]

Nonprofit organizations[edit]

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. Thomas was Chairman of the nonprofit organization September 11 Fund since 2001[2][1] and has been involved the Friends of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund.

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

Public service[edit]

He served as Deputy Police Commissioner in Charge of Legal Matters for the New York City Police Department for two years, starting in 1965.[1]

Thomas was named Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York in 1964.[1]

He was attorney for the Federal Housing and Home Finance Agency (now HUD) 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).

Board of directors[edit]

In their article published in the Journal of Leadership, Accountability and Ethics, Fowler, Fronmueller and Schifferdecker argued that Thomas was one of eight Citigroup Inc.,[2] directors who served on interlocking directorates.[3]:28

"Through one connection with Salomon D. Trujillo, Thomas is indirectly linked with four Board Members on the Pepsi Co Board and four members of the Target Board. Through these two boards and Trujillo, Thomas is indirectly linked with Lehman Brothers Holdings, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs, US Bank and Fannie Mae by one link for each of them. Thomas connects to Freddie Mac, Bank of America, Mellon Bank and Goldman Sachs by two links and to Morgan Stanley, J.P. Morgan Chase and State Street by three links. There are five links to Bear Stearns. He serves on the boards of Lucent Technologies and Alcoa in addition to Citigroup, where he has been a board member since 1970."

— "Mapping Interlocking Directorates" 2014:28

Thomas has served on the board of directors of Cummins, Inc., Lucent Technologies, Inc., Alcoa[2] CBS and PepsiCo, Inc.


  1. ^ a b c d e "Mr. Franklin A. Thomas". United Nations Office for Partnerships. Retrieved 4 September 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d e 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. 
  3. ^ Fowler, Karen L.; Fronmueller, Michael; Schifferdecker, Jane O. (2014). "Mapping Interlocking Directorates: Citigroup's Eight Links with the Mortgage Crisis" (PDF). Journal of Leadership, Accountability and Ethics. 11 (1): 26–33.