David Thomas is H. Naylor Fitzhugh Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School. His research addresses issues related to executive development, cultural diversity in organizations, leadership and organizational change. He recently served as a professor of management at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business, where he served as dean from 2011 to 2016.
During his tenure as dean, he created a culture committed to creating transformational educational experiences that prepare students to become principled and globally minded leaders poised to serve both business and society.
He joined Georgetown McDonough in 2011 following a two-decade career at Harvard Business School. While there Thomas enhanced academic and professional opportunities for the school’s undergraduate and graduate students, including a curriculum redesign and expansion of career management activities for MBA students and the addition of the Global Business Experience and an Office of Professional Development for undergraduates. He also increased the diversity of faculty and staff, launched new research initiatives and increased research funding, grew Executive Education program revenues by 400 percent, and grew the school’s endowment and increased philanthropic giving, ending the school’s capital campaign $30 million above its $100 million fundraising goal.
Partnering with the Washington, D.C., community while at Georgetown McDonough, Thomas was a member of the Federal City Council, and in 2014, the Washington Business Journal recognized him as a top Minority Business Leader.
Thomas received a bachelor’s degree, as well as masters and doctoral degrees in Organizational Behavior, from Yale University. He also holds a master’s in Organizational Psychology from Columbia University. He currently is a member of the Board of Governors for the American Red Cross, the Board of Directors of DTE Energy, and the Estoril Conferences Advisory Board. He also is an industry advisor for Brightwood Capital Advisors.
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) -- and more than 60 case studies and articles for leading academic journals and practitioner publications.