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Meet the Dean

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David A. Thomas is Dean and William R. Berkley Chair of Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business

A recognized thought leader in organizational behavior and strategic human resource management, Dr. Thomas’ research focuses on issues related to executive development, cultural diversity in organizations, leadership, and organizational change.

Thomas, who joined Georgetown in August 2011 following a two-decade career at Harvard Business School, has led many changes to the MBA curriculum to ensure that students acquire a global business mindset, become nimble innovative thinkers and principled leaders in service to others, in both business and society at large.

Prior to his appointment at Georgetown University, Dr. Thomas was the H. Naylor Fitzhugh Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, where he directed the school’s Organizational Behavior Unit. He also served as senior associate dean and director of faculty recruitment at Harvard; led its business school’s required first-year MBA course, Leadership and Organizational Behavior; and held the position of faculty chair for several executive education programs. Prior to joining the faculty at Harvard in 1990, Dr. Thomas was an assistant professor of management at the Wharton School of Finance at the University of Pennsylvania.

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.

In addition to being widely published, Dr. Thomas has been recognized with a number of awards, including the Executive Development Roundtable’s Marion Gislason Award for Contributions to the Theory and Practice of Executive Development. He recently received the Administrative Science Quarterly Scholarly Contribution Award for the article that had the most impact on the field in the last five years. He also earned the George R. Terry Award from the Academy of Management for the most outstanding contribution to the advancement of management knowledge for his book, Breaking Through: The Making of Minority Executives in Corporate America.

Dr. Thomas received a Bachelor of Arts in Administrative Sciences and Master and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in Organizational Behavior from Yale University. He also holds a Master of Arts in Organizational Psychology from Columbia University. He currently is a member of the Board of Directors of DTE Energy and the Estoril Conferences Advisory Board.

Dr. Thomas comments in the video below on the school’s strategic priorities and capital campaign goals.

I love teaching. I love the process of discovery in the classroom. What we want to do here at McDonough, is to have our students come through and leave feeling as if they were transformed.

David A. Thomas, Dean and William R. Berkley Chair of Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business