Dr William Thomas

Senior consultant, Performance Works International

Dr William Thomas is the Founder and Chief Teaching Officer of Designing Leaders. In this role he diagnoses the leadership challenges that limit an organization’s success, and creates training and coaching programs that help people to overcome them. Dr Thomas has more than two decades of leadership experience as an officer in the US Air Force, as well as years of teaching at major universities. He holds a PhD in public policy, with a focus on organizational culture, as well as an MBA and a degree in economics, and he is a WCI Certified Professional Coach.

Throughout his 21-year military career he served first as a nuclear officer, then as a strategic planner for peacekeeping and other complex missions, and finally as an international affairs specialist focused on Southeast Asia. During the 1990s he was responsible for leading much of the Air Force’s organizational change following the end of the Cold War. He spent 7 years as a professor at the US Air Force Academy, where he taught strategic studies and political science, and after retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel he went on to teach in the master’s degree program in Human Resources Management at Georgetown University in Washington DC. He also taught for a semester as a Fulbright Scholar at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.

For three years, from 2012 through the end of 2014, he was the Executive Advisor for CEB Corporate Leadership Council in Asia, advising Chief HR Officers at over 50 large enterprises in a dozen markets across the region. At CEB he focused on creating high-performance environments through improved talent management. He continues to highlight this area at Designing Leaders, where he leads training seminars and provides coaching with an emphasis on organizational culture change. His clients include banks, manufacturers, telecoms, airlines, universities, international development organizations, pharmaceutical firms, and others in APAC.

Dr Thomas is also a distance runner and is one of the few people in the world to have completed The Marathon Grand Slam, consisting of a marathon on all 7 continents and at the North Pole. He is the author of Cross The Lines: A Journey to Complete The Marathon Grand Slam, and often gives talks on applying the lessons from his experiences to career development and business leadership.