Ambassador Thomas is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service and served as Director General of the Foreign Service and Director for Human Resources of the U.S. State Department. Prior to that, he served as a Special Assistant to the Secretary and Executive Secretary of the Department.
Ambassador Thomas joined the Foreign Service in 1984, and served as U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines from 2010 to 2013 and to Bangladesh from 2003 to 2005. He also served in the White House as the Director for South Asia at the National Security Council from 2001 to 2002. His other postings include: New Delhi, India; Harare, Zimbabwe; Kaduna, Nigeria; and Lima, Peru. Ambassador Thomas speaks Spanish, Hindi, and Bangla. He is a graduate of the College of the Holy Cross and holds a Master’s degree from Columbia University.
Ambassador Thomas served at Arizona State University as the State Department's Diplomat-in-Residence for the Southwest from 2013 to 2015. In July 2015, Ambassador Thomas was nominated by President Obama to serve as U.S. Ambassador to Zimbabwe. In October 2015, he was confirmed to that position by the U.S. Senate.