As the former Director of the Program for School Preparedness and Planning in the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, Gregory Thomas assisted schools around the nation in the assessment and improvement of their current level of emergency preparedness. In addition to being widely quoted in the national media as a top school safety and emergency preparedness expert, he is also a recognized conference speaker and has received acclaim as an author of numerous books and publications. Until recently, Gregory Thomas served as the Director of the Program for School Preparedness and Planning in the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.
Thomas has co-authored three books on school safety for the Janes Information Group, including was has been called the most comprehensive book published to date on school safety, the 450-page Janes Safe School Planning Guide for All Hazards. He is also the author of a recently released book from Random House publishers titled Freedom from Fear: A Guide to Safety, Preparedness and the Threat of Terrorism, which offers advice to readers on how to prepare themselves and their families for a worst-case scenario like a natural disaster or an act of terrorism.
During his over twenty two years of public service, Thomas has held various executive positions in the fields of criminal justice and public safety. He has served as:
- Executive Director of the Office of School Safety with the New York City Department of Education (during the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001)
- Assistant Commissioner with the New York City Fire Department
- Associate Director of the City University of New York / New York City Police Department Cadet Program at John Jay College of Criminal Justice
- Senior investigator and member of the executive staff with the Mollen Commission, the mayoral commission that investigated corruption within the New York City Police Department
- First Deputy Inspector General with the New York City Department of Investigation
Thomas' professional affiliations include membership in the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE), the largest organization of minority criminal justice officials in the United States. He has also been affiliated with the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA), where he served as an on site assessor of police departments and law enforcement agencies across the nation.
Thomas has served on the Board of Directors of the Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund Inc., to aid them in their mission of providing four-year merit scholarships to students who attend historically Black public colleges and universities and currently serves on the boards of the Hope Program, an award winning New York City based program that helps impoverished New Yorkers find and keep jobs and of the Families of September 11th Inc. as they champion policies that respond to the threat of terrorism including support for the 9/11 Commission Recommendations.
Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, where he currently resides with his family, Thomas completed public school in New York City, and attended college at the University of Maryland, Eastern Shore where he received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology and the Brooklyn Campus of Long Island University (L.I.U.) where he received his Master of Science Degree in Criminal Justice. As a result of his exemplary graduate work at L.I.U., Thomas was inducted into Alpha Phi Sigma, the National Criminal Justice Honor Society.
In recognition of his professional and civic accomplishments, Thomas has received the Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund Awards for Outstanding Community Service and Outstanding Board Leadership, and has received a distinguished alumni citation from the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO).
He was also the first recipient of the Outstanding Young Alumnus Award from The University of Maryland-Eastern Shore and was recognized for his record setting achievements as a nationally ranked track and field athlete when he was inducted into their Athletic Hall of Fame in 2006.
Thomas is an advisory board member for the National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement.