Ahmad Thomas is the CEO of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, the region’s most dynamic business organization. Collectively, SVLG members provide nearly one of every three private sector jobs in Silicon Valley and contribute more than $3 trillion to the worldwide economy each year.
As a change agent and next generation business leader, Thomas partners with the organization’s 350+ member companies to promote entrepreneurial solutions to strengthen Silicon Valley business competitiveness, bolster its innovation ecosystem, and create shared economic value throughout the greater Bay Area. In his first year as CEO, Thomas has catalyzed industry-leading initiatives to operationalize change around diversity, equity, and inclusion from the Boardroom to the C-suites and beyond. A former investment banker and senior Congressional aide, he brings nearly 20 years of experience working both in and on behalf of non-profit social enterprises, governments, and businesses, where he has honed a deep understanding of the essentiality of public-private partnerships and the intersection of equity, policy, and technology that drives Silicon Valley’s innovation infrastructure.
Prior to joining SVLG, Thomas worked for a decade as an investment banker at Barclays, where he managed over $15 billion in debt financings. He specialized in structuring and financing public infrastructure, social impact, and development projects across multiple sectors. Thomas held a variety of important roles during his tenure, including leading state of California and Silicon Valley regional municipal banking teams, as well as leading the Firm’s public sector coverage of social impact engagements in the 13 western U.S. states.
Thomas served as a lead banker on several innovative transactions, most notably executing the first ever Social Bonds issue for a non-profit in the U.S. municipal bond market. This landmark transaction on behalf of a statewide non-profit healthcare entity received multiple awards, including the “Social Project Bond of the Year” by Environmental Finance. Thomas was recognized as a 2018 “Rising Star” by The Bond Buyer, the leading municipal bond market publication. He has also received a prestigious Barclays Global Citizenship and Diversity Award for his transaction work as a deal team lead in enabling sustainable growth.
Thomas previously served as a senior aide to U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein in Washington, D.C., serving as the lead policy advisor on finance and economic policy. It was in that capacity where he first worked with SVLG on a variety of economic and tax issues relevant to sustaining the competitive edge that makes Silicon Valley the world’s technology capital – and saw firsthand the importance of the work SVLG does in strengthening its communities through impactful initiatives.
Thomas serves on the Board of Directors of HealthRIGHT 360 and Catalyst Housing Group. He has volunteered time in advisory roles at several start-up companies, including a healthcare-related venture that was selected for Y Combinator. Thomas enjoys active outdoor pursuits and has participated in an expedition trekking across a glacier in Alaska. He is an avid football and Bay Area sports fan, wood-fired BBQ enthusiast, and dog lover.
Thomas holds a B.S. from Cornell University, Master’s degree from the London School of Economics, and M.B.A. from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Thomas lives in Menlo Park with his wife, Dr. Reena Thomas, two sons, and dog, Champ. Dr. Thomas is a practicing physician at Stanford Healthcare; in addition to serving on the medical faculty, she is an Associate Dean at the Stanford University School of Medicine.