Photograph by Luis Antonio Thompson
Mark Anthony Thomas is a creative writer turned economic development official, with nearly two decades in publishing, communications, and the public sector. In July 2019, Mark was appointed as the President of the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance.
The Atlanta-native began his professional career with Georgia-Pacific Corporation, managing a portfolio of economic, philanthropic and environmental health initiatives before leading public relations for Ben-Gurion University of the Negev’s Medical School for International Health.
In New York, he served as the Deputy Director of the Manhattan-based think tank Center for an Urban Future and developed the business model to relaunch its magazine, City Limits, as a startup news media. Appointed Publisher / Executive Director, he led the establishment of City Limits’ new organization and governance structure, expanded content across digital platforms, acquired the Bronx News Network, founded the Brooklyn Bureau, and launched collaborations with New York’s leading civic institutions and foundations, and e-commerce companies.
In 2016, Mark was selected by New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) to serve as its first Senior Vice President of Partnerships, establishing teams to foster and manage industry and international relationships and business attraction.
Prior to NYCEDC, Mark served as the City of Los Angeles’ inaugural FUSE Executive Fellow, leading efforts to make the City’s neighborhoods more livable. He then served as Director of the Mayor’s Operations Innovation Team, a partnership between the Mayor’s Office and the Los Angeles Coalition for the Economy and Jobs, to spearhead reforms of the City’s procurement, real estate asset management and risk management operations. Before entering the public sector, Mark worked in the media sector, shaping content and investigative journalism on social impact, economic development and effective governance.
Mark serves on advisory boards for the CUNY's Center for Community & Ethnic Media, Camille A. Brown Dance Company, and FUSE Corps. He has served as the President the Board of Directors for Helping Teens Succeed, Inc. and a founding trustee of the University System of Georgia's African American Male Initiative program at the University of West Georgia.
Mark earned his MBA from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Sloan School of Management and an MPA in Advanced Management and Finance from Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs. He received his Bachelor of Business from the University of Georgia, where he became the first African American Editor-In-Chief of the 122-year old daily student newspaper, The Red & Black. In 2013, he was honored as one of the University's Top 40 Alumni Under 40 and keynoted the school's inaugural TEDx Conference.
Mark turns 40 in August 2019.