Ahmad Thomas is the CEO of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group (SVLG), the region’s most dynamic business association. Collectively, SVLG members provide nearly one of every three private sector jobs in Silicon Valley and contribute more than $3 trillion annually to the global economy.
As a change agent and next generation business leader, Thomas partners with the organization’s member companies to promote entrepreneurial solutions to strengthen Silicon Valley business competitiveness, bolster its innovation ecosystem, and create shared economic value throughout the Bay Area and beyond. A hallmark of his leadership is in catalyzing 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, Thomas brings nearly 20 years of experience working both in and on behalf of nonprofit 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 nonprofit in the U.S. municipal bond market.
This landmark transaction on behalf of a statewide nonprofit healthcare entity received multiple awards, including the “Social Project Bond of the Year” by Environmental Finance. Thomas has been recognized as a “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. Sen. Dianne Feinstein in Washington, D.C., serving as the lead policy advisor on finance and economic policy. In this capacity 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 leads in strengthening its communities through impactful initiatives.
Thomas serves on several boards aligned with his core passions around technology, sports and adventure, and helping those in marginalized communities. He has volunteered in advisory roles at a number of start-up companies, including a healthcare-related venture that was selected for Y Combinator. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of HealthRIGHT 360, Housing Trust Silicon Valley, and the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS). Thomas is currently on the advisory board of Catalyst Housing Group and the Accelerating Black Leadership and Entrepreneurship (ABLE) Program.
He enjoys active outdoor pursuits and has participated in an expedition trekking across a glacier in Alaska. Thomas 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.