Michelle L. Thomas
Founder & CEO
Michelle L. Thomas has more than 30 years of experience in change management, strategic planning, organizational development, and operations management. She founded Thomas Consulting Group (TCG) in 2013 and under her strategic leadership the social impact firm has grown significantly.
Today, headquartered in New Orleans, TCG collaborates nationwide with cities and communities suffering from disinvestment. TCG has an extensive history working with cities and governments across multiple states, including Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Texas, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, New Jersey, Maryland, California, Tennessee, and New York.
Michelle is committed to working alongside visionary leaders who support innovative programs and bold policies that transform urban communities and achieve equitable outcomes for people of color. Her broad experience ranges from expanding programs and opportunities offered by a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development national technology initiative to developing a federal resource capture management program that yielded more than $140 million in funding.
In New Orleans, under Michelle’s leadership, TCG worked closely with the Office of Community Assets and Investment (OCAI) to support Mayor LaToya Cantrell and the City of New Orleans to advance the administration’s affordable housing goals to develop and implement effective land use policy initiatives. Supporting The Finance Authority of New Orleans (FANO), Michelle led TCG’s efforts to develop and advance the authority’s 10-year Strategic Plan.
Working with The Pittsburgh Foundation, Michelle and the TCG Team delivered a wide range of strategic planning and change management services that supported the smooth transition of incoming Pittsburgh Mayor-Elect Ed Gainey.
Michelle has also managed complex TCG projects in other cities infusing her years of knowledge with hands-on expertise to achieve lasting results. This includes delivering technical assistance to the Bloomberg Foundation to support sustainable cities; conducting an organizational assessment for Harris County, Texas; providing technical assistance and professional services to address the water crisis in Jackson, Mississippi; preparing a transition plan and services for incoming Mayor Steven L. Reed of Montgomery, Alabama; and providing research, strategic planning, and community engagement services to recruit and create the Chattanooga Equitable Recovery Commission (CERC) in Tennessee.
Michelle’s work in local government transition management began in 2006 with Cory Booker. She joined his team shortly after he announced his candidacy for mayor and eventually served as Deputy Director of his transition staff. When Booker took office, Michelle joined his administration, as Director of Innovation and Performance Management. She went on to become Business Administrator, the City’s highest ranking non-elected official.
After four years of service to the City of Newark, NJ, Michelle returned to the private sector where she created a grants management division in a lobbying firm that specialized in serving municipalities and counties across the country. She was soon lured back into the public sector in 2011 to serve as Deputy Mayor for Operations for the City of New Orleans. Before forming TCG, Michelle served as Interim Executive Director and Chief Administrative Officer for the Louisiana Housing Corporation, the state’s housing finance agency.
Michelle earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in African and Afro American Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a certificate, Public Performance Management from Rutgers University.