Named by President Obama as a Presidential Scholar in the Arts in 2014, Thomas West is a creative artist and entrepreneur making waves for his dual career as a renowned operatic baritone and as the founding Executive Director of The Peace Studio – a nonprofit that equips artists and journalists with opportunities and strengths-based tools to restore hope, challenge injustice, and bridge divides. Highlights from Thomas’s performance career include a Tanglewood Music Center fellowship, covering Silvio in Pagliacci with Opera San Jose, Morales in Carmen with the Chattanooga Symphony and Opera, Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem with the Mississippi Symphony, the Faure Requiem with Music on Norway Pond in Hancock, NH, An Evening of Bach Cantatas with the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra in Winnipeg, Canada, the world premiere of Wayne Oquin’s Meditation in Alice Tully Hall and multiple performances with The New York Festival of Song and the Chautauqua Institution. As a curator and producer, he has led over 40 artists on tours to Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, New Hampshire, California, Connecticut, and most recently Kigali, Rwanda. Prior to joining The Peace Studio, Thomas held positions in the Office of the President at The Juilliard School as a special projects producer and as the Founder and CEO of Collaborative Arts Ensemble, based in New York City. In 2013, he was named Youth Philanthropist of the year by the Chattanooga Times Free Press for his efforts in raising over $16,000 in support of arts education in his childhood hometown of Chattanooga, TN. He holds a BM in Vocal Performance from The Juilliard School. In his free time, Thomas enjoys movies, nonprofit leadership podcasts, trying new restaurants, and spending time with his partner and her golden retriever puppy, Finn.