Executive Director of Advancement
Named by President Obama as a Presidential Scholar in the Arts in 2014, Thomas West is a creative artist, entrepreneur, and the Executive Director of Advancement at The Peace Studio – a nonprofit developing artists and journalists who seek to inspire hope and catalyze transformative social change in local communities. Thomas previously served as the organization’s founding Executive Director, helping to scale the organization from its infancy to impacting 300+ artists and journalists across the United States through a wide variety of resource giving and content-based programs in just under 3 years.
Prior to The Peace Studio, Thomas worked as a curator and producer, leading over 40 artists on tours to Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, New Hampshire, California, Connecticut, and in 2019, to Kigali, Rwanda. He also worked in the Office of the President at The Juilliard School and was the Founder and CEO of Collaborative Arts Ensemble, a collective of artists based in
New York City that created innovative concert programming to address social issues like racial injustice and polarization.
Highlights from Thomas’s performance career include a Tanglewood Music Center fellowship, covering Silvio in Pagliacci with Opera San Jose, Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem with the Mississippi Symphony, Bernstein’s Arias and Barcarolles with the Rome Chamber Music Festival in Rome, Italy, the world premiere of Wayne Oquin’s Meditation in Alice Tully Hall and
multiple performances with The New York Festival of Song, Caramoor Center for Music and Arts, and the Chautauqua Institution.
Thomas currently sits on the board of the U.S. Presidential Scholars Foundation, and until February 2023, served as the co-music director for St. Michael’s Episcopal Church in Milton, MA. He holds a BM in Vocal Performance from The Juilliard School. In his free time, Thomas enjoys trying new TV shows and movies, listening to nonprofit leadership podcasts, following the Atlanta Braves, cooking new recipes, and spending time with his wonderful partner, Elaine.