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Wed, 05.24.1944

R. Roosevelt Thomas, Jr., Administrative Activist born.

R. Roosevelt Thomas Jr.

*R. Roosevelt Thomas, Jr. was born on this date in 1944. He was a Black administration activist and author. 

From Chattanooga, TN, Rufus Roosevelt Thomas, Jr. attended Chattanooga Public Schools and was a 1962 honor graduate of Howard High School. He graduated Summa Cum Laude with a B.A. in Math from Morehouse College. Thomas Jr. received an M.B. A. in Finance at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business Administration. He received his D.B.A. in Organizational Behavior from the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration.

As a member of a small group of American consultants and educators, he envisioned a knowledge-sharing think tank for advancing diversity as a discipline that promotes organizational inclusion. The Diversity Collegium group started meeting in 1991 and included other pioneers like Dr. Price Cobbs. 1984 Dr. Roosevelt Thomas founded the American Institute for Managing Diversity AIMD as a non-profit research and education enterprise. He and his staff developed a reputation as the leading source for managing diversity concepts and strategies.

The team initially focused on workforce diversity. They later expanded their focus to create a diversity framework for addressing general management issues such as change management, functional coordination, integrating multiple lines of business, and acquisitions and mergers. Dr. Thomas, Jr. then founded R. Thomas Consulting & Training, Inc. He was active for over 30 years as a consultant to numerous Fortune 500 companies, corporations, professional firms, government entities, non-profit organizations, and academic institutions.

He also served as a frequent speaker at national conferences and industry seminars. His Harvard Business Review article, 'From Affirmative Action to Affirming Diversity (March-April 1990), alerted Corporate America to the shortcomings of Equal Employment Opportunity in promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace. He authored five books and many articles. Thomas Jr. was dean of the Graduate School of Business Administration at Clark/Atlanta University and assistant professor at the Harvard Business School.          

 Community Service            

He was a Friendship Baptist Church member in Atlanta and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity and Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, Inc. (Boule). Roosevelt Thomas, Jr., a cultural diversity pioneer at the forefront of developing a framework for Diversity Management and innovative strategies for maximizing organizational and individual potential, died on May 17, 2013.

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