Lynn Thoman’s focus is international business, innovation, health, education, the environment, and scaling social impact. She has worked in business, non-profits and government.
She is a professor at Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs and also founder of 3 Takeaways and Atlas Prize. At Columbia, she teaches on scaling social impact and creating successful public private partnerships.
She founded and hosts 3 Takeaways podcast and online talks, which include short memorable conversations with the world’s best thinkers, business leaders, writers, scientists and other newsmakers. Each episode ends with the 3 key takeaways the leading figure has learned over their career.
She brings great minds and great ideas together through 3 Takeaways and through conversations with leaders. Her conversations with leaders include government leaders (eg. the Secretary of the Treasury, Secretary of Education, Secretary of Energy, Secretary of Homeland Security, Director of the CIA, and Director of National Intelligence); CEOs/Chairmen (Google, JetBlue and Pfizer); civil society leaders (Ford Foundation president); media leaders (New York Times publisher); cultural leaders (Metropolitan Museum CEO); ambassadors (to Russia, Egypt and Israel) and leaders in many other fields.
She founded Atlas Prize to enable businesses and non-profits to innovate faster by using the crowd to innovate. Atlas Prize connects businesses and non-profits with the brightest minds everywhere to solve their challenges.
She has worked in business, non-profits and government. She previously worked at American Express in international marketing, strategic planning and finance. As a Vice President of American Express, she was responsible for setting the direction for marketing for all countries outside the US. She also developed restructuring plans for American Express businesses in the UK, Europe and Asia. In the non-profit sector, she serves on many non-profit boards (see below) and has also variously been co-president and co-chair of the Lowenstein Foundation. She has also served on government committees such as the Secretary of Transportation’s Advisory Committee on Human Trafficking.
Thoman is a member of boards of organizations focused on government and policy (Brookings Institution, Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs, Kennedy School of Government, and Princeton University’s Center for Economic Policy); health (Harvard Global Health Advisory Council); education (Harvard Graduate School of Education); and leadership (Steering Committee of Women in Leadership at Princeton). She is also a member of the ACCION Women’s Network, the New York Academy of Sciences and the Economic Club of New York. She was formerly a member of the Harvard Medical School board and co-chair of the Princeton University School of Public and International Affairs advisory council.
Thoman holds a BA from Princeton and an MBA from Harvard Business School. She has worked in over 40 countries in Europe, Asia and Latin America and has lived in China.