LWI News

Leonard Wood Institute and Sustainable Ozarks Partnership announce new executive director

by Erin Kaberline | May 06, 2016

On Thursday, April 21, the Leonard Wood Institute board of directors approved Kent Thomas as their new executive director, and as executive director of the Sustainable Ozarks Partnership.

Thomas retired from the United States Army in 1998 after serving for 24 years. He repeatedly held senior leadership positions, including the garrison commander position at Fort Riley, Ks and has worked for almost 18 years within the Missouri State University system.

Thomas entered the Army with a bachelor’s degree in International Relations from Georgetown University. Additionally, he earned a Master of Science in Industrial Relations (Human Resources, Business, Marketing) from Purdue University and a Master of Military Arts and Science (Theater Operations) from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, School of Advanced Military Studies. Thomas is also a graduate of the United States Army War College.

Upon retirement, Thomas was hired by Southwest Missouri State University as the vice president for administrative services. He was continuously promoted and depended upon to champion new programs and advancements within the Missouri State University system. Thomas has served on the Missouri Military Preparedness and Enhancement Commission and was selected to be part of the Leadership Springfield program.

“I am excited about what the organization is doing and am confident I can provide the energy, leadership, organizational ability, vision, and community outreach that is necessary as executive director,” said Thomas.

Thomas will replace current Leonard Wood Institute executive director Joe Driskill who has been appointed by Governor Jay Nixon to be the first military advocate for the state of Missouri. Thomas will start with LWI and SOP on June 1, 2016.