Thomas Gittins is President of Gittins & Associates, Inc., a consulting services firm specializing in international programs and projects, special project activities, meetings planning and management, non-profit organizations, international organizations, overseas institutions and corporations.
A graduate of Cornell University, Tom joined the university's administration as assistant director of alumni relations. He then moved on to a career as an insurance broker in Delaware, from which he took a leave of absence to become the associate director and director of the Peace Corps in the Dominican Republic. Following that position, he left the insurance business and returned to Washington, D.C., where he served as chief of operations for the Latin America bureau of the Peace Corps.
Tom left Peace Corps to become Executive Vice President and CEO of Sister Cities International, a private, non-profit national association of U.S. cities and citizen volunteer committees that have sister-city affiliations with cities overseas for the purpose of international professional, educational, cultural, technical, municipal and business exchange. Under his leadership, the program grew to include over 2,000 city linkages throughout the world between U.S. cities and cities in 100 other countries. During his administration, he led the growth and development of the U.S. sister Cities program to the point where it is one of the most highly respected and effective private, community-based, citizen exchange mechanisms anywhere, with a proven track record for innovation and achievement.
He was a founding board member of the International Exchange Association, a consortium of citizen exchange organizations in the U.S.; of the International Leadership Institute for international volunteer leader development; of Fondo Quisqueya, a foundation providing education and training opportunities to needy candidates in the Dominican Republic; and, of Institute 21, a training and education organization focusing on assistance to emerging democracies. He has been a member of advisory committees to President Regan and to President Carter and has served as a public member of the Foreign Service Selection Board.
He is a member of the Advisory Board of the U.S. – Ukraine Foundation, a former member of the Board of trustees of World Learning and a founding member of the Coalition for Citizen Diplomacy.