UMES alum to deliver spring 2016 commencement address
PRINCESS ANNE, MD. – (April 26, 2016) – Gregory A. Thomas, a nationally known criminal justice and public safety executive, will be the University of Maryland Eastern Shore’s spring 2016 commencement speaker.
Thomas, who graduated from UMES in 1982, will be the second alumnus to deliver a spring commencement address at his alma mater in the post-World War II era. Dr. Earl S. Richardson, class of 1965 and former president of Morgan State University, was the first.
Two respected Maryland health educators – Dr. Daniel M. Ashby and Dr. Claudia Baquet – will receive honorary degrees during May 20 graduation exercises in the William P. Hytche Athletic Center.
Thomas is Senior Executive for Law Enforcement Operations for the Kings County (N.Y.) district attorney, the nation’s third-largest public prosecutor’s office. He advises the Kings County district attorney and his executive staff on criminal justice and law enforcement policy and procedures, and is principal liaison to the New York City Police Department as well as local, state and federal law enforcement agencies conducting major investigations and operational matters.
He currently serves as president of the international 3,000-member National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives and is also a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police and of the American Society of Industrial Security.
Thomas has nearly three decades of experience working in various public safety fields, including assistant commissioner of the New York Fire Department and executive director of the school safety division for New York City public schools.
Thomas is among the nation’s top emergency management and school-safety experts, and author or co-author of several books, including a Random House publication, “Freedom from Fear: A Guide to Safety, Preparedness and the Threat of Terrorism.”
He has been interviewed by the New York Times, USA Today and U.S. News & World Report and has appeared on news broadcasts by the BBC, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC and NPR.
Thomas earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from UMES, where he also was a record-setting sprinter on the track team. He is the inaugural recipient of the university’s “Young Alumni” award and was elected to the UMES Athletics Hall of Fame. He also holds a master’s degree in criminal justice from Long Island University’s campus in his native Brooklyn.
Thomas’ wife, Kim Royster, is an Assistant Chief of the New York City Police Department, the top-ranking black woman in department history.
UMES Office of Public Relations, (410) 621-2355