Chris Thomsen

Executive Director, Stanford Institute for Research in the Social Sciences
Stanford University
Chris Thomsen has been the Executive Director of IRiSS since its founding. Throughout his career, Chris has served Stanford in a variety of functions. He is perhaps most widely recognized for the ten years (1986-1995) he served as director of Stanford Sierra Camp. John Etchemendy, former provost, brought him back to campus to run the President's Commission on Technology, Teaching, and Learning (1995-2000) with an institutional planning focus on understanding how technology should serve the core mission of the University. During a sabbatical leave from the president’s office (1999), he was the Tans Visiting Professor at the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands. Chris briefly left Stanford (2000-2003) to head a biotech startup, serving as co-founder and president of Tao Biosciences, a biopharmaceutical startup, targeting new classes of anti-infective drugs. He returned to Stanford in 2004 to do a planning study for Senior Associate Dean Karen Cook - from which IRiSS emerged.