About Us

Ian Thomas

Ian ThomasIan Thomas, PhD

State and Local Program Director

ian [at] americawalks.org


Ian Thomas is a veteran of the walkable communities movement. He served on the America Walks Board of Directors for seven years, until his appointment as our State and Local Program Director in September, 2014.

In 2000, he co-founded the PedNet Coalition of Columbia MO, and led the organization as its Executive Director for 13 years. Among several accomplishments, he coordinated the campaign to pass Columbia’s Complete Streets policy in 2004 – one of the earliest such policies in the U.S. In 2013, Ian was elected to the Columbia City Council, where he launched several new initiatives to expand healthy community policies, including an effort to expand the city’s bus system. He is a member of Smart Growth America’s Local Leaders Council.

Ian will bring his combined experience as an advocate and as an elected policymaker to his new role. When appointed to this new position, he commented, “I am looking forward to working with public health and transportation officials to find the common ground and develop policies that will ensure all citizens can travel through their communities safely and affordably.” A former school teacher and educational media producer, Ian will also lead the expansion of America Walks’ online learning series that will support the work of walkability advocates across the county.

Ian and his wife, Ellen, a pediatrician, live in Columbia with their son, Jack, recently graduated from high school. Their daughter, Emily, is a college sophomore.