Dr Thomas Owen-Smith



Tom helps leaders navigate complex environments. He specialises in strategy and planning; structured approaches to transformation, change and organisation design; and holistic solutions for complex problems and whole-institution questions such as sustainability and external impact.

Tom joined SUMS in 2022 from King’s College London’s Directorate of Strategy, Planning & Analytics, where he developed high-value strategy and transformation initiatives across the university. Examples include the university’s five-year corporate strategy, a refresh of the planning framework, a strategy and change programme for the student finance portfolio, and a university climate strategy for net zero carbon and maximising societal impacts to mitigate climate change. In earlier roles in King’s Business School and the School of Global Affairs, he also worked closely with the university’s faculties.

Previously, Tom worked in academia, and the development and media sectors in the UK, India and Nepal. After completing his BA in Modern Languages at the University of Oxford, he took his postgraduate studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) and completed his PhD in Linguistics there in 2014.

Tom is a qualified Practitioner in PRINCE2 (project management), MSP (programme management) and MoP (portfolio management); and has a mini-MBA from LSE with a focus on strategy and finance.

Speaking nine languages and with a GDip in International Relations, Tom is a strong believer in the international mission of universities and their critical role in human development. He is also passionate about a sustainable future and helping people to achieve their potential through mentoring and coaching.

Connect with Tom on LinkedIn here.