A social worker by training and an advocate by trade, Tom brings a unique perspective to his work as a public policy strategist in Washington, DC, where The Hill newspaper has called him “A powerbroker for those without a voice.” Tom was named a ‘top lobbyist of 2012’ by The Hill, described as “a bulwark against proposed budget cuts that could hurt several social service nonprofits.” Tom is a sought after speaker, trainer, writer and prominent voice on advocacy and social change. Tom began his career at the National Association of Social Workers and the Child Welfare League before joining the AIDS Action Council in the late 1980s, quickly becoming the influential leader in establishing the nation’s first AIDS lobby, which eventually would involve more than 140 national organizations. He was the chief architect and strategist on the enactment of landmark legislation for the HIV/AIDS community, including the Ryan White CARE Act, as well as the chair of the lobby effort on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
In 1991, Tom founded The Sheridan Group where he and his team craft effective strategies for socially responsible public policy initiatives. Tom has developed a particular reputation for anticipating moments of significant opportunity and developing the creative public policy strategies necessary to capitalize on those moments. From the millions of lives saved by the successful advocacy of Bono’s ONE Campaign to the promotion of new financing mechanisms, such as the Social Innovation Fund, for social problem solving, Tom has catalyzed and provided the lead strategic counsel for some of the boldest and most effective public policy campaigns of the last two decades.