Gillian Thomas joined the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science in 2003 as President and CEO. Before working at Frost Science she was the CEO of @Bristol Science Centre in Bristol, England, leading the team for the award-winning $150 million waterfront Millennium project, which opened in 2000 and contained a science center, environmental center, planetarium, IMAX, art installations and public space. Queen Elizabeth awarded Thomas the honor of an OBE in January, 2000 for her work on @Bristol, which revitalized the city’s downtown heart and has had a substantial economic impact on the surrounding area.
She started her career at the Cite for Science and Industry, la Villette, Paris, and led the Cite des Enfants, before becoming the Director of Eureka! The National Children’s Museum in Halifax, England, where she developed the institution’s educational concept and led its design, development and construction, in turn earning the museum the U.K.’s Visitor Attraction of the Year award. Thomas then went on to be the Assistant Director at the National Museum of Science and Industry in London, she was responsible for new building projects and created a series of galleries.
Thomas received a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Oxford University, followed by a master’s in science education from London University. She has also acted as an international consultant on science center and museum projects for trusts, foundations and governments.