Ronald Thomas, AICP is the Executive Director Chicago Region (2000-present) of the Northeastern Illinois Planning Commission. NIPC provides regional planning for the six-county Chicago region and its 250-plus jurisdictions and local governments. Currently an adjunct professor in the Chicago Planning Department of the University of Illinois, Thomas was previously a senior consultant for McKeever-Morris, a national planning firm located in Portland, Oregon.

With a planning career spanning over three decades, Thomas' work can be broadly grouped into several areas: Sustainable regional, urban and neighborhood planning; integrated land use, transportation and development projects; participatory and Interactive Arts and Cultural Projects; team-based organizational development, management and training activities; national planning; and design program development.

Thomas has written and lectured extensively on these topics, including publications for the American Planning Association as well as a chapter contributor to Urban Sprawl: A Comprehensive Reference, co-author of Sustainable Development Report on Land Use for the Great Lakes Collaboration, Cities by Design for the National Endowment for the Arts and Design for Low Income Neighborhoods for the National League of Cities.

Thomas won the 2002 APA Plan of the Year Award for the Chicago Wilderness Biodiversity Recovery Plan and the 2006 APA Plan of the Year Award for the 2040 Regional Framework Plan.