Thomas Wade Jones came to Cornell University in 1965, at a time when the university, under the leadership of President James A. Perkins, was undertaking a successful effort to increase the enrollment of black students. Mr. Jones was elected freshman class president, was a member of the student judicial board, and was a student-government activist before becoming involved in the controversial takeover of Willard Straight Hall in 1969. Though personally conflicted about the decision to occupy the student union, he believed in the importance of solidarity and became the spokesman for the takeover group, addressing an audience of thousands at Barton Hall two days after the peaceful resolution of the takeover.
Mr. Jones remained at Cornell for the completion of his bachelor’s degree in government in 1969 and his master’s degree in regional planning in 1972. While most of the students who led the Willard Straight confrontation left Cornell shortly thereafter, Mr. Jones continued studying for his master’s degree and worked to make the Africana Studies and Research Center at Cornell a reality. He led the efforts to write the proposal for the program and was one of the first students to approach Professor James E. Turner about becoming the center’s first director.
Mr. Jones is founder and principal of TWJ Capital LLC, a private equity investment firm located in Stamford, Connecticut. Mr. Jones was chairman and chief executive officer of Global Investment Management at Citigroup from 1999 to 2004, and also served as chairman and chief executive officer of Citigroup Asset Management. Mr. Jones joined Travelers Group as vice chairman and director in 1997 and served as chairman and chief executive officer of Salomon Smith Barney Asset Management. Prior to joining Travelers Group, Mr. Jones was vice chairman and director of TIAA-CREF from 1989 to 1995 and president and chief operating officer from 1993-1997. From 1989-1993 he served as executive vice president of finance and planning and chief financial officer of TIAA-CREF.
From 1982-1989 Mr. Jones was senior vice president and treasurer of the John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Company in Boston. He spent the previous eleven years in public accounting and management consulting, primarily with Arthur Young & Company in Boston. During this time, Mr. Jones became a certified public accountant and earned an MBA from Boston University.