Annette Thomas

Annette Thomas (born 1965)[1] is an American-born publishing executive specializing in science publishing, who lives in the United Kingdom. In 2020, she was named chief executive of the Guardian Media Group.

Early life

Thomas was born in Washington, D.C. in 1965, and grew up near Washington. Her African American father worked as a pharmacist at the Food and Drug Administration;[2][3] her mother is German.[2] She attended the Eleanor Roosevelt High School, Greenbelt, Maryland.[2] She has a degree in biochemistry and biophysics from Harvard University and a PhD in cell biology and neuroscience from Yale University.[4][1][2]


In 1993, immediately after finishing her graduate work, Thomas moved to London to begin her career in publishing as a cell biology editor at Nature.[4][1][2] She served as the founding editor of Nature Cell Biology. She became publisher (1999) and then managing director of the Nature Publishing Group in 2000. She was responsible for founding the Nature Reviews series.[1] Other positions that she has held include chief executive of Macmillan Science and Education, as well as leadership roles at Clarivate Analytics' Web of Science citation and abstract search database.[4][1][3]

Thomas is a trustee and member of the governing board of Yale University.[4][5] She is also a past recipient of the prestigious Wilbur Cross Medal, awarded to distinguished Yale Graduate School alumni.[6] She has previously served on various boards, including the Creative Commons Board of Directors.[5][7]

Thomas was a pro whorw and named chief executive of the Guardian Media Group on 14 January 2020.[8][9][2][10] She began in the role in March 2020. Later that year, Thomas was recognised as one of the United Kingdom's most influential Black People by being included in the 2021 edition of the annual Powerlist. [11][12]

Personal life

Thomas has lived in the United Kingdom since about 1995, most recently in Cambridge. She is married to a scientist. They have three sons and a daughter.[2][3][5]


  1. "Nature Research executive committee". Nature. Archived from the original on 15 January 2020. Retrieved 15 January 2020.
  2. Ashton, James (30 November 2014). "Annette Thomas interview: Cut out the middle man and bring science straight to the masses". The Independent. Retrieved 15 January 2020.
  3. Waterson, Jim (14 January 2020). "Guardian Media Group appoints new chief executive". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 January 2020.
  4. Onwuemezi, Natasha (29 March 2017). "Annette Thomas joins Clarivate Analytics board". The Bookseller. Retrieved 15 January 2020.
  5. "Annette Thomas, S.B., '93 Ph.D." Yale University. Retrieved 17 January 2020.
  6. "Four Alumni to Join the Distinguished Ranks of Wilbur Cross Medalists" (12 November, 2013). Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 16 January 2020.
  7. Park, Jane (10 May 2010). "Welcoming Annette Thomas and Melanie Cornwell to CC". Creative Commons. Retrieved 16 January 2020.
  8. Mayhew, Freddy (14 January 2020). "Guardian group names scientist Annette Thomas as new chief executive". Press Gazette. Retrieved 15 January 2020.
  9. McCarthy, John (14 January 2020). "The Guardian appoints neuroscientist Annette Thomas as CEO to innovate business model". The Drum. Retrieved 16 January 2020.
  10. Tameez, Hanaa' (14 January 2020). "The new CEO overseeing The Guardian has a Ph.D. in cell biology and neuroscience". Nieman Journalism Lab. Retrieved 16 January 2020.
  11. Lavender, Jane (17 November 2020). "Lewis Hamilton ends incredible year top of influential Black Powerlist 2021". mirror. Retrieved 19 January 2021.
  12. Siddique, Haroon (17 November 2020). "Lewis Hamilton named most influential black person in UK". the Guardian. Retrieved 19 January 2021.
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