Thao Thompson
Thao Thompson is now the chief administrative officer and assistant dean for administration at UC Berkeley's newest college. (Photo/ Kayla Sim/ UC Berkeley College of Computing, Data Science, and Society)

Thao Thompson has recently been appointed chief administrative officer and assistant dean for administration at UC Berkeley’s College of Computing, Data Science, and Society (CDSS). She started in the role on Oct. 9.

Thompson will lead CDSS administration by providing guidance and decision-making on behalf of the college in matters related to strategic planning, policy development, resources, and organizational and program development. 

Thompson’s role includes advising CDSS Dean Jennifer Chayes and managing staff in administrative functions that support the college, including finance, human resources, and office and facilities management. She will work closely with the dean and other college leaders, including faculty in associate dean, department chair, and faculty director roles, and staff leads in development and external relations, communications, education programs, strategic partnerships, interdisciplinary initiatives, and diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging and justice.

She joined Berkeley five months after CDSS became the first new college at the university in more than 50 years, with the organizational mission to create accessible and equitable educational opportunities and catalyze groundbreaking research in computing, data science and statistics in order to meet society’s greatest challenges. 

Thompson will work with faculty and staff in the college and partners across campus to develop organizational structure and collaboration with the college’s core units – including the Data Science Undergraduate Studies program, the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences (shared with the College of Engineering), the Department of Statistics, the Berkeley Institute for Data Science, the Center for Computational Biology, the Bakar Institute of Digital Materials for the Planet, and the Computational Precision Health program (shared with UC San Francisco). 

“We are delighted to welcome Thao Thompson to our leadership team,” said Jennifer Chayes, dean of CDSS. “Her considerable strengths in strategic planning, administrative operations and project management will serve the college and Berkeley well.”

Thompson received a master’s degree in public affairs from the Goldman School of Public Policy at Berkeley in May, and she holds a master’s of business administration from American University and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from George Washington University. She has more than two decades of professional experience in administration at government agencies, most recently as deputy chief administrative officer and senior project manager at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). She led strategic planning and business operations at CFPB, including managing the operational budget, strategic partnerships and communications, human resources and training, procurement, policies and procedures, external audits, and staff leadership. Prior to CFPB, Thompson worked at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Office of Regulatory Affairs as acting director of the project management office. She had previously served as chief of staff and special assistant for the FDA Office of Regulatory Affairs. A veteran of the U.S. Marine Corp., Thompson is a senior fellow with the Partnership for Public Service.