Thomas has always combined academic research and exhibition-making with building organizations that he believes are contributing positively to the world.

He was an early team member at Turquoise Mountain, a charity founded in 2006 by Rory Stewart with the mission of restoring historic areas and reviving artisanal crafts in Afghanistan, and served as Country Director and then Managing Director from 2012 to 2016. Since 2006, Turquoise Mountain has restored over 150 historic buildings, trained over 10,000 artisans, treated over 150,000 patients at its Kabul clinic, and supported and generated close to $20 million in sales of traditional crafts internationally (you can buy Turquoise Mountain products here). He continues to serve on the board of the charity’s trading arm, Turquoise Mountain Trading Ltd.

In 2020 Thomas joined the executive team of Taptap Send – a tech company that is reducing the cost of money transfer for migrants worldwide. Over two years the company grew to move billions of dollars a year in remittances from the US and Europe to Asia and Africa at ultra-low costs for diaspora communities (Dec 2021 Techcrunch article on Taptap Send here). Taptap Send has continued to grow and is today one of the biggest fintech companies serving diaspora communities in the world.

In late 2022, he was one of the first employees at Lightroom, a startup that creates artist-led exhibitions that are beautiful, emotionally resonant, and intellectually absorbing. As part of the leadership team he is responsible for the growth of the business internationally and gets to work with his heroes – like David Hockney (New York Times piece on David’s work with Lightroom here) and Tom Hanks (non-paywall Evening Standard article on Tom Hanks’s show at Lightroom here).