G. Thomas Houlihan


School of Education Distinguished Alumni Award (1990)
School of Education


G. Thomas Houlihan is the president and CEO of the Institute for Breakthrough Performance, his own firm specializing in organizational improvement and leadership in education with clients in foundations, private industry, and state and local school systems. Prior to establishing his firm, Houlihan was the executive director of the Council of Chief State School Officers from 2001 to 2006 and the president/CEO of the North Carolina Partnership for Excellence. He also has been part of Governor James Hunt, Jr.'s cabinet as the Senior Education Advisor.

His educational career includes posts as a teacher, high school principal, and superintendent of Graville County, NC. He has been selected as the Superintendent of the Year in North Carolina and was one of four finalists for the National Superintendent of the Year Award. Houlihan holds degrees from Indiana University, NC State University, and UNC at Chapel Hill.