Thomas J. Rice

About Thomas J. Rice, Author and Speaker

Thomas J. Rice is Co-founder and former Chairman of the Board of The Interaction Institute for Social Change (IISC), a non-profit organization founded by Interaction Associates — a consulting and training firm based in Cambridge, MA. Since its founding in 1992, IISC’s highly successful mission has been “to promote social justice and bring alive our vision of a just and sustainable world.”

Before joining Interaction Associates in ‘85, Thomas was a Professor of Sociology and Anthropology at Georgetown University and a Research Associate at Harvard University. He was also Visiting Professor and Extern Examiner at the National University of Ireland from 1979-1984.

In addition, he has:

• Post-doctoral training in conflict resolution and sociotechnical systems theory(STS), from George Mason University and UCLA, respectively. 

• Coauthored four sociology textbooks, published over 50 articles, essays, and reviews on leadership, learning, social change, public policy and social inequality. 

• Led over 200 workshops in the U.S., Canada, Serbia, Ireland, U.K., Norway, Sweden, Kenya and Mexico.

Rice is a popular keynote speaker at international and national conferences on a wide range of topics— from community building to social class dynamics.

Since focusing on literary work full-time in 2009, Rice has published several short stories, two novellas, and a memoir about growing up in rural Ireland called, Far from the Land: An Irish Memoir. His first novella, Hard Truths, was selected for inclusion in The Best American Mystery Stories of 2012 by series editor Otto Penzler and guest editor, Robert Crais. His second novella, Carby’s Fate, was published in 2016. His most recent publication is a collection of novellas and short stories called, Rites of Passage: Five Irish Stories (2017). He is currently (2019) collaborating on a screenplay based on his latest novella, Finding The Beggarman.

Born and raised in Ireland, Thomas earned a Bachelor of Science from Cornell University, a Masters from the National University of Ireland(UCD), and a Doctorate from Purdue University. In 1990, he received the “Humanitarian of the Year” award from the Pine Street Inn, shelter for the homeless. In 2002, he received the Adeline Wright Social Justice Award for outstanding community contributions by the Unitarian Universalist congregation in Andover, MA.