Dr Sebastian Thomas Melbourne VIC, Australia
Dr Sebastian Thomas is a strategic advisor and leading expert on climate change, energy transition, and sustainability with both industry and academia. He has significant experience across sectors including international development, renewable energy, resources and environment, and education. As director of the Sustainability Lab at Melbourne University he delivered award-winning academic teaching, industry consulting, program management, online programs, graduate supervision, and applied interdisciplinary research. Prior to joining the University of Melbourne, Dr Thomas managed a professional Master of Energy Studies program, delivered as a partnership between three of Australia's leading universities. In this role he worked closely with industry partners to develop and deliver a graduate program for executives and senior managers, covering subjects including environmental science and climate change, energy engineering and technologies, economics and finance, policy, and strategic management. Prior to working in education and corporate environmental management in Australia, Sebastian established a successful education and training business in Taiwan, working with communities, local governments, and private businesses on skills development, environmental initiatives, and strategic leadership programs. He is currently an Adjunct Professor at Curtin University, involved with the Heavy Industry Low-carbon Transition (HILT) Cooperative Research Centre bid, and consulting to a range of organisations on carbon and energy management, climate change risk and resilience, curriculum design, and strategic innovation. Dr Thomas is a client-focused strategic thinker, bringing extensive interdisciplinary knowledge and skills to address corporate priorities in an age of technological, environmental, and social disruption. He is able to identify, explain, and respond to the challenges that modern organisations face in the areas of climate change, renewable energy, sustainability transition, carbon economics, and strategic management. He has exceptional networks across the research, industry, and government sectors in Australia and internationally. As well as his substantial business development, stakeholder engagement, and team building experience, Sebastian is a proactive leader committed to collaboration, innovation, and positive work cultures. Dr Thomas' research interests and expertise are in the areas of climate change and environmental disruption, energy transition and carbon markets, the 'blue economy' in the Asia-Pacific region, and organisational innovation for sustainability. He has published extensively in major international journals including Energy Policy, Global Environmental Change, Energy Research and Social Science, Environmental Science and Policy, Ecological Economics, Land Use Policy, Sustainability Science, Futures, Marine Policy, and Environmental Policy and Governance. He applies a range of quantitative and critical conceptual tools in an impact pathway approach to ensure practical, real-world outcomes. He engages with diverse stakeholders and perspectives to build fit-for-purpose projects that are problem-focused and solutions-oriented. Dr Thomas is an elected Board Member of the International Sustainable Development Research Society and winner of the Prime Minister's Australia-Asia Award 2011 and the Wentworth Scholarship 2013. He has consulted to organisations including CSIRO, the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Glencore, Qantas, the Commonwealth, the Pacific Islands Development Forum, Sustainability Victoria, the Aboriginal Carbon Foundation, the UNDP, and others. He is an experienced and transformative sustainability leader and strategic expert, with strengths in business innovation, energy transition, and stakeholder engagement. His unique expertise is integrating complex technical, regulatory, and economic perspectives to support business insights that contribute to positive organisational change and strategic competitive advantage. PROFESSIONAL SKILLS 5 PERSONAL ATTRIBUTES 5 COMPETENCIES 5 AWARDS 5 MEMBERSHIPS, BOARDS, AND COMMITTEES 5 PROFESSIONAL SKILLS Carbon and energy management Climate finance Team leadership Stakeholder engagement Business development Quality assurance Research design Systems thinking and analysis Environment and energy policy Innovation & change management PERSONAL ATTRIBUTES • Leadership with a strong sense of initiative, dedication, and accountability. • Outstanding researcher and communicator with the ability to apply quantitative and qualitative methods and tools in an impact pathways approach. • Strong work ethic, client service focus, and a high degree of professionalism. • Deep commitment to inclusion, diversity, and equity in personal and professional contexts. • Fundamentally focused on individual growth and empowerment of colleagues. • Committed to success of the organisation and the professional development of its team members. COMPETENCIES • Leading expertise in applied sciences including business strategy, environmental management, carbon markets, sustainable development, and climate change mitigation and adaptation. • Significant understanding and application of contemporary business and strategic management issues including sustainability and development, carbon and energy, climate change, and environment. • Excellent track record in leading teams across the education, research, and development sectors. • Exceptional skills in interdisciplinary applied research for impact. • Strong experience in mentorship and building capability. • Conversational language ability in Chinese (Mandarin) and French.