Tom Abate

San Leandro, CA
510-798-0483 ▪ tom (at) tomabate (dot) com


Associate Director of Communications – Stanford Engineering
July 2013 to present

    The School of Engineering (SOE) consists of nine departments and several research units. Known as the nucleus of Silicon Valley, its practice of building partnerships between researchers and startup firms has been emulated worldwide. Tom will write about the work of the faculty, graduate students and labs; translate their discoveries into lay language; promote the school through social media; seek mass media coverage of notable achievements; and support the school’s fundraising efforts.

Editor – San Leandro, September 2011 to July 2013

    Tom ran a news and community website that was part of Patch, a startup within AOL. Patch was a network of local websites that combined the ethos of the small-town paper with the interactivity enabled by web, mobile and social media. As editor, Tom covered local news and community events and cultivated audience participation.

Editor – North Coast Journal, February to April 2011

    Tom briefly returned as editor of the newspaper he co-founded in 1989. In the six weekly editions produced during his tenure, he broke three stories (on an Indian gaming device, record salmon runs and a rail-to-trail plan); helped a veteran freelancer focus an investigative story; and developed a promising young freelancer.

Staff Writer & Columnist – San Francisco Chronicle,
April 1997 to January 2011

    Tom covered technology, biotechnology, economics and science. Nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in 2000 and 2002, he covered economics during the 2004 and 2008 presidential races. His high-tech and biotech columns and insightful coverage of globalization made him a respected voice in Silicon Valley.

Staff Writer & Columnist – San Francisco Examiner, June 1992 to April 1997

    Hired to fill a temporary vacancy on the science desk, Tom started work a day early when an earthquake struck. His performance won him a permanent job as a business reporter, covering the rise of the World Wide Web and the emergence of the Pacific Rim economies.

Freelance Writer – Brooklyn, August 1990 to June 1992

    While attending graduate school in journalism at Columbia University Tom did market research and wrote articles for BioScience, The Scientist, Christian Science Monitor, Portland Oregonian, Detroit News and San Francisco Examiner.

Co-founder, North Coast Journal – Eureka, California, 1989 to 1990

    With his wife as business partner, Tom started an alternative monthly newspaper to cover the politics, people and art of Humboldt County, California. The partners sold the Journal so Tom could pursue a graduate degree in journalism at Columbia University. The Journal continued in publication under its new owners who transformed it from a monthly into a weekly.

Freelance Writer – Bayside, California, 1985 to 1989

    Tom published magazine articles, had columns in local newspapers and wrote a novel. As a freelance market researcher for RCM Capital Management, an investment firm in San Francisco, Tom covered a wide range of industry sectors including computing, transportation and raw materials.

Co-Founder, Typesetting & Publishing Firm – Eureka, California,
1980 to 1990

    With his wife as partner, Tom established a pre-press shop that typeset books for small press publishers nationwide. Their firm, Pioneer Graphics, was the first pre-press shop to use labor-saving software that allowed typesetting equipment to “read” electronic manuscripts. They sold the business in 1990 but it has since gone defunct.

Editor & Reporter, Daily Californian – Berkeley, California, 1978 to 1980

    Tom was elected editor-in-chief and president of an independent, student-run daily when it was near bankruptcy. He hired the business manager who led the financial turnaround. Tom personally broke a story on the H-bomb “secret” that briefly put him and the student paper in the national news spotlight.

Journalist & Public Relations Officer, USS Flint (AE-32) – 1974 to 1978

    Tom started a closed-circuit television station aboard a ship in the Far East. He also ran a closed-circuit radio station, training crewmen to serve as disk jockeys. He volunteered for active duty and attained the rank of petty officer second class.


Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism – Masters, May 1991

    Tom focused on science writing. One of three top graduates in his class, he won a Pulitzer Traveling Fellowship. He journeyed to the Philippines and wrote about politics, science, the environment and the after effects of U.S. base closures.

University of California, Berkeley – Bachelors in Political Science, June 1980

    Tom minored in Mandarin and earned Phi Beta Kappa honors.

Defense Information School – Distinguished Honor Graduate,
November 1974

    This Navy, Army, Air Force and Marines training program prepares enlisted personnel to run print and/or broadcast media to inform and entertain troops abroad, and to serve as military spokespersons.

Regis High School, Manhattan – June 1972

    This is a Jesuit school for boys who are chosen through a city-wide competitive exam to attend on a fully-paid, four-year scholarship.

Teaching Experience

Lecturer, University of California Extension, San Francisco – 2005 to 2010

    Tom taught feature writing and news writing classes though this prestigious adult-education program. He also planned a workshop on blogging.

Lecturer, College of the Redwoods, Eureka, California – 1989 to 1990

    Tom taught entry-level journalism and served as moderator of student-run campus newspaper.

Other Accomplishments

– Author of The Biotech Investor, an investment guide published by Times Books
– Experienced in business planning, operations, leadership, sales, cash flow and hiring
– Veteran of multiple startups and turnarounds in for-profit and non-profit settings
– Resourceful, determined, energetic, principled and hardworking

For references contact tom (dot) abate (at) gmail (dot) com

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