Meet André Thomas ’06, United States Marine Corps veteran and the first African-American male elected to the position of co-chair of NYC Pride

In this LGBTQ+ Pride Month Alumni Identity Spotlight, Thomas shares how he fully embraced his identity after his time at Yale and encourages fellow Yalies to explore life with open arms. 

This feature is part of a series focused on amplifying the voices of alumni who are making an impact today and illuminating how the identities we bring to Yale transform both our community and the world. 

What is your most enduring memory of your time at Yale?

My most enduring memory at Yale was the time connecting with friends, especially working in theater, notably Dramat productions. Seeing ideas come to fruition in reality is something that informs the work I do at NYC Pride, where the ideas my team creates become something that is experienced by millions over a few days.

How has your identity shaped your Yale experience?

I was in the military during Yale, and served during “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” – I wasn't able to fully embrace who I was then. Now I can look back at that experience and be a fully realized version of who I was meant to be to those same friends at Yale who I had to hold parts of myself back from.

What is your hope for the future of the Yale alumni community?

That it continues to reflect the diversity of the world, and that the ideal of service Yale instills within us carries over into our adult world.

What advice would you give to fellow or future Yalies? 

We have so many options given to us at Yale, but when we enter true adulthood, we can close ourselves off to those worlds. It's important to keep yourself open to new ideas and experiences so you can continue to experience everything life has to offer.


Born in Trinidad and Tobago, André has spent years working behind the scenes starting from a performance arts middle school to running lights and runway shows in high school.

A decorated United States Marine Corps veteran with multiple deployments, he honed his production skills serving as the Production Officer of the Yale Dramatic Association, the country's second oldest college theater organization, Yale School of Drama and Repertory productions, and production training at Florida International University and YSD.

Prior to moving to New York City, he kept active in Washington, D.C., captaining varied Stonewall Sports teams and running events for the Stonewall National Sports Tournament. He produced events for Capital Pride, including the Sunset Dance Party, and served as the Head of Production/Treasurer on the Board of the CHERRY Fund, the longest running charity dance event in the nation devoted to HIV and mental health/suicide prevention. At Heritage of Pride, he served as the Volunteer Captain for PrideFest, the largest LGBTQIA+ street festival in the world, and Director of Pride Island, which celebrated its 35th anniversary in 2021. Now, as the first African-American male elected to the position of Co-Chair, he is excited to shepherd the organization that serves as the stewards of the Pride movement.

Outside of his work in Pride, he has spent his professional career working in clinical research, from conducting fMRI based addiction research at Hartford Hospital, to work at various clinical research organizations in both pharmaceuticals and medical devices. After time at the Food and Drug Administration helping to create a pathway for research into tobacco and related products at the Center for Tobacco Products, he returned to private industry and now serves as the Director of Operations (US) at IQVIA MedTech, the largest global provider of clinical research services in the world.

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