Thomas Cleary

Thomas Cleary
Phone: (619) 260-4297
Office: Degheri Alumni Center 233

Senior Director, Community and Government Relations

Thomas Cleary is liaison to elected officials, government agencies, neighbors, local community organizations and education associations for the university. He represents the university on community boards and works with state and national associations as well as coalitions on legislative issues that affect higher education policy and regulations. In his capacity as the public representative of the university, Tom serves as an ombudsman for those with concerns over noise, traffic and other campus-related activities. He assists with the planning and implementation of public relations strategies and policy initiatives. 

The Office of Community and Government Relations also manages the USD Speakers Bureau, a free community service that connects off-campus organizations with outstanding authorities from the university faculty and staff on a variety of subjects.

Tom is a five-term executive board member of the Linda Vista Town Council and currently serves as president. He is a former nine-year member of the Linda Vista Planning Board (which advises the city on local land use matters) including three terms as chair and two terms as vice-chair. Tom has previously served as chair of the Linda Vista Collaborative (a network of local social service providers) and has participated with numerous civic or charity organizations in the region.

Prior to joining USD in 2004, Tom served on the staff of various elected officials in Congress, California State Assembly and the San Diego City Council over a 20-year period, plus several years in the private sector as a public relations consultant. He holds a BA in political science from San Diego State University and has been a guest lecturer on the intricacies of lobbying public officials.