Diana Thomas


As a proven successful executive, Diana Thomas brings decades of experience, expertise and education to her work with business executives, teams and learning leaders to increase their impact, inspire committed followership and engagement, and build strong diverse teams that pull together to achieve winning results.

Thomas began her career as a McDonald’s restaurant crew member in 1979, and rose to become vice president of training, learning and development for McDonald’s USA. In this role, she led all aspects of training and development including the restaurant training curriculum at Hamburger University, McDonald’s global training center of excellence. Her mission was helping to build the pride, culture and business results of McDonald’s USA by focusing on successful, consistent operations training systems and standards for all restaurant managers and crew employees.

Under her leadership, McDonald’s USA was recognized as a LearningElite organization, ranked No. 2 by Chief Learning Officer magazine. Thomas received the magazine’s Norman B. Kamikow Lifetime Achievement Learning Leadership Award in 2014. She is a past recipient of the prestigious McDonald’s President’s Award, representing the top 1 percent of McDonald’s employees; the Golden Arch Partner Award, which honors staff who have committed 25 or more continuous years of service to the company; in addition to numerous regional and team awards.

Thomas is a member of the Association of Talent Development (formerly ASTD), an advisory board member for the American Council on Education, an editorial advisory board member for Chief Learning Officer magazine and a past member of Tri-City Family Services’ Board of Directors. She is a certified Marshall Goldsmith’s Stakeholder Executive and Team Coach. She holds an MBA, a master’s degree in human resources development and business management, and a bachelor’s degree in education and economics.

Thomas is married with two daughters, and enjoys spending time with family, focusing on health and wellness, and lifelong learning.

Related Sessions

Module 5: Challenge Exercise

Rookery Bay

Identify common challenges CLOs face and how to navigate them within their organizations.


Module 2: Making Strategic Decisions

Rookery Bay

Participants will be able to: Recognize your primary learners and methods for effectively delivering learning. Identify types of learning structures and supporting investment and funding models. Effectively incorporate oversight and governance


Case Study: Interviews

Rookery Bay

Interviews with the Chief Medical Officer, Chief Nursing Officer, SVP of Human Resources, Director of Training, and Key Project Sponsor