Richard L. Thompson joined the Washington, D.C. office of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP in June 2014 as senior counsel in the healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors, following his retirement from Bristol-Myers Squibb Company where he was senior vice president of policy and government affairs. He was vice president for government affairs of the Squibb Corporation from 1983-89 and director of Washington affairs for Abbott Laboratories from 1978-83. Thompson held several senior staff positions in the U.S. House of Representatives, including Republican staff director and Counsel to the Government Operations Committee from 1976-78 and Minority Counsel to the Subcommittee on Intergovernmental Relations and Human Resources and the Committee on Government Operations from 1973-76. A commissioned officer in the U.S. Army Signal Corps from January 1968-December 1969, including service in Vietnam, Thompson is the recipient of the Bronze Star, the Army Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster and the Vietnam Service Medal.
In addition to earning his M.A. in political science from SU’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs in 1967,Thompson received an honorary degree from Syracuse University in 2015. He received a juris doctor from the Columbus School of Law at Catholic University in 1975, and a B.A. (cum laude) in history and political science from SUNY Albany in 1966. He is a member of the American Bar Association and admitted to practice before the District of Columbia Bar Association and U.S. Supreme Court.
Thompson has been involved in numerous civic and charitable activities. He is past chairman of the board of directors of Ford’s Theatre, past chairman of the Governance Committee and member of the Board of Directors of Meridian International Center, a past member of the Federal City Council and has served on the Board of Governors of the Bryce Harlow Foundation.
Thompson is a life trustee and chairman emeritus of the Syracuse University Board of Trustees and serves on the executive committee, advancement and external affairs committee and the athletics committee. He also serves on the University’s Washington, D.C. Advisory Board. He previously served on the advisory boards of the Martin J. Whitman School of Management and Maxwell School. In 2000, Thompson and his wife, C. Jean Thompson ’66, provided significant funding for the Remembrance Scholarships given each year in memory of the 35 SU students killed aboard Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland on December 21, 1988.