WASHINGTON, Dec. 13 – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network– Buchanan Ingersoll PC announced today that Ralph C. Thomas has joined the firm’s Washington, D.C., office as special counsel in its Government Contracts Section. Thomas served as the Assistant
Administrator for Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization at NASA for the
last 13 years. Under his direction, NASAs contract awards to small,
minority-owned, disadvantaged, veteran-owned and women-owned businesses rose
to $3.6 billion, a record for the agency.
“Ralph’s practice will focus primarily on small and minority-owned
business issues, and he will help clients resolve the challenges often
involved with federal contracting and subcontracting matters,” said Ron
Perlman, head of Buchanan Ingersoll’s Government Contracts Section. “Our
firm’s existing practices — particularly corporate finance, IP and government
relations — complement Ralph’s experience incredibly well, and will serve as
a natural platform for his practice.”
Having focused his career on small and minority-owned business issues,
Thomas has gained national recognition in the field. This year he was named
“Man of the Year” by Minority Enterprise Advocate Magazine, and his program
received the Frances Perkins Vanguard Award from the U.S. Small Business
Administration. In 2004 he was named “Minority Business Entrepreneur Advocate
of the Year” by Asian Enterprise Magazine. In 2002, he was named “Advocate of
the Year” by the National Association of Small Disadvantaged Businesses. In
2001 and 2000, Ralph received the presidential rank of distinguished executive
and the presidential rank of meritorious executive from Republican President
George W. Bush and Democratic President William Clinton, respectively.
Before joining Buchanan Ingersoll, Thomas headed the Office of Small and
Disadvantaged Business Utilization of the National Aeronautics and Space
Administration (NASA) in Washington, D.C., where he served as a member of
NASA’s senior management team and as the senior advocate for small business
utilization. He was responsible for the supervision and management of the
office in charge of promoting, facilitating and implementing programs and
initiatives designed to integrate small businesses into the competitive base
of contractors from which NASA regularly purchases goods and services. Thomas
also served as executive secretary for the agency’s external advisory
committee on small business matters.
From 1985 to 1992, Thomas served as the executive director of the National
Association of Minority Contractors, where he advocated on behalf of minority-
owned construction firms before lawmaking bodies, government entities and the
media. He supervised and directed the administration of government-funded
training program grants, and testified in Congress more than 20 times on
issues relating to minority-owned construction firms.
From 1980 to 1985, Thomas was a partner in a Washington, D.C.-based law
firm, where he focused his practice on the legal representation of small,
minority- and women-owned businesses in litigation and transactional work. He
began his legal career as an associate in a Washington, D.C.-based firm, where
he concentrated on antitrust litigation.
Thomas is a member of the Senior Executives Association, as well as the
Federal Bar Association, where he serves as chair of Government Contracts
Section’s Committee on Small Business and Socioeconomic Matters. He is a
current member and past chair of the Federal Small Business Directors
He received his J.D. degree from Harvard Law School in 1978. He earned a
B.A. degree from the University of California at Berkeley in 1975, graduating
with honors. Thomas was a staff sergeant in the United States Air Force from
1967 to 1971.
Thomas is admitted to practice before the District of Columbia Court of
Appeals, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, the
United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, the
United States Court of Military Appeals and the United States Supreme Court.
About Buchanan Ingersoll
Buchanan Ingersoll PC (http://www.buchananingersoll.com) is one of the largest
law firms in the nation. The firm has more than 415 attorneys and government
relations professionals practicing throughout the United States, with offices
in Washington, D.C., Alexandria, Philadelphia, Princeton, New York,
Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, Buffalo, Miami, Aventura, Tampa, Wilmington,
Cleveland, San Diego and Silicon Valley.
Thomas is the latest addition to Buchanan Ingersoll in a series of
acquisitions and additions this year. Last month a team of eight litigators
joined the firm in Philadelphia. Additionally, Hill Solutions, a lobbying and
government relations consulting boutique, joined Buchanan in Philadelphia and
Washington, D.C. In June, the attorneys and patent professionals of Burns,
Doane, Swecker & Mathis — an IP boutique with more than 55 attorneys and
patent agents — also merged with Buchanan Ingersoll. Then in April and May,
a team of IP and business litigators joined in San Diego, while a group of
three government relations professionals was added in Washington, D.C.
Additionally, a group of seven high-profile tax and immigration lawyers in
Miami made the move to Buchanan Ingersoll in March. The firm kicked off the
year with the acquisition of the national litigation boutique of Slotnick,
Shapiro & Crocker in New York.
Web Site: http://www.bipc.com