Tom was a Convention refugee living in Palawan Refugee Camp for almost two years in 1981-1983. He resettled in Canada with his aunt. After graduating, Tom chose a life of public service with the Canadian Government, serving on the Boards of the World Bank Group, as an international (refugee) protection executive in 2006-2009, as Canadian chief negotiator for the African Development Bank and Fund in 2010, and as country program director for Vietnam, Indonesia and ASEAN development programs. Tom now works on international issues related to environment, climate change and biodiversity protection.

Tom has an MA in Economics and BBA in Economics and Business Administration from Simon Fraser University. He is a CFA charterholder.