BIO

Tom Gehring was born in Cologne, Germany in 1953, and lived in Germany and France until he came to the United States in 1960. He lived in New Delhi, India for two years in the mid-60s. In 1975, he graduated from Rice University with a double major in Electrical Engineering and Applied Mathematics. After earning his Masters in Electrical Engineering, he was commissioned as an officer in the United States Navy in 1976. 

Following two years of intense training, he served at sea for 18 years on four nuclear-powered attack submarines, two afloat staffs, and a large surface ship. 

As Chief Operating Officer (COO) equivalent of a submarine repair ship – a very large afloat industrial facility - Tom was responsible for the systemic quality and strategic improvements on the flagship for the Navy's Total Quality Leadership program. He created and co-starred in a Navy-wide 30-minute video on leading quality and performance improvement in a shipboard environment. 

In the final tour of a 22-year Navy career, he was in charge of the Pacific Fleet's Quality Improvement Team, teaching and motivating process improvement throughout the Pacific.

After retiring from active duty in 1998, he joined Booz∙Allen∙Hamilton as a senior strategic consultant, working at the boardroom level with high technology military organizations. 

In 2000 and 2001, he was the pro bono lead consultant for the California Medical Association's


Re-engineering Task Force, a two-year project that produced revolutionary changes at one of the largest state medical associations in the United States. 

From 2001 until his retirement in 2015, he excelled as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the San Diego County Medical Society (SDCMS), representing the 8000+ physicians in the 8th largest city in the US. Under his leadership, SDCMS was widely recognized as one of the most innovative and successful medical societies in the United States. Physician membership, the critical measure of organizational health, grew from 1920 members to 2980, when SDCMS became California's largest county medical society. He was deeply involved in health care policy and legislation at the county, state, and federal levels. 

Concurrently, he served as CEO of SDCMS' 501.c.3 Foundation, which brought in more than $3 million in grants and whose flagship program, Project Access San Diego, engineered the delivery of over $11 million in free care by local physicians to San Diegans without health insurance.

Tom served for two years as Chairman of the Board for the San Diego
& Imperial Counties Chapter of the American Red Cross. 

He was chair of his statewide professional association,
the California Medical Executive Committee,
for two years. 

Since 2017, Tom has led the University of California at San Diego's (UCSD) Health Leadership Academy, a year-long, 23-session, 105-hour seminar for top-level health care leaders. 

He teaches intensive one, two, and three-day Socratic seminars on practical and actionable leadership and management for healthcare professionals in the US and overseas. He frequently facilitates strategic planning sessions that rapidly create focused and actionable vision, culture, and strategies.

Tom consults with non-profit boards, using his background as both a successful non-profit CEO and an experienced major non-profit board chair to facilitate strategic progress. 

Over the last six years, he has published a trilogy that presents groundbreaking paradigms connecting leadership, management, and doing - 11 Questions Great Managers Ask & Answer, 23 Truths That Transform Managers To Leaders, and 7 Roles Great Leaders Don't Delegate.

He is a proud member of San Diego's Downtown Rotary Club. Tom is fluent in German and French. 

He lives in Point Loma with his wife of 39 years, Catherine D. Moore, MD, a psychiatrist in private practice. Cathy and Tom have skied, and ridden their tandem bicycle, all over the world. 

Their son Ted graduated from Dartmouth College in 2020 and now works in Washington, DC.