Vice Chair, Elected: 2017
Elected to the Board: 2008
Michael Thonis is co-founder and retired senior advisor of Charlesbank Capital Partners, a private equity firm. Prior to co-founding Charlesbank in 1991, he began his endowment management career at Harvard Management Company in 1979 as director of research. Before Harvard, he worked with Bain & Company as a consultant.
Thonis, who has a range of outdoor interests including earth sciences and mountaineering, earned a bachelor’s degree in geology from Syracuse University’s College of Arts and Sciences in 1972; an M.S. in geology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1974; and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, two years later.
Thonis is a Vice Chair of the Board through early May 2021. He serves on the Board Executive and the Board Organization and Nominating Committees as well as the Audit and Risk, Advancement and External Affairs, and Investment and Endowment Committees. Thonis is a Tri-Chair of the National Campaign Council Executive Committee. He was Chair of the Audit Committee from 2015-19 and Chair of the Investment and Endowment Committee from 2011-15 and Co-Chair 2015-16. Thonis served on the Invest Syracuse and Volunteer Boards Ad Hoc Workgroups. In 2015, he received the Dritz Trustee of the Year Award for outstanding Board service. His Syracuse University service includes membership on the Boston Regional Council and College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Advisory Board.
He and his wife, Susan Thonis, have provided the lead gifts for the establishment of two Thonis Family Professorships in Earth Sciences and the Thonis Family Earth Science Scholarship endowment. They have generously supported other initiatives in Arts and Sciences, the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, and alumni affairs.
Updated: December 15, 2020