John Thomas received a Bachelor of Engineering from the Royal Military College, a Master of Science in Naval Architecture from University College in London, England, a Masters in Business Administration at the University of Ottawa and he is also a Certified Management Accountant
John retired from the navy in 1980 and joined the Public Service in the Office of the Comptroller General of Canada. He continued his career as Comptroller for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans before he moved to Correctional Service Canada as Assistant Commissioner, Corporate Management. In 1993 John was appointed Commissioner of the Canadian Coast Guard and in April 1995, assumed responsibility for the integration of Canadian Coast Guard with Fisheries and Oceans.
On March 18, 1997, John left the public service and assumed the position of President of Saint John Shipbuilding Limited, Halifax Shipyard Limited and four other affiliated companies. He moved the companies from military to commercial construction, centralized support services, built an integrated logistic support capability for the Navy and integrated all of the companies under one umbrella company Irving Shipbuilding.
In 1999, John established JFT Management Consulting Inc. He has been providing consulting services in the areas of results-based management and budgeting, risk management, performance management, organizational development and quality management.
John has a strategic alliance with the National Quality Institute for delivering services and also is a Director-at-Large of the Canadian Public Sector Quality Association.