Thomas Dans is a Visiting Fellow in The Heritage Foundation’s Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign Policy Studies focusing on Ukraine’s post-war reconstruction. He is an expert on international finance and investment with three decades of successful experience in Eurasia and the Arctic. Dans’ writings and commentary have been featured in The Wall Street Journal, The Hill, and Newsweek in addition to multiple TV, radio, and podcast outlets.
Dans’ career includes roles at leading investment firms including Merrill Lynch, Allen & Company, Evercore Partners and The U.S. Russia Investment Fund prior to starting his own effort, Grand River Capital. He has invested across multiple industries including food and agribusiness, media and telecom, oil and gas, shipping, and real estate. Dans has also co-founded several successful ventures, including one of the world’s largest producers and processors of pecans.
During COVID, Dans left the private sector to aid the emergency response at U.S. Treasury, where he served as Counselor to the Under Secretary for International Affairs, the Department’s second highest ranking international official. For his contributions in executing the $3 trillion largest ever financial rescue, he was twice awarded the Secretary’s Honor Award. President Trump later appointed Dans as a Commissioner of the U.S. Arctic Research Commission, an independent agency that develops U.S. Arctic policy and advises the President and Congress on Arctic affairs.
Dans graduated with honors from Brown University, where he concentrated in Slavic Studies and U.S. History. While an undergraduate, he studied abroad in the Soviet Union as an exchange student at the Moscow Energy Institute. In 2015, he completed a fellowship year at Harvard University under its Advanced Leadership Initiative. Dans is a CFA Charterholder, the highest professional designation in the investment management industry. He is a third generation Hispanic American and the first generation raised in English and in a home with hot running water. He speaks five languages including Russian, Spanish, Italian, and French and has lived, worked, and traveled in over 40 countries.