J Thomas (J T.) Forbes has over 25 years of extensive policy and alumni relations fundraising experience. He serves as Chief Executive Officer of the Indiana University Alumni Association, which brings alumni together in support of the University and one another through an integrated, marketing-orientated, data-driven engagement strategy. He also serves as counsel to the President of the University, and he is on the senior management team of the Indiana University Foundation.
Prior to his current role at Indiana, J T. served as a director of government relations for Cummins, Inc. and as a private sector staff lead for the U.S. - Brazil CEO Forum chartered by the governments of these two nations.
Previously, he served as Associate Vice President for Public Affairs at Indiana University. J T. was primary state government relations officer, and promoted to lead executive for marketing and creative services areas, a position in which he led the consolidation of government relations, marketing, communications, public relations, and creative services units. His primary responsibility was raising general capital and operating appropriations and leading legislative initiatives to expand life sciences research and medical education.
Earlier in his career, J T. served as the Assistant Vice President for University Relations at Michigan State University, where he expanded marketing services programs and served as communications counsel to the President, Provost, and executive leadership team.
His institutional advancement career started as a research associate for Robert Payton at an academic center that recently became the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University.
He volunteers professionally as a faculty member of the CASE Summer Institute in Alumni Relations and Commission on Alumni Relations, offering best practices, approaches, and initiatives for a variety of institutions and alumni populations and programs.
J T. holds a master’s degree in public administration with a nonprofit management concentration from Indiana University Indianapolis, and a bachelor’s degree in political science from Indiana University Bloomington. While he was a graduate student, he served as Trustee of Indiana University.