Chris Thomsen has been the Executive Director of IRiSS since its founding. Throughout his career, Chris has served Stanford in a variety of functions. He is perhaps most widely recognized for the ten years (1986-1995) he served as director of Stanford Sierra Camp. John Etchemendy, former provost, brought him back to campus to run the President's Commission on Technology, Teaching, and Learning (1995-2000) with an institutional planning focus on understanding how technology should serve the core mission of the University. During a sabbatical leave from the president’s office (1999), he was the Tans Visiting Professor at the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands. Chris briefly left Stanford (2000-2003) to head a biotech startup, serving as co-founder and president of Tao Biosciences, a biopharmaceutical startup, targeting new classes of anti-infective drugs. He returned to Stanford in 2004 to do a planning study for Senior Associate Dean Karen Cook - from which IRiSS emerged.