Thomas P. Lyon holds the Dow Chair of Sustainable Science, Technology and Commerce at the University of Michigan, with appointments in both the Ross School of Business and the School for Environment and Sustainability. He is Faculty Director of the Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise at the University of Michigan, and past President of the Alliance for Research on Corporate Sustainability (ARCS).
Professor Lyon is an economist and a leading light in corporate sustainability, both for the lines of research he has opened up and the organizations he has led that create professional
opportunities in the corporate sustainability space. He has written path-breaking papers on self-regulation, regulatory preemption, voluntary environmental programs, greenwashing, astroturfing, and corporate political responsibility, and has been cited more than 10,000 times. As President of ARCS, he created new avenues for scholarly success in the area of corporate sustainability, and helped numerous emerging scholars secure tenured positions in this field; he also hosted the very first ARCS conference in 2009. As Director of Michigan's Erb Institute, he has helped hundreds of MBA students find career paths that combine business success with their passion for protecting the natural environment. He coined the term Corporate Political Responsibility in the award-winning article “CSR Needs CPR: Corporate Sustainability and Politics,” and created a CPR Taskforce at the Erb Institute that is bringing this idea into the world of business practice.
Professor Lyon has won numerous awards for his research. In 2022, he won the Distinguished Scholar Award, Organizations and the Natural Environment division, Academy of Management, as well as the Senior Faculty Research Award from the Ross School of Business. He has testified before Congress, and given keynote addresses at academic conferences from California to Texas to Paris. He has been a visiting scholar at Stanford University, the University of Chicago, the University of Paris, the University of Pisa, Georgetown University, Resources for the Future, and the University of Los Andes. He has brought in over $3 million of funding from the National Science Foundation, the Alcoa Foundation, and the Environmental Protection Agency. He earned his BSE from Princeton University, and MS and PhD degrees from Stanford University.