Tom Erickson

Position title: Founding Director


Tom is the founding director of the School of Computer, Data & Information Sciences (CDIS) and the executive associate dean of strategy and innovation for the College of Letters & Science at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

In addition to serving on UW–Madison Chancellor Emerita Rebecca Blank’s advisory council, Tom co-chaired a working group on the future of computing at the university in 2018. He co-authored the group’s report “Wisconsin in the Information Age.” This led to the formation of CDIS in 2019, which brought together the top ranked departments of Computer Sciences, Statistics and the Information School.

Tom serves on the boards of emerging tech companies in North America and Europe in the areas of data science, analytics, and digital health.

Before returning to his alma mater, Tom was a founding director and CEO of Acquia, a Boston-based software company that he grew from founding to $175M in revenue and 800 employees. A majority share of Acquia was acquired in 2019 by Vista Equity Partners for more than $1B. In 2012, Deloitte named Acquia the fastest-growing private software company in the USA.

During his 40-year career, Tom has also served in several executive roles in software companies, including Teleatlas (TomTom), Systinet (Mercury Interactive/HP), webMethods (Software AG), Baan (Infor), and MRO Software (IBM).

Tom is passionate about opportunity, equality, and education. He loves the outdoors and hates room service. A native of western Wisconsin, he’s lived in Australia, England, and France. He enjoys photography and cooking when he is not developing his mindfulness practice. Tom is the proud father of two young men.

A third-generation Wisconsin Badger, Tom earned a bachelor’s of science degree in electrical and computer engineering with honors from UW–Madison in 1980.