Mike is a proud veteran and retired member of the U.S. Air Force, where he served as an active-duty and reserve officer for more than two decades. His brother, father, uncle, and grandfather also served our nation during World War II, Korea, Persian Gulf, OEF, and OIF.
Before accepting his new role as Chief Executive Officer at the Gary Sinise Foundation, he served as President and Chief Executive Officer of a national organization that provided homes and other services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Previously, Mike worked for the RAND Corporation as a National Security Analyst, including Director of the RAND office at Air Combat Command at Langley Air Force Base, Virginia. Before his years with RAND, Thirtle was Director of Consulting for the National Data Corporation in Chicago and a Senior Consultant with PricewaterhouseCoopers in Los Angeles.
He graduated with military distinction — in the top one percent of his class — with a bachelor’s degree in biology and a minor in Spanish from the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado. In addition, Thirtle holds several advanced degrees, including doctoral and a master’s degrees in policy analysis, both from the RAND Graduate School in Santa Monica, California. Thirtle also has master’s degrees in finance and economics, both from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. He has attended Executive Leadership Programs at both the Stanford Business School and the Harvard Business School.
Thirtle has published numerous reports and articles on business reform, process improvement, education and development of people, technology, and leadership. Thirtle has also served on the faculty of Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, as an adjunct professor teaching classes in analytical methods and leadership.