Thomas Arend

Honorary International Advisor - Product Leadership

Dr. Thomas Arend is an Honorary International Advisor in recognition of valuable contributions made in his past role as International Product Leader and Advisor at Global Minds Network. He is a  passionate intrapreneur and accomplished product leader with expertise in Global Innovation, Internationalization, and Localization. A creative thinker and successful team facilitator, he has enjoyed a global career in launching new innovations while leading teams across cultures and geographies. With 20+ years in IT, Healthcare and Aerospace, he has worked for leading companies such as Johnson&Johnson, Facebook, Airbnb, Twitter, Google, Mozilla, SAP, and IBM.

Thomas is currently the Vice President of Product Management at Astra, an aviation and aerospace manufacturer, where he’s building out the product discipline to fulfill its mission of improving life on Earth from Space. Before joining Astra, he served as Senior Product Director at Johnson & Johnson where he led a team to re-imagine how health and well-care could be accessed, delivered, managed, and experienced during the pandemic. Prior to that, he was Airbnb’s Head of International Product, Twitter’s International Product Lead, and he led Mozilla’s mobile effort as the Principal PM.

Thomas enjoyed successful roles at Google where he was responsible for key initiatives such as driving the company’s localization in 40+ languages, launching the “Google Translator Toolkit”, and changing the face of the Google homepage for hundreds of millions of users with background image personalization. Previously, Thomas was at the IBM Research Center and at SAP, where he developed SAP’s mobile technology, and acted as a strategic consultant to the CEO and the executive team. At SAP, Thomas launched the world’s first mobile business application for a Tablet PC device in 2001. With an entrepreneurial spirit, Thomas also founded the company Savvy, a global platform where learners and teachers connect.

Having spent his professional career based in Europe and the US, Thomas Arend has enjoyed global assignments involving concept development and execution across cultures and geographies. He is a recognized public speaker and guest professor as well as an executive product advisor at Singularity University. He holds a Masters in Mathematics and Computer Science and a PhD in the field of Artificial Intelligence and Human-Computer Interaction from the Berlin Institute of Technology (TU Berlin).