Thomas S. Lyons

Thomas S. Lyons

Ph.D., University of Michigan
MS., Loyola University, Chicago
B.S., Butler University

Professor and Director, Product Center Food-Ag-Bio

Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics
Michigan State University

446 W. Circle, Dr., Rm 83
Morrill Hall of Agriculture
East Lansing MI 48824

517 432 9207, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


Biographical Information

Dr. Lyons is an AFRE tenure stream Professor, and Director of the MSU Product Center, Food-Ag-Bio in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. He teaches courses in entrepreneurship, mentors doctoral students, and conducts research on such topics as entrepreneurship in regional food networks, coordination of wealth-building value chains, and the assessment and development of entrepreneurship skills. As Product Center Director, Dr. Lyons oversees the Venture Accelerator Program, the Food Processing Innovation Center and the Strategic Research Program.

He was formerly the Lawrence N. Field Family Chair in Entrepreneurship and Professor of Management at the Zicklin School of Business, Baruch College of the City University of New York. At Baruch, he provided intellectual and strategic leadership to the Field Programs in Entrepreneurship and the Field Center for Entrepreneurship. He was a faculty mentor in the Baruch College Small Business Development Center (SBDC). In addition, Dr. Lyons was the principal investigator of Baruch’s Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) research team, the domestic partner of Babson College in U.S.-based GEM research. He taught courses in commercial entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship, and community development and entrepreneurship at the bachelors, masters and doctoral levels.

Prior to joining the Baruch College faculty, Dr. Lyons was the Fifth Third Bank Professor of Community Development in the School of Public Affairs at the University of Louisville. He directed the Master of Urban Planning Program and the Center for Research on Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Development (CREED) and taught courses in economic development planning, planning theory and planning methods.

He holds a Ph.D. in Urban & Regional Planning from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and is a practicing entrepreneur, having launched two enterprises including his current venture, a Web-based entrepreneurship skills assessment company.

Research and Outreach Interests

  • Entrepreneurship
  • Social Entrepreneurship
  • Community Economic Development
  • Private-Public Partnerships