Tom Abate is a native of New York City and graduate of Regis High School. He attended two semesters at New York University before enlisting in the U.S. Navy. During four-years of active duty he attained the rank of Petty Officer Second Class.

Tom was introduced to print and broadcast journalism at the Defense Information School, the training institute for the Armed Forces Radio and Television Network. For three years he ran a closed-circuit radio and television station aboard a U.S. Navy ship in the Pacific.

After his honorable discharge, Tom attended UC Berkeley on the G.I. Bill. He continued in journalism as a reporter for the campus paper, the Daily Californian.

Tom was elected editor-in-chief of this independent, student-run paper paper when it was on the verge of bankruptcy. He helped lead a financial turnaround. He also broke a story that briefly put him and the paper in the national spotlight.

Tom graduated Berkeley summa cum laude with a major in political science and a minor in Mandarin. He moved to a small town in Northern California and co-founded a typesetting and publishing company. There, he pioneered the use of technology to interface computers and typesetting machines. He also co-founded an alternative monthly newspaper.

After a decade in business, Tom sold his companies in order to attend the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University. He was one of three recipients of the school’s highest honor, the Pulitzer Traveling Fellowship.

During his daily newspaper career Tom was a science writer and Silicon Valley reporter for the San Francisco Examiner and San Francisco Chronicle. For nearly 20 years he covered technology, biotechnology, economics and business in Silicon Valley and Northern California.

Tom has been an online editor for Patch, the network of hyper-local websites established by America Online. In that capacity he greatly expanded his experience in photography, multimedia, and the use of social media such as Twitter and Facebook to engage audiences in two-way conversations. He has blogged about the business, technology and culture of interactive media.

Tom wrote “The Biotech Investor” published by Times Books. He is a member of the senior advisory board of the Society for New Communications Research, an organization of social media experts. He has taught journalism at junior college and as an instructor for the University of California Extension.

The father of three, Tom enjoys gardening and working with his hands. He is passionate about political theory, globalism and the state of the world we will leave our children.

Current Role at Stanford

I write about research and other activities of the 250 faculty and 5,300 students of the nine departments that comprise the Stanford School of Engineering.


Education & Certifications

  • Diploma, Regis High School, Liberal Arts (1972)
  • Bachelors, University of California, Berkeley, Political Science (1980)
  • Masters, Graduate School of Journalism, Columbia University, Journalism (1991)

Service, Volunteer and Community Work

  • Broadmoor Garden Exchange

    A gardening and community service group.


    San Leandro, California