Thom deLara

M.S.W., M.B.A.
Professor of Practice

Thom deLara is a Professor of Practice in the Department of Marriage and Family Therapy at Syracuse University. Professor deLara previously served as the department chair as well as a chief executive for two not-for-profit organizations, and as vice-president of business development and strategic planning for a $4.5 billion health care organization. He has also served as the director of the FORUM business management program for SUNY Empire State College, and has forty years of experience as a mental health practitioner and management consultant.

Professor deLara has authored more than 30 funded federal, state, local, and foundation grant applications, totaling in excess of $10 million. His funded grant applications include new program starts, and program renewals for community health centers through the United States Public Health Service. His most recent funded grant was intended to develop master’s and doctoral level online courses for veterans, active military, military family members, and professionals who are interested in developing clinical skills for working with veterans and military families.

Prior to accepting a role as a full-time academic, the focus of his professional endeavors was to expand and improve the quality of health care to underserved populations and communities. He served as the director of a mental health program in Florida; expanded the scope of services at Family Services of Chemung County; and in rural Cortland County (NY) expanded a rural community health center from 3 sites 13 sites. In authoring numerous grants to establish or expand primary care services for rural and underserved communities, Professor deLara positively impacted health care and mental health care delivery systems in New York, New Jersey, Louisiana, and Mississippi.

During the time he served as Chair of the Department of Marriage and Family Therapy at Syracuse University he oversaw the expansion of the department, and reengineered the curriculum to specifically meet the needs of children, and of those suffering from trauma across the life cycle. In addition, under his direction the department committed itself to educating students, and mental health practitioners, about trauma-informed care as an integral part of evidenced-based clinical practice. His curriculum priorities included the development of a nationally recognized clinical program for educating and training mental health providers to work with veterans and military families and the development and implementation of online master’s and doctoral degree programs.

Professor deLara is a Clinical Fellow in the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists; an Approved Supervisor with the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy; a Diplomate of the International Academy of Behavioral Medicine, Counseling and Psychotherapy, as well as a member of its Advisory Council for Family Therapy; and a member of the Academy of Certified Social Workers.


M.B.A., Barry University, Business Administration, 1980

M.S.W., Syracuse University, Social Work, 1975

B.A., Southwestern College, Psychology, 1969