Tom graduated from Stanford University with a bachelor's degree in human biology. He received a master's degree in health administration from Duke University and received master's and doctoral degrees in political science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Pew Health Policy Program at the University of California, San Francisco. Before coming to Wisconsin, he taught at the University of Maryland and Johns Hopkins University. Tom's research examines critical issues in health policy, politics, and system reform. His recent work includes studies of state and national health care reforms; intersectoral leadership and governance for population health improvement; and comparative analysis of health policies in the US, the European Union, and other countries.