Thomas Silk, JD

Title: Lawyer
Company: Silk Nonprofit Law
Location: Stinson Beach, CA United States



  • American Bar Association
  • “An Eight-Hour Short Course in Principles of Nonprofit Law and Regulation,” Nonprofit Organization Conference, China Association of Science Foundations, Beijing, China (Lecturer, 1998)
  • Bangkok, Thailand (Legal Consultant, 1991)
  • “Beyond the Law: Expectations of Proper Conduct of Nonprofit Directors,” Board of Directors of Rebuilding Together,” Oakland, CA (Speaker, 2007)
  • “Board Governance Issues,” California CPA Conference, Los Angeles and San Francisco (Speaker, 2004)
  • Bread and Roses, Corte Madera, California (Board of Directors, 2013-2015)
  • California Bar Foundation (Board of Directors, 2010-2015)
  • California’s Nonprofit Integrity Act and Governance Matters, Graduate Management Admission Council (Speaker, 2006)
  • “California’s Nonprofit Integrity Act: The Scope and Reach of a State SOX Act,” American Bar Association, Section of Taxation, Exempt Organizations Committee, Fall Meeting (Panel Moderator, 2005)
  • Clarence T.C. Ching Foundation, Circuit Court of Hawaii (Expert Witness, 2007)
  • Coastal Health Alliance, Point Reyes Station, CA (Board of Directors, 2013-2016) (Chair, Finance Committee, 2013-2016) (Treasurer, Board of Directors, 2013-2016)
  • Comparative Nonprofit Law Project of the Asia Pacific Philanthropy Consortium (Legal Director, 1995-1998)
  • “Compliance and the Nonprofit Integrity Act,” Center for Voluntary and Nonprofit Leadership of Marin, CompassPoint-San Francisco, Economic Opportunity Commission of San Luis Obispo, Association of Fundraising Executives-Silicon Valley (Speaker, 2004)
  • Conference of the Australian Association of Philanthropy, Melbourne, Australia (Panelist, 1994)
  • “Corporate Philanthropy in the Post-9/11 World,” American Bar Association, Section of Taxation, Exempt Organizations Committee, Fall Meeting (Panelist, 2002)
  • Czech Republic, Russia, Hungary, Poland, and Slovenia, Institute of Policy Studies, The Johns Hopkins University (Lecturer, 1991-1994)
  • “Emerging Principles of Nonprofit Governance,” CAPLAW National Training Conference (Panel Moderator, 2006)
  • “Explaining the Nonprofit Legal Regime in the United States,” Ministry of Civil Affairs, Beijing, China, The Asia Foundation (Lecturer, 2000)
  • First International NGO Conference in China at Tsinghua University, Beijing, China (Lecturer, 1999)
  • Ford Foundation (Legal Consultant, Host, 1990)
  • In Defense of Animals, General Counsel (2013-Current)
  • Governance Committee, California Bar Foundation (Chair, 2010-2015)
  • “Governance Issues – Nonprofit Integrity Act,” Speaker
  • Government of Palau (Legislative Counsel, 1978)
  • Human Rights Watch of San Francisco (Advisory Committee, 2003-2012)
  • In Defense of Animals (Advisory Compliance Committee, Chair, 2013-Current) (General Counsel, 2013-Current)
  • International Conference on Foundations, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Budapest, Hungary, Bratislava, Slovakia (Panelist, Lecturer, 1990)
  • International Conference on Foundations, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Moscow, U.S.S.R. (Delegate, 1989)
  • International Meeting of Associations Serving Grantmakers, Oaxaca, Mexico (Panelist, 1998)
  • IRS Mini-Conference, “IRS Role in Corporate Governance of Nonprofits,” National Center on Philanthropy and the Law, New York University (Participant, 2007)
  • “Law and the Development of Charitable Organizations,” First Polish-American Conference on Community Self-Help, United Way International and Solidarity, Gdansk, Poland (Panelist, Workshop leader, Author, 1990)
  • Lorman Seminar: Recent Developments Affecting Nonprofits and Their Donors (2005)
  • Mesa Refuge Writer’s Retreat, Bolinas, Adviser
  • “Nonprofit Accountability & Ethics,” Marin Nonprofit Conference (Panelist, 2003)
  • “Opening Remarks: the Report of the Comparative Nonprofit Law Project,” International Conference on Supporting the Nonprofit Sector in Asia, Bangkok, Thailand (Moderator, Speaker, 1998)
  • “Organizing and Operating California Nonprofit Corporations,” Continuing Education of the Bar (Moderator, 1995)
  • Principles of the Law of Nonprofit Organizations Project, American Law Institute (Adviser, 2003-Present)
  • Proceedings of the International Seminar on the Development and Administration of NGOs, Shanghai, China (Panelist, 2002)
  • Reforming the Charitable Contribution Deduction,” Annual Conference of the National Center on Philanthropy and the Law, New York University (Commentator, 2001)
  • Regional Conference for Central Europe on NGOs, Sinaia, Romania (Legal Consultant, 1994)
  • Sausalito Art Festival (Board of Directors, 2007)
  • Seminar on Emerging Issues in Philanthropy, Harvard University Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations (Panelist, 2004)
  • Stinson Beach Presbyterian Church (Elder, 2013-Current)
  • “Survey of Legal Principles of Nonprofit Law and Regulation in the West,” Conference, Ford Foundation, Hanoi, Vietnam (Lecturer, 1994)
  • The Bar Association of San Francisco
  • “The Fallout from Sarbanes-Oxley: What Nonprofits Can Learn from Corporate Scandals,” Silicon Valley Fiduciary Responsibility Conference (Speaker, 2003)
  • The Hertz Foundation (General Counsel, 2004-2010) (Board of Directors, Secretary, 2004-2010)
  • The Nonprofit Integrity Act and Governance Matters, Marin Community Foundation (Speaker, 2005)
  • The Redwoods, Community Housing for Seniors, Mill Valley (Board of Directors, 2017-Current)
  • The State Bar of California
  • University of Idaho Foundation, District Court of Idaho (Expert Witness, 2006)
  • West Marin Fund, Dance Palace, Point Reyes Station (Speaker, On Being a Board Member, 2013)


  • Honoree, Distinguished Worldwide Humanitarian Award (2018)
  • Recipient, Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award (2018)
  • Featured Listee, “Who’s Who in America,” Marquis Who’s Who (1999-2015, 1997)
  • Featured Listee, “Who’s Who in the World,” Marquis Who’s Who (2003-2015, 1999-2000)
  • Recipient, Environmental Elder Award, Resource Renewal Institute (2012)
  • Vanguard Award for Distinguished Lifetime Achievement in Nonprofit Law, ABA (2012)
  • Featured Listee, “Who’s Who in American Law,” Marquis Who’s Who (2009-2010, 2003-2004, 1985-2001)
  • Featured Listee, ‘Who’s Who in the West,” Marquis Who’s Who (1998-1999)
  • Featured Listee, Best Lawyers in America
  • Featured Listee, Super Lawyers

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