Thomas G. Sticht worked as an International Consultant in Adult Education from 2000 to his retirement in 2013. Earlier he served as President and Senior Scientist at the Applied Behavioral & Cognitive Sciences, Inc. (the ABC'S); Vice President of the Human Resources Research Organization (HumRRO); Associate Director of the National Institute of Education (NIE), Visiting Associate Professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education; Research Professor of Industrial Psychology at the U. S. Naval Postgraduate School, and visiting Noted Scholar at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, B.C., Canada.
Sticht received the Ph. D degree from the University of Arizona, where he specialized in experimental psychology. His research and development efforts have focused on the application of cognitive science to the literacy needs of under-served youth and adults. He formulated the Functional Context Education approach to integrating vocational and literacy education which has been used by the U. S. Department of Education's National Workplace Literacy Program, in functional literacy programs for the U. S. Army, Air Force, and Navy, and is included in the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014.
He served on the National Governor's Association's Advisory Group for Achieving National Education Goal 6 (adult literacy); the National Commission on Working Women; the Secretary of Labor's Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills (SCANS); the National Commission on Testing and Public Policy; from 1992-98 he was Project Coordinator for the San Diego Consortium for Workforce Education and Lifelong Learning (CWELL), and in 1989-91 he chaired the California Workforce Literacy Task Force established by the California State Legislature.
Internationally, Sticht served annually from 1979 through 2003 on UNESCO’s International Jury for Literacy Prizes. He has consulted with government agencies and other organizations in France, Germany, Wales, England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, all 10 Canadian provinces, Ireland, Thailand, Saipan, and New Zealand.
In 1978 the International Reading Association (IRA) awarded Dr. Sticht the Albert J. Harris Award for outstanding research on the assessment of learning disabilities of adults. In 1994 he was elected to the Reading Hall of Fame. In 1997, the Reading Research Quarterly reported that his research and the work of Paulo Freire were the two most influential lines of research on adult literacy education in the last thirty years; in 2003 he was awarded UNESCO’s Mahatma Gandhi Medal (Bronze) for his 25 years of work on UNESCO’s International Literacy Prize Jury; and in 2013 he was elected to the International Adult and Continuing Education Hall of Fame.