Tom’s allegiance to public service has been inspired by the proud heritage of the Kean family. The grandson of former U.S. Representative Robert Kean and son of former Governor Thomas H. Kean, Sr., Tom is continuing a legacy of dedicated public service to New Jersey. From a young age, Tom understood and recognized the importance of civic engagement. As a student and young adult, he volunteered at a camp for diabetic children and also taught Sunday school at his church.
While studying history at Dartmouth College, Tom was motivated to broaden his understanding of the world and the international political economy. Dartmouth’s Exchange Program granted the opportunity to transform classroom learning into practical experience. In 1988, Tom traveled to Budapest, Hungary, and the Soviet Union for four months. Through his expedition of Eastern Europe, he received an extraordinary firsthand perspective of the repercussions of government operating insufficiently by attempting to command and dictate the economy. Months after returning to the United States, the Berlin Wall was torn down.