Tom Keelin

Mathematician-in-residence, SmartOrg Inc.

Tom Keelin has combined a career in decision analysis practice with fundamental contributions to shape the field. As a decision analysis consultant, he is most remembered for the SmithKline-Beecham client work and Harvard Business Review case-study that kickstarted a broad industry adoption of R&D Portfolio Management, and that ultimately lead to the hiring of hundreds of decision professionals industry-wide. He was head of SDG’s life sciences practice and London office at the time, and later served as SDG’s Worldwide Managing Director.

As a founder and Managing Partner of Keelin-Reeds in 2003, Tom proceeded to help over a hundred venture-funded and mid-market life sciences companies with product development strategy, portfolio management, and business development. In parallel, he kicked off the mathematical research that led to the Metalog distributions, the most general-purpose probability distributions ever invented and specifically designed for decision analysts and Bayesians.

However, to think of Tom only as an intellectual contributor would be missing his spirit. During the height of the last financial crisis, Tom wanted to do something to help so many people who were being foreclosed by the banks. He jumped in with a consortium and bought a basket of residential performing and non-performing loans that the FDIC was happy to get rid of. He then used Decision Analysis (with the Metalog distributions) to resolve these loans in a way that kept many people in their homes and also gave a return to the new owners of these loans. This pioneering accomplishment in real-estate finance led to his founding of multiple successful real estate funds and investments, where, as chairman and general partner, he leads strategic decision-making for acquisitions, operations, dispositions, and portfolio management.

Earlier, with Decision Focus, Inc, Tom developed the Over/Under Capacity Planning model, which effectively addressed demand uncertainty in electric power system planning and was widely adopted by many utilities and regulatory commissions over the following decade.

Currently, Tom is Chief Research Scientist at Probability Management and Mathematician-in-Residence at SmartOrg, Inc. He will gladly charm you with the wondrous Metalog distribution if you let him. Tom is a Fellow of the Society of Decision Professionals, a founder and director of the Decision Education Foundation, and holds three degrees from Stanford: BA in Economics and MS and PhD in Engineering-Economic Systems.

Further Reading on Tom’s work

My Sessions

Frontiers of DA Talk

Mount Elbert
Energy Hi-Tech Life Sciences Main

The Metalog Distributions: Flexible, Easy-to-Use, Probability Distributions for Use in Decision Analysis, Modelling, Simulation, and Learning from Empirical Data

Mount Elbert B

This session is a hands-on, practical introduction to a new tool, where you will learn from its inventor. And it’s free. With the metalog distributions, traditional probability distributions are rarely if ever needed. Unlike traditional distributions, the metalogs were specifically designed to meet the needs of today’s world: highly flexible (“any shape”), data-parameterized (eliminates need […]


Data Science+Decision Analysis in Financial Innovation

The Capital Peak

Financial products and services are how we allocate resources in society. Decision Analysis and Data Science can play a critical role in the innovation of new financial products and services. This session will highlight financial innovation using DA and Data Science.  Panel chair: Sheldon Bernard, Head of Decision Analysis at Procter & Gamble