Dr. Richard (“Dick”) Thurston is one of the top non-engineer semiconductor specialists in the United States. He has assisted many companies and governments in the establishment and management of technology parks around the world.
In 2014 Dr. Thurston retired from Taiwan semiconductor Manufacturing Company (“TSMC”) where he had served as Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, Ltd., (2001 – 2014); and a consultant to Dr. Morris Chang (2014-2017). During his tenure at TSMC, he resided in Hsinchu, Taiwan. Dr. Thurston assisted TSMC in developing its best-in-class intellectual property and trade secret promotion and protection program (“PIP”). Furthermore, on behalf of TSMC, he successfully initiated major litigation around the world against defendants who had misappropriated TSMC trade secrets. And, he was instrumental in achieving major legislative reform in Taiwan for the protection of trade secrets. Dick also managed TSMC’s compliance program, M&A and investment activities including joint ventures, etc.
Upon retiring from TSMC, Dr. Thurston assumed a number of advisory roles, most recently as an independent member of the Board of Directors of Nantero, Inc. Dr. Thurston is also Principal at RLT Global Consulting, LLC, and CEO of Hudson Valley Fast Fabs™ Dr. Thurston is an advisor to Isaac Stone Fish’s StrategyRisks and to J.S. Held.
Before joining TSMC, Dr. Thurston was a partner with Haynes and Boone, a Dallas, Texas-based law firm. There, he was Chairperson of the firm’s International Practice Section and he established their Richardson, TX office. Previously, he had been the Regional Counsel, Asia Pacific, and Vice President, Corporate Staff, Assistant General Counsel at Texas Instruments (1984-1996), resident in Dallas and Tokyo (1987-1990), where Dr. Thurston devoted significant efforts in: promoting and protecting TI’s intellectual property; corporate compliance; mergers and acquisitions; and international trade and investment, among other disciplines.
Dr. Thurston graduated Cum Laude with a B.A. in History from Alma College (Alma, MI). He earned both M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in East Asian Studies from the University of Virginia, where he was a Jefferson Scholar. Dick’s J.D. degree is from Rutgers School of Law – Camden, NJ. He also studied law at Soochow University (Taiwan) while researching his Ph.D. dissertation: Civil Law Reform in China, 1906-1930. Dr. Thurston has taught both law and business classes at: SMU School of Law (Dallas, TX); University of Texas, Dallas; Soochow University (Taiwan); National Chiao Tung University (Taiwan); and National Cheng-Chih University (Taiwan). Dick is admitted to the practice of law and a member of the respective Bar Associations of Texas, New Jersey and New York and of Dutchess County, New York and NYC.
Dr. Thurston has written and lectured widely on international, transactional, and intellectual property matters, most especially trade secret protection. He has received many awards and recognitions throughout his career. In 2013, he was selected from 800 nominees as the ILO Asia-Pacific General Counsel of the Year. Dick is fluent in Mandarin.
Dr. Thurston serves as the elected Town Supervisor of the Town of Wappinger, Dutchess County, NY. Thurston was first elected in November 2017. He is now in his sixth year of service to the Wappinger community.
Dr. Thurston and his wife, Yvonne, reside in the Town of Wappinger, NY. He has two children and two grandchildren.