Bill Thickstun graduated from Potsdam High School in 1973, Middlebury College in 1977, and earned a Ph.D. in English Literature from Cornell University in 1984. After a brief academic career, he moved into the new field of relational database in 1986. He worked at the SUNY Institute of Technology as a Senior Programmer/Analyst from 1992 to 1997, when he left to start his own consulting business. He has been involved in database projects at over two dozen college campuses.
After he and his wife moved to Clinton in 1988, Bill served on the board of the Clinton Child Care Center, including three years as President, and was later elected to four terms on the Clinton Board of Education, serving as its President from 2001-2004. He chaired the Town of Kirkland Democratic Committee from 2005 to 2016 and the Oneida County Democratic Committee from 2016 to 2019. He is currently Chair of Towns on the County Committee, a NYS Democratic Committee member from the 117th Assembly District, and a board member at the NYS Democratic Rural Conference. He was appointed to the College Council in 2021.