Finin received an S.B. degree in Electrical Engineering from MIT and a Ph.D. degree in Computer Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has held full-time positions at UMBC, Unisys, the University of Pennsylvania, and the MIT AI Laboratory. He is the author of over 375 refereed publications and has received research grants and contracts from a variety of sources. He participated in the DARPA/NSF Knowledge Sharing Effort and helped lead the development of the KQML agent communication language and was a member of the W3C Web Ontology Working Group that standardized the OWL Semantic Web language.
Finin has chaired the UMBC Computer Science Department, served on the board of directors of the Computing Research Association, been a AAAI councilor, and chaired several major research conferences. He is currently an editor-in-chief of the Elsevier Journal of Web Semantics.