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A hybrid thermal management system for electronics cooling is considered that incorporates a thermoelectric cooler (TEC) based active path in parallel with a conventional heat pipe based passive path. The passive path is used to transport the heat from the chip at moderate thermal conditions keeping the TEC electrically off while the TEC modules are turned on when the conditions become adverse, thus operating at a higher overall system coefficient of performance. An important design parameter is the fraction of the total heat sink area dedicated to each path, which will depend on the rated heat dissipation from the chip, thermal resistance of the entire heat sink and the operational ambient temperature. A thermal resistance network model for the hybrid system that takes into account the governing thermo-physical equations for the TEC is used to investigate the system. Controlled experiments are performed to validate the hybrid thermal management model. The model predictions are in good agreement with the experimental results. The operating envelope of different hybrid thermal management configurations are compared to a heat pipe based passive system and an only TEC system. Parametric studies are performed to analyze the effect of the number of TEC modules and the external thermal resistance.