Dr. Carmen F. Foster has an extensive professional portfolio spanning over thirty years in public, academic & museum administration, as well as community outreach and nonprofit board leadership. Currently, she serves on the faculty for the Federal Executive Institute in Charlottesville, Virginia.
For several years, she served as the Director of Master’s Program in Public Policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. She has also served as the Executive Director of the Grace E. Harris Leadership Institute at Virginia Commonwealth University and as Executive Director at the University of Richmond’s Jepson School of Leadership Studies.
Additional service includes roles as Community Affairs Director at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Executive Assistant to two Mayors for the City of Richmond, Virginia, and leadership for variety of non-profit boards.
Carmen holds a doctorate of education from the University of Virginia and master’s in public administration from Harvard University, where she also completed Harvard’s Program for Senior Executives in State and Local Government. She also has earned a master’s in communication from Clarion University and a bachelor’s in mass communication from Virginia Commonwealth University.
As a Kellogg National Leadership Fellow, she was awarded a three-year fellowship while at Harvard to pursue a self-designed study of leadership, traveling throughout Ghana, South Africa, China, and Brazil to explore the nexus of leadership, spirituality, and healing for women & communities of color. As a Kellogg Fellow, she completed the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program with Jon Kabat-Zinn.
Carmen has expertise in organizational analysis, social capital development, leadership development & curriculum design, executive coaching and retreat facilitation. She is also a certified administrator for Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). She is also an historian with a particular focus on civil rights and school desegregation and has a keen interest in genealogy research.