University of Maine at Farmington President Kathryn A. Foster – Biography
Dr. Kathryn A. (Kate) Foster became the 14th president of the University of Maine at Farmington in 2012.A native of New Jersey and a scholar-educator with thirty years of experience in public higher education and regional policy and practice, President Foster comes to UMF from a position as Visiting Fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington D.C., where she was on research leave from the State University of New York at Buffalo, her academic home since 1993.
Foster earned her B.A. in Geography from the Johns Hopkins University, her M.C.P. (Master of City Planning) from the University of California, Berkeley, and her Ph.D. in Public and International Affairs from Princeton University.
At the State University of New York, President Foster was Director of the University at Buffalo Regional Institute, an award-winning research and policy unit informing regional issues with special focus on the bi-national Buffalo Niagara region.
Prior to assuming the directorship in 2005, she served as Chair of the University at Buffalo Department of Urban and Regional Planning, where as a faculty member she taught graduate, undergraduate, and honors courses since 1993.
Earlier in her career, Foster was a lecturer at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, served as a regional planner in the U.S. Peace Corps in Swaziland, and in 2000-2001, as Visiting Fellow at the Taubman Center for State and Local Government at Harvard University.
A frequent public speaker on regional decision making and governance, Foster is the author of Regionalism on Purpose (2001), The Political Economy of Special-Purpose Government (1997) and numerous book chapters, articles, and policy reports.
She has lectured widely, including talks at Columbia University, MIT, and the University of California at Berkeley. In 2011, Foster delivered the Wherrett Lecture on Innovation in Local and Regional Governance at the University of Pittsburgh. She has participated actively on several New York State task forces, including the New York State Commission on Local Government Efficiency and Competitiveness, and was selected by Business First in 2007 as its Woman of Influence in Public Policy.
A member of the World Academy of Art and Science, Foster is Associate Director and Principal Investigator of the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Building Resilient Regions.
Under President Foster’s leadership, UMF received a full ten-year accreditation from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, created a Division of University Advancement, expanded University governance and oversaw numerous changes to campus facilities and programs. President Foster helped develop the University of Maine System’s first allocation model for outcomes-based funding and now serves as co-chair for UMF’s Sesquicentennial Celebrations in 2013-14.