David Foster

Distinguished Associate, EFI

David Foster served as Senior Advisor to U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz from 2014-2017 on energy, environmental, climate, economic development, workforce development and labor relations issues. During that period he designed and implemented the creation of the Department of Energy’s Jobs Strategy Council, an initiative that linked the department’s technical and financial resources to a wide group of external stakeholders, including state and local governments, private sector energy and manufacturing businesses, non-profits, academic institutions, and labor unions. He led the interagency effort to create the Energy and Advanced Manufacturing Workforce Initiative, which formally linked the Department of Energy with the Departments of Labor, Education, Commerce, Defense, and the National Science Foundation on workforce development issues.

Prior to working at the Department of Energy, Foster served as the founding Executive Director of the BlueGreen Alliance (BGA), a strategic partnership of 14 of America’s most important unions and environmental organizations with a combined membership of 14.5 million. The BlueGreen Alliance is the country’s foremost labor/environmental advocacy group on climate change policy solutions with a special emphasis on energy intensive industries, job creation, and the interchange between global warming and trade policy.

Foster has spoken extensively on the subjects of climate change, economic development and the transition to a low carbon economy around the world, including the United Nations Environment Program Ministerial in Nairobi, Kenya, multiple UNFCCC events, and the German Green Party National Convention. He has testified before the U.S. Congress and Canadian Parliament on the linkage between jobs and climate change solutions. In 2004, he was awarded the Jane Lehman Bagley Award from the Tides Foundation for his work building labor/environmental coalitions in the United States and in 2009 in he received the first Peter A. Berle Award for Environmental Integrity along with Dr. James Hansen of the Goddard Space Institute. In 2010, he was recognized by the Aspen Institute with its 2010 Energy and Environment Award for Non-Governmental Organizations. Since 2009 Foster has served on the Board of Directors of Kaiser Aluminum Corporation and, since 2006 the Board of Directors of Oregon Steel Mills and its successor, Evraz, North America.

From 2003-2010, he taught graduate classes on globalization, sustainability, and labor relations at the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities and at the University of Minnesota at Duluth in the master’s in advocacy and Political Leadership. Foster has a BA from Reed College in Portland, OR