Youth Villages recently named Jessica Foster as its new chief strategy officer.
The appointment is a promotion from within, as Foster has been with the national children’s mental and behavioral health nonprofit for nearly nine years. First hired to serve in various strategy, business development and policy roles, she quickly moved up the ranks of the organization.
Foster soon became managing director of strategy, business planning and policy; serving in this position until January of 2016 when she was appointed executive director of strategic partnerships.
Foster’s career before Youth Villages is highlighted by time in private sector consulting work and in the public sector working in the U.S. Senate.
Her first position after earning a bachelor’s degree in public policy in 2001 was with Monitor Deloitte, a multinational strategy consulting company which provides services to senior management of corporations, nonprofits and governments around the world. She then served as a legislative aide to U.S. Senator Arlen Specter for two years from 2005 to 2007, advising him on child welfare, economic development, public housing and nonprofit issues.
Turning her focus back to her education, Foster gained admittance to the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania for graduate work. She would earn an MBA in marketing and then return to the consulting industry, working at the Boston Consulting Group for about a year and a half. It was after this stint that she made her move to Youth Villages, where she has been an integral part of the organization ever since.
“As we expand our organization, we want to focus more on how to grow and expand services to impact the overall child welfare system in this country,” said Patrick Lawler, CEO of Youth Villages in a press release about the appointment. “Jessica is the ideal person to lead this effort. She, as much as anyone, has helped drive our tremendous growth in the last few years.”
Jessica Foster assumes the responsibilities of her new role as chief strategy officer immediately, where she will guide Youth Villages in its efforts to reform child welfare systems and spearhead policy advocacy while ensuring the growth and sustainability of the organization’s programs, services and marketing strategies.