Kathryn A. (Kate) Foster is associate professor and former chair in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at the University at Buffalo. A fellow in the World Academy of Art and Science, Foster’s interests include governance systems, metropolitan decision making, regional identity, and leadership. She is the author of “The Political Economy of Special-Purpose Government” (Georgetown University Press, 1997), “Regionalism on Purpose” (Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, 2001), and articles on regions and governance in leading scholarly journals. She is currently at work on a book on governance systems, including the Roman Catholic Church, European Union, Iroquois Confederacy, National Football League, University of California system, General Motors and the Internet.
At the Regional Institute, Foster directs a staff of ten professionals engaged in research and policy initiatives on regions and governance. A frequent public speaker, Foster maintains an active public service portfolio and directed Governance in Erie County: A Foundation for Understanding and Action, an award-winning in-depth analysis of governance and service delivery in a metropolitan county and the award-winning performance measurement project, “State of the Region: Performance Measures for the Buffalo Niagara Region in the 21st Century.” Recent service includes an appointment to the New York State Commission on Local Government Efficiency and Competitiveness and the statewide Task Force on Maximizing School District Resources. In 2007, Business First selected Foster as its Woman of Influence in public policy
Foster received her B.A. in geography from the Johns Hopkins University, a master’s in city planning from the University of California, Berkeley, and her doctorate in public and international affairs from Princeton University.