Robert FosterRobert Foster

CSU Trustee/Businessman/Community Leader

San José State University

Mr. Robert Foster has made significant c​ontributions to the state of California throughout his career in both the private and public sector and as a community leader. The contributions of his distinguished career represent the ideals of the California State University and San José State University.

Having graduated from San José State in 1969 with a bachelor's degree in public administration, Mr. Foster has said of his time at SJSU that he was encouraged to work hard and developed strong analytical skills that have served him throughout his long career. As deputy executive director of the California Energy Commission in the late 1970s, Mr. Foster led the effort to establish statewide energy efficiency standards. He joined Southern California Edison (SCE) in 1984 and worked his way up from operations executive to senior vice president. Under Mr. Foster's leadership, SCE developed the largest renewable, clean energy programs in the country. As mayor of Long Beach from 2006 to 2014, Mr. Foster made improvements to air and water quality, dropped the crime rate and led Long Beach to become the most bike-friendly city in the nation.

Mr. Foster served as trustee to the California State University system from 1997 to 2006. In 2010, Governor Schwarzenegger appointed Mr. Foster to the Board of Governors for the California Independent Systems Operators, where he served as chair until September 2014. Mr. Foster currently serves on numerous boards, including the Long Beach Public Library Foundation Advisory Board and Long Beach Police Historical Society. In addition, he is active in a number of community and public policy organizations including Long Beach Rotary, Long Beach Community Foundation, Long Beach Jewish Federal Foundation, Alliance to Save Energy, and YMCA of Greater Long Beach.

Through his outstanding civic and social leadership, Mr. Foster epitomizes Spartan pride. In recognition of his distinguished accomplishments and dedication, the California State University Board of Trustees and San José State University are proud to confer upon Robert Foster the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.