News and Insights
Heather Foster Joins Widmeyer as Vice President
January 31, 2017
Former White House and Education Department appointee joins Widmeyer Education
Widmeyer Communications has hired Heather Foster as a vice president in Widmeyer Education, the agency’s PK- 12 Education Practice based in Washington, D.C. She will play an integral role in the agency’s work with the W. K. Kellogg Foundation and will also focus on PK-12 education public policy and advocacy.
Most recently Foster was a founding partner and director of strategic partnerships of the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, the nonprofit inspired by President Obama’s Taskforce for Boys and Young Men of Color.
Foster was an advisor to President Obama in the White House Office of Public Engagement. During her tenure, she oversaw the president’s engagement efforts with the civil rights community and served as his direct liaison to civil rights leadership. She developed the administration’s response to local community protests following the racially charged incidents in Ferguson, Baltimore and Charleston. She also developed public engagement campaigns designed to motivate and mobilize constituencies on various administration priorities such as the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, immigration reform and economic opportunity.
Before her service at the White House, Foster was a policy and outreach advisor at the U.S. Department of Education where she managed outreach efforts to community based and philanthropic organizations dedicated to ensuring equity in low performing school districts. At the department, Foster worked on a number of significant education policy issues including equity, teacher and student accountability, the reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act, teacher recruitment, quality early childhood education and college affordability.
“We got to know Heather last year as she began thinking about life after the White House, and from the very beginning we saw the alignment between our issue priorities and our commitment to excellence in our work,” said Jason Smith, Managing Partner of Widmeyer Education. “To have a leader of Heather’s caliber joining our team of top-notch communicators and advocates is a win for our clients and a win for us.”
“I’m proud to join Widmeyer and contribute to the leadership and growth of the practice,” said Foster. “I have always worked to support important education and children’s policy issues such as equity to underserved communities across the nation. I have firsthand knowledge of how a quality education can be a gateway for success among children and families. My colleagues at Widmeyer share this commitment, which is reflected in the work we do every day for the clients we have the privilege to serve.”