You are here

Richard Foster

YEI Executive in Residence, Emeritus Director of McKinsey & Company, Inc.

The Executive-in-Residence role is reserved for a highly distinguished individual who is nationally recognized in business, academia, or technology management. Internal to Yale, the EIR helps to strengthen the entrepreneurial ecosystem by connecting Yale innovators to his or her network. External to Yale, the EIR engages prospective investors and corporate innovation teams to explain Yale’s unique intellectual assets.

Dr. Foster is an emeritus director of McKinsey & Company, Inc. At McKinsey, Dr. Foster was a director and senior partner. During his 31 year tenure with McKinsey beginning in 1973, Dr. Foster was elected principal (1977) and later Senior Partner and Director (1982), a position he maintained for 22 years. While at McKinsey he founded several practices including the technology and innovation practice, the healthcare practice and the private equity practice. From 1995 to 1998 he led McKinsey’s worldwide knowledge development.

Dr. Foster’s research interests are in the relationships between capital formation, innovation, and regulation. Dr. Foster has written two best-selling books: Innovation: The Attacker’s Advantage (1986) and Creative Destruction (2001), as well as several dozen articles in research and popular journals. In 1999 – 2000, Dr. Foster was the external leader of the Council on Foreign Relations Study Group on Innovation and Economic Power which led to the publication of Technological Innovation and Economic Performance, Princeton University Press (2001).

In the not-for-profit sector Dr. Foster is an member of the board of directors of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, a member of the Yale School of Medicine Dean’s advisory board, member of the Harvard Medical School Health Care Policy advisory committee, co-chair of the National Academies (of Science, Engineering and Medicine) President’s Circle, the National Research Council ‘s Policy and Global Affairs committee, and the executive committee of the W. M. Keck Foundation. He is a member of the board of the Council for Aid to Education and serves as chair of the strategy committee there.

In the for-profit sector, Dr. Foster is lead director at Innosight, LLC, a consulting firm focusing on advising large firms on how to capitalize on disruptive innovation. Dr. Foster is a venture partner at Lux Capital and a general partner at Mansa Capital, a growth equity investment fund focused on early stage healthcare services and technology. He is a member of the board and the audit committee of the Trust Company of the West. He is a founding member of the Goldman Sachs Chambers Street Executive Network. Dr. Foster is a member of the Advisory Board of TEDMED. 

Dr. Foster received his BS (‘63), MS (‘65) and PhD (‘66) from Yale University.