A Conversation with William Foster, President of the Gann Academy Board of Trustees

Before becoming the president of the Gann Academy Board of Trustees, William Foster was a parent looking for a high school for his four children. Not just any high school though—Foster wanted a school that would become something greater to his family.

"Our family was looking for a place that was uncompromising on the excellence of education and a place that would be a Jewish home for us," explained Foster. "When we found Gann, I knew I wanted to contribute what I could to this wonderful school."
 
And now, seven years and two terms on the Board later, Foster, who in his professional career serves as Head of Consulting at the Bridgespan Group, remains exuberant with his choice. "Gann is a pillar of the Jewish community. It is able to build connections to Israel and Jewishness while at the same time securing an education that encourages and supports students to truly excel and discover their passions."
 
Despite varied interests between his two eldest children, Jacob '19 and Trudy '21, both have thrived at Gann. Foster is confident that his two younger children, Lucy '24, and Liliah -  future class of '27, will find success at Gann as well. 
 
"Our kids have had transformative teachers," said Foster. "We are so thankful for them and the Gann leadership, and we are confident that Gann will change, adapt, and continue to improve, even during COVID-19."
 
Foster envisions a bright future for Gann. While the COVID-19 pandemic has deeply afflicted education, Foster is committed to working with Head of School Dalia Hochman, Ph.D., to build on Gann’s historic strength and ensure that it continues to provide an educational offering that is among the very best in the Boston area. 
 
"We will work together to see that Gann thrives as a warm and nurturing and deep values oriented Jewish community, is a phenomenal school, and that it will continue to grow stronger financially in ways that address affordability and allow us to be around for our grandchildren."

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Professionally, William is the head of the consulting practice at the Bridgespan Group – an advisory firm that works with nonprofit leaders and major philanthropists worldwide. Since joining the firm in 2002, William has supported the success of some of the nonprofit sector’s most innovative philanthropies (e.g., Blue Meridian Partners, TED, Pew Charitable Trusts) and some major nonprofit transformations (e.g., Youth Villages and Anti-Defamation League). He has a particular focus on the diligence, structuring, and supports required for philanthropic “Big Bets” and strong funding models for nonprofits. William has helped his foundation clients and a number of individual donors to craft some of the largest gifts in the sector. William has published on these topics in the Harvard Business Review and Stanford Social Innovation Review.

Prior to joining Bridgespan, William worked at Bain & Company. He received a B.A. from Harvard College and an M.B.A. from Stanford University, where he was an Arjay Miller Scholar.
 
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