Michelle Foster, Ph.D.
President and CEO
Dr. Michelle Foster has been the President and CEO of The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation since February 2016. During her first year at TGKVF, Dr. Foster has focused significant efforts on developing an impact measurement framework to help the Foundation and its donors fully understand the social return on their community investments.
Prior to joining TGKVF, Michelle was the CEO of the Kanawha Institute for Social Research & Action, Inc. (KISRA) for 18 years and a chemical engineer at Union Carbide (now Dow) for five years. She has a doctorate in community economic development (CED) and two master’s degrees-one in CED and another in engineering management. She is also a certified economic development financial professional and a certified housing development financial professional. Michelle completed additional university-level studies in impact investing at the University of Oxford, SaÏd Business School as well as in nonprofit management and leadership at Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
Michelle lives a life of community service. Currently she is the chairperson of the West Virginia Community Development Hub Board of Directors, member of the State Workforce Development Board, member of the Philanthropy West Virginia Board of Directors, and a founding member of African American Philanthropy in Action (a giving circle). Additionally, she has served as the Minister of Administration of Ferguson Memorial Baptist Church since 1997 and has been a member of the Charleston-Institute Chapter of the Links, Incorporated, since 2011, currently serving as treasurer.
Over the years, Michelle also served with the Kanawha County Library, WV Center on Budget and Policy, WV Non-Profit Association and Our Children Our Future.