Henry W. Foster, Jr.

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Biographical Information

"Dr. Henry W. Foster, Jr., immediate past Chair of the Board of Directors and Executive Committee, is Professor Emeritus and former Dean of the School of Medicine, Vice President for Health Services, Meharry Medical College; Clinical Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Vanderbilt University; and past chair of the US Committee for the United Nations Population Fund. Dr. Foster is a recognized national and international leader in medicine, family planning, and education. In 1988, he received the First White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities Faculty Award for Excellence in Science and Technology. While serving as Professor and Chairman of Meharry’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Dr. Foster spent five years as Senior Program Consultant for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and directed its Program to Consolidate Health Services for High-Risk Young People. He developed the “I Have A Future Program” to reduce teen pregnancy, which was recognized by President George H. W. Bush in 1991 as one of the nation’s “Thousand Points of Light.” In May 1993, the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences conferred upon him the first of six honorary doctorate degrees. In 1995, Dr. Foster was nominated by President Clinton to become US Surgeon General. Although the Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee sent forward a favorable recommendation for his confirmation, his opponents denied an up-or-down Senate floor vote. From 1996-2001, he served as President Clinton’s Senior Advisor on Teen Pregnancy Reduction and Youth Issues. Dr. Foster is a member in the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences and serves on the boards of Drew University of Medicine and Science, the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, and the Brush Foundation. He has served on the boards of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, The Alan Guttmacher Institute, and chaired the Board of Regents of the National Library of Medicine. Dr. Foster’s numerous publications include his book, Make a Difference."[1]

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  1. Board, Pathfinder International, accessed October 1, 2011.