John Foster has had a long and distinguished career in public service starting in 1970 as a Community Worker at Northumberland County Council. He worked at Durham County Council and then progressed through the Home Office where he was the Director for Community Development Programmes. He then returned to local government as Executive Director of North Tyneside Council from 1992-1998. In February 1998, John became the Chief Executive of Middlesbrough Council and in 2003, he started as Chief Executive of Wakefield Metropolitan District Council.
During his time at Wakefield, John was a key force behind many major exciting regeneration projects planned for the city, including the Trinity Walk development and the new Hepworth Gallery, designed by David Chipperfield. John became Chief Executive of Islington Council in June 2008 and in the same year was awarded a CBE for Services to Local Government.
John chairs a number of boards at the council, and is also a member of a number of external boards, including: SOLACE Enterprise Limited, Central London Forward (CLF) and the Local Authority Research Council Initiative Strategic Board (LARCI). He is Chair of the North Central London Resilience Forum, and a Trustee of the Board for the Dame Kelly Holmes Legacy Trust.