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James C. Foster

Chairman, President and CEO at Charles River


James C. Foster is Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer of Charles River Laboratories, a leading provider of essential products and services that fully support the drug discovery and early-stage development process. Since beginning his career at Charles River in 1976, Mr. Foster has held a variety of positions including: Vice President of Administration and General Counsel, President of Charles River Biotechnical Services, and Executive Vice President, Charles River. Mr. Foster was named President in 1991, Chief Executive Officer in 1992, and Chairman in 2000.

He has overseen significant fiscal changes at Charles River including a leveraged buy-out of the company in 1999 while a subsidiary of Bausch & Lomb. Then, nine months after taking the company private, he oversaw a public offering of the company; it now trades publicly on the NYSE under the ticker symbol CRL.

As CEO, Mr. Foster has built Charles River from a niche research models and services business to a full service, early-stage drug development partner, growing the company’s revenues from approximately $160M to more than $1.6B. Since its IPO in June 2000, Charles River’s stock price has appreciated at a compound annual growth rate of more than 10%.

Under Mr. Foster’s leadership, Charles River has solidified its position as an industry leader and trusted partner to the world’s leading biopharmaceutical companies and academic institutions.  Today, the Company offers a unique portfolio of products and services required to take a novel drug therapy from discovery through preclinical development.

In October 2002, he was named “Entrepreneur of the Year” by Forbes Magazine, noting his ability to dramatically increase profitability by moving the company in new directions through both acquisition and organic growth.  Mr. Foster was also named one of the New England region’s Entrepreneurs of the Year by Ernst & Young LLP.

He is a Senior Advisor at Cell Signaling Technology.  Mr. Foster is Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston.  He serves as a member of the Board of Overseers of DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park.  Mr. Foster is also a member of the Presidential Advisory Council for Berklee College of Music.  He has been a guest lecturer at MIT, Brandeis University, Northeastern University, Tufts University, and The Olin School of Business at Washington University. Mr. Foster holds a B.A. degree in Psychology from Lake Forest College, an M.S. degree from MIT, and a J.D. degree from Boston University School of Law.  He is a member of both the Massachusetts and American Bar Associations.

Agenda Sessions