Eric Foster has joined the staff at Hope College as a regional advancement director.

Foster is responsible for college fund-raising efforts in Chicago, Ill., Detroit and portions of West Michigan.

A 1995 Hope graduate, he has spent most of the past nine years working in Washington, D.C. He has held a variety of positions involving communications, constituent relations and management, serving on the staff of a law firm as well as on the staffs of the mayor of Washington, D.C., and two different legislators, including Congressman Pete Hoekstra.

Immediately prior to joining the Hope staff, he had been special assistant and public affairs advisor in Washington, D.C., in the Corporate Diversity Counseling Group of Holland & Knight LLP, the seventh-largest law firm in the United States.

For the previous three years, from 1999 to 2002, Foster served in the Executive Office of Anthony A. Williams, mayor of the District of Columbia. He was in the Office of Community Outreach as both deputy director and interim director. His roles also included serving as special assistant for congressional, federal and local affairs, and as special assistant for external affairs. During a leave of absence, he also assisted in a successful School Board Referendum campaign sponsored by the mayor.

From 1996 to 1999, he worked in the office of Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson of Texas. He was communications director/press secretary with additional duties as a legislative assistant, and also served as interim chief of staff.

Immediately prior to joining Johnson's staff, he had been a staff assistant and legislative correspondent in Hoekstra's office in Washington.

Foster majored in political science at Hope. In the summer of 1993, he held internships in the Communications Offices of both Senator Phil Gramm of Texas and Congressman Vernon J. Ehlers. While on campus he was president of Student Congress; wrote political commentary for "The Anchor," Hope's weekly student newspaper; and co-hosted a political talk show on the college's FM radio station, WTHS.

He has remained involved in the life of the college in a variety of ways. In October of 2002, for example, he was one of several young graduates invited to return to campus and share insights with current students through "Jumpstart Your Future: Career Conversations with Hope Alumni." Most recently, he was a volunteer caller assisting with student recruitment at Hope.

Joining the staff at Hope represents a return in more than one sense. He was raised in Grand Rapids, where his family continues to live.