William C. Kirby
T. M. Chang Professor of China Studies / Spangler Family Professor of Business Administration Harvard University
Charles C. Foster is the chairman of Foster LLP and vice chair of the George H. W. Bush Foundation for U.S.-China Relations. Mr. Foster has 30+ years of experience representing multinational companies regarding U.S. immigration law.
Mr. Foster received both his J.D. and undergraduate degree from The University of Texas at Austin. He lectures frequently before legal, academic and professional organizations in Texas and throughout the United States and has published numerous articles on U.S. immigration law. Mr. Foster has dedicated much of his career to the improvement of his community.
He served as senior immigration policy advisor to President George W. Bush in the 2000 and 2004 presidential campaigns and as an immigration policy advisor to President Barack Obama in the 2008 campaign. He has testified before both U.S. Senate and House subcommittees on immigration matters. He is the founding chairman of the Immigration & Nationality Law Section of the State Bar of Texas and has previously served as chairman of the Governor’s Task Force on Immigration, the American Bar Association’s Coordinating Committee on Immigration Law, the State Bar of Texas Committee on Laws Relating to Immigration and Nationality. He also previously was the national president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), and the Houston Forum and the Houston Club.
He currently serves as chairman of Interfaith Ministries of the Greater Houston Advisory Board; chairman of U.S.-China Partnerships; Executive Committee member of the Greater Houston Partnership; and a member of the Board of Directors of the Asia Society Texas Center. He is also a board member of the Houston Ballet and the Hobby School for Public Policy.
In 1979, Mr. Foster was part of the Houston Chamber of Commerce delegation which hosted Chinese Paramount Leader Deng Xiaoping at the rodeo in nearby Houston, Texas on February 2, 1979. As chairman of the Asia Society Texas Center for 24 years, he also hosted many Chinese dignitaries, including President Jiang Zemin at a dinner in 2002 in Houston, as well as organized and spoke at numerous panels on U.S.-China relations.
In addition to his involvement in the community, Mr. Foster is the honorary consul general for the Kingdom of Thailand. He has received several high Royal Decorations conferred by His Majesty, King Bhumibol Adulyadej as well as numerous awards, including the 1997 Houston International Service Award by the Houston Jaycees and Consular Corps, the 2000 Friend of China Award, the 2013 Houston Bar Association Leon Jaworski Award for community service and the 1998 American Immigration Law Foundation Honorary Fellow. He has been named the nation’s “20 Most Powerful Employment Attorneys” in immigration by Human Resource Executive. His role as an immigration lawyer was featured in the 2010 film Mao’s Last Dancer.