The Center for Life Beyond Reed

Division of Student Services

Scott Foster

Class year: 1977
Major: Biology
Company/organization: Coast Life Support District
Job title: Executive Director
Company URL:

I would love to connect with students. In addition or instead of attending the Schmooze, I am available for one:one meetings during the weekend. Drop me an email and we'll arrange a time to meet. I arrive on Thursday.

How did you get where you are? (e.g., education, brief work history, mentors)

After Reed, I had a twenty-six year career as a US Navy Officer, running medical facilities for Sailors and Marines around the world. Two graduate programs (Masters in Health Adminstration, and in Computer Systems Management) were a piece of cake after Reed.

After the Navy, I moved to the remote Northern California coast, where I am now the executive director of a bi-county public agency providing emergency medical response to a rural coastal community.

What lessons have you learned along the way that you'd like to pass on to current Reed students?

You will always have a unique contribution to make in any organization because you have been taught to ask hard questions and approach problems differently. While this can be a point of friction, good leaders recognize this as a valuable trait in young members of the organization and will cultivate it.

In what ways you think you can help Reed students?

I can talk about career preparation for working in large organizations and how to understand what is going on around you before it is too late. Most people are hired into an organization in good faith because they have the skills or potential to make a significant contribution. Most executive failure is not due to a performance failure, but a failure to fit in.

I'd also like to talk to any students interested in a career in the medical field--as a physician or in the allied sciences--about serving in the medical community of the military. It is a great deal and very rewarding.

What else should students know about you? (e.g., volunteer engagement, avocations, interests)

I have been playing big-band jazz guitar professionally for over twenty years. I am also a volunteer firefighter/EMT in my community, which is a great way to get plugged in to a rural community.