Rosanne Foust

Rosanne Foust

Rosanne Foust

Deputy Chair of the Board

President & CEO, San Mateo County Economic Development Association (SAMCEDA)

As President and CEO of SAMCEDA, Rosanne Foust directs conversations important to maintaining a strong local and regional economy, attracting and retaining major employers and good jobs, and creating partnerships between business and government to address the critical issues of affordable housing, mobility improvements and maintaining a good quality of life.

Ms. Foust has built SAMCEDA into an influential and highly regarded inclusive association with membership of Fortune 500 corporations including technology and social media, biotechnology and life sciences, banking and financial services, utilities and energy, construction and developers, as well as healthcare, education and non-profits. Her leadership has facilitated successful advocacy efforts related to major infrastructure projects, including California High Speed Rail, Caltrain Electrification, Transbay Terminal, reform of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), and the protection of the Hetch-Hetchy reservoir. She led the business community to support transportation and transit initiatives including the Highway 101 Managed Lanes Project and the successful passage of Measure W (2018, a co-chaired campaign) and Measure RR (2020).

With the onset of the pandemic, beginning in March 2020, Ms. Foust creatively pivoted SAMCEDA to be a key partner to the County of San Mateo serving as the business resource liaison for the entire county by assisting and coordinating COVID-19 pandemic response and recovery for the business community.

Previously, Ms. Foust had a twenty-year career with Alsace Development International USA, Inc. in multiple positions including Regional Manager, Director U.S. Operations, Executive Vice President North America & Treasurer of the Corporation. She directed and managed U.S. offices in Boston, Los Angeles and Redwood City and an international office in Sydney, Australia for the economic development authorities of Alsace, France. In her twenty-year tenure, Ms. Foust brought billions of dollars in investments to this region in France.

Local and Regional Elected Official

Ms. Foust served for twelve years on the City Council in Redwood City, including as Mayor and Vice Mayor. During her tenure on the Council, she successfully negotiated the Development Agreement to bring Stanford University to the community, oversaw the building of a brand new Public Library in Redwood Shores, and led the efforts to approve a $90 million recycled water plant and secure funding to restore Bair Island. She is also credited with working tirelessly on Redwood City’s Downtown Precise Plan which served as the catalyst for the transformation of Redwood City’s downtown into the new thriving neighborhood of over 2,500 new housing units (375 of which must be affordable), retail, office, and entertainment which exists today.

During her time in elected office, Ms. Foust served for 10 years on the San Mateo County Transportation Authority (five years as Chair) and as an inaugural board member for 7 years on the San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority. In these roles, she advocated for transportation solutions to reduce congestion and improve mobility and the protection and restoration of the San Francisco Bay.

Active Community Leader and Volunteer

  • Chair, First Five Commission San Mateo County
  • Chair, San Mateo County Community College District Bond Oversight Committee
  • Chair, Measure W Citizens’ Oversight Committee
  • Deputy Chair, Chamber San Mateo County
  • Vice Chair, Supervisory Committee, Provident Credit Union
  • Vice-Chair, NOVAworks – Workforce Investment Board (San Mateo County and North Santa Clara County)
  • Vice Chair, San Mateo County Event Center
  • Trustee, Bay Area Council Economic Institute
  • Trustee, Notre Dame de Namur University 
  • Board Member, Redwood City Improvement Association
  • Board Member, Heritage Bank of Commerce Peninsula/Stanford Advisory Board

Education and Accomplishments

Ms. Foust holds a Masters of Public Administration, Bachelors of Arts in International Studies and Economics, has completed multiple Executive Education programs at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business (including the Entrepreneurial Boot Camp), as well as completing the year-long Executive Management program at UCLA’s Anderson Graduate School of Management.

The San Francisco Business Times has honored Ms. Foust as one of the “Most Influential Women in Business in the Bay Area” (from 2009 until the present), “Businesswoman and Person of the Year” by Chamber San Mateo County, Notre Dame de Namur University’s first “Alumna of Distinction” and in 2021 was named “Woman of the Year” by then Assembly Speaker Pro Tempore Kevin Mullin.