Robert "Bob" Foster (born January 1, 1947 in Brooklyn, New York) is the former mayor of Long Beach, California. He was elected after a runoff election in 2006. Prior to serving as mayor, Foster climbed the ranks of Southern California Edison, becoming president in 2002. Though not an elected office-holder prior to becoming mayor, Foster was appointed to the California State University Board of Trustees in 1998 and worked for the California State Senate as a consultant on state energy policy.
Foster was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. He attended San Jose State University for his undergraduate studies, majoring in public administration. During his college years, he operated a carpet-laying business. After graduating, he began working for the California State Senate while he began Ph.D coursework in political science at the University of California, Davis. Later, Foster worked for the Senate Energy Committee, where he helped develop legislation that created statewide energy efficiency standards. He also taught for one semester as the "Leader-in-Residence" in the Department of Political Science at San Jose State University.
Noting his experience working in the private and public sectors, Foster campaigned on a platform that called for an end to the city's mounting deficit. He also advocated adding 100 new police officers to the streets of Long Beach and reducing traffic and pollution permeating from the Port of Long Beach. Foster won the June 6, 2006, election with 57.2% of the vote.
Foster and his wife, Nancy, are long-time residents of Long Beach. They have two grown sons, and three grandchildren.