James Foster is Professor of Economics and International Affairs at George Washington University. He is also research associate at the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) at Oxford University. His research is in development and theory, with an emphasis on measurement of poverty, inequality and wellbeing. Current research includes projects on measuring ultrapoverty, corruption, aspirations, subjective wellbeing, mobility, service delivery, robustness of multidimensional measures, and education quality. He received an Investigator Award in Health Policy Research from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and an honorary doctorate from the University of Hidalgo in Mexico. His income poverty measures (with Greer and Thorbecke) are the standard for measuring and decomposing income poverty; his recent multidimensional poverty methodology (with Alkire) has been adopted by several countries and organizations as an alternative to the traditional income approach.
Foster received a B.A. in Economics and Mathematics from New College of Florida in 1977, and a Ph.D. in Economics from Cornell University in 1982.