Thought Leader. Scholar. Teacher.
Sheila R. Foster is the Scott K. Ginsburg Professor of Urban Law and Policy at Georgetown University. She holds a joint appointment with the Georgetown Law School and the McCourt School of Public Policy. Professor Foster’s work focuses on the intersection of law, policy and governance with a specific focus on urban communities and cities.
Foster also co-directs LabGov, an international applied research project that works directly with local governments to craft, implement and evaluate new policies that enable city residents to steward land and other resources within their communities.
Foster has been involved on many levels with urban law and policy. She is the chair of the advisory committee for the Global Parliament of Mayors, a leading collaborator with the Georgetown Global Cities Initiative, a member of the New York City Mayor's Panel on Climate Change, and a former member of the Aspen Institute's Urban Innovation Group.
Professor Foster’s work focuses on the intersection of law, policy and governance with a specific focus on urban communities and cities. She is one of the leading scholars on environmental and climate justice, most recently recognized by the IUCN Academy of Environmental Law’s 2018 Senior Scholarship Award. Her work analyzes urban governance and the right to the city through the lens of the “commons” as most comprehensively examined in her forthcoming MIT Press Book, Co-Cities ( with Christian Iaione). Her work also focuses on the role of cities in international law and global governance and is exemplified by her forthcoming work City Networks and the Glocalization of Urban Governance in The Elgar Research Handbook of International Law and Cities (Janne Nijman and Helmut Aust, eds.) (with Chrystie Swiney)
LabGov is an international network of theoretical, empirical, and applied research teams engaged in exploring and developing methods, policies, and projects focused on the shared and collaborative management of urban spaces and resources.
LabGov conceptualizes the city as a “commons,” or a shared resource, in order to help reclaim for city inhabitants more power in shaping urban space, in deciding how cities should grow and develop, and as a means of promoting greater access to urban resources and goods by a broader class of city inhabitants.