Heydi Foster

Heydi Foster, who joined An Cosán as CEO in 2019, has extensive senior leadership experience in education, human rights, community development and delivery of social services in marginalised and vulnerable communities in Ireland and the USA. Heydi is a former CEO of the international development agency, Misean Cara, and of Exchange House Ireland National Travellers Service. She also served for 10 years as Commissioner with the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission.

Originally from Guatemala, Heydi has a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. She was CEO of Women United in Action, a non-profit that supports immigrant women and children in the USA, and co-founded a school in inner city Boston to address educational disadvantage among refugees and Latino and African-American children.

Heydi’s visionary leadership was recognised at Charities Institute Ireland’s Charity Excellence Awards 2023 when she received the prestigious Excellence in Charity Leadership Award.  The Award recognised that Heydi has transformed An Cosán, setting an exceptionally high standard for governance and management excellence whilst fostering a culture of continuous growth and collaboration. Her influence was said to extend beyond the organisation, shaping national policies and contributing to vital societal conversations. Her exceptional leadership was seen to have opened doors to education and life-changing opportunities for countless individuals.

Staff Information

 Email: ceo@ancosan.ie