Professor George Foster Receives One of Australia’s Highest Honors

Management professor George Foster awarded for outstanding service and contributions to Australia.

August 29, 2019


Professor George Foster standing in an outdoor and airy corridor. Credit: Madeline Ellerm

Professor George Foster | Madeline Ellerm

On June 10, George Foster, Stanford PhD, and Konosuke Matsushita Professor of Management at Stanford Graduate School of Business, was named to the Queen’s Birthday 2019 Honours List for his significant service to education.

The Member (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia, a title bestowed by the governor-general, recognizes the outstanding service and contributions of Australians.

“If you have constantly put others ahead of yourself, served tirelessly and made a difference, you can be nominated and recognized by a grateful nation,” said His Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley, the 27th Governor-General of Australia about their Australian Honours and Awards. “Through the [Honours and Awards], we recognize and celebrate outstanding Australians — ordinary people who do extraordinary things for their local community and for Australia.”



From left to right: George Foster and James Sutherland, SEP ‘11 (CEO of Cricket Australia 2001-2018). | Debbie Foster

Since joining Stanford GSB, Foster has leveraged his roles within the school and his native Australia, simultaneously. As a professor of management as well as the director of Sports Management Initiatives and the Executive Program for Growing Companies at Stanford GSB, he has regularly hosted numerous Australian politicians, entrepreneurs, and sporting executives and coaches, as well as visits by Australian high school students.

Foster’s involvement in his native country runs through many veins, including politics, sports, education, and diplomacy. He has coled commissioned reports for both the Australian government and the New South Wales state government, and has acted as an advisor to many Australian organizations and sporting groups.

Foster, along with Stanford GSB Dean Emeritus Robert L. Joss and a few others from the Australian American Leadership Dialogue, founded the West Coast Leadership Dialogue. Now in its 14th year, this two-day conference brings together politicians, businessmen, nonprofits, and academics from both Australia and the United States. Multiple Australian Prime Ministers have participated.



From left to right: George Foster, Tony Abbott (Australian Prime Minister 2013–2015), and John Howard (Australian Prime Minister 1996–2007). | Courtesy of George Foster

Prior to being recognized as a Member (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia, Foster was the honoree at the 25th Anniversary Australian American Leadership Dialogue in 2017 and was elected to the Australian Accounting Hall of Fame in 2017 where the selection committee described him as a respected researcher, author, educator, and advisor. He was also named to the inaugural Advance 100 Leading Global Australians list in 2006. Introduced by then Prime Minister John Howard, Advance acknowledges the success of talented, energetic, and high-achieving Australians living outside of Australia.

“George’s energy, insight, and broad interests have allowed him to tackle problems that span disciplines and continents. He is a tremendous asset and an influential leader within our Stanford GSB community as well as his community back home in Australia,” says Jonathan Levin, Philip H. Knight Professor and dean.

Foster left Australia to get his doctoral degree from Stanford GSB after completing his undergraduate and graduate degrees in economics at the University of Sydney. He taught at the University of Chicago and the Australian Graduate School of Management before returning to Stanford GSB to teach accounting. His recent research interests include entrepreneurship, sports business management, and globalization challenges facing companies with new ventures and sporting organizations.

The Order of Australia lists have been released twice a year since their inception in 1975 — once on Australia Day in January and once on the Queen’s Birthday in June. This title makes Foster the second Stanford GSB faculty member to receive an Australian Honour, following Joss who obtained the title of AC in 2016.

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