Who is Chad E. Foster?

High-Impact Keynote Speaker

Although Chad E. Foster lost his eyesight as a teenager, that didn’t stop him from becoming an executive for Red Hat, the world’s largest open source software company and securing over $45 Billion in contracts throughout his career.

He is the first blind graduate of the Harvard Business School leadership program and did what Oracle said could not be done; he built a software solution that created job opportunities for hundreds of millions of people. His direct and confident style, combined with a go-for-it inspiring belief system (he is an avid downhill skier… and that’s not a joke), has made him a high-impact speaker for leaders at companies such as Google, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, GE and Microsoft.

Contact Chad Now
Chad with his dog
With determination, ambition, and drive, he taught himself how to write code in order to program his screen reading software.

An inherited retinal disease robbed Chad E. Foster of his eyesight as a young adult, but it could not take his ambition. He refused to live life on anyone else’s terms. While enrolled at the University of Tennessee, Chad was forced to relearn how to learn without the benefit of eyesight and his grades actually improved.

He made the Dean’s List with straight-A’s and was hired by a Global Fortune 500 consulting firm out of college. In his spare time, with determination, ambition, and drive, he taught himself how to write code in order to program his screen reading software. As a result he did what Oracle said could not be done – building a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software solution that created job opportunities for hundreds of millions of people.

Chad’s success soon transcended the technical world and into the business world. He was promoted to direct the financials of multibillion dollar commercial deals in record time, serving as a renowned financial thought leader who also secured over $45 billion in government contracts with industry-leading growth and best-in-class margins despite tightening market conditions. In 2014 the University of Tennessee recognized Chad with the Accomplished Alumni Award.

Chad was the first blind graduate of the Harvard Business School leadership program (PLD), and his classmates were so impacted by his presence, attitude, and contributions that they elected him as their graduating speaker. Chad gave a graduation talk that directly and meaningfully changed lives – the lives of the audience as well as his own. His talk had such an impact on one audience member that he is commissioning an opera inspired by Chad’s life story. Chad is currently the Senior Director of worldwide deal management at Red Hat, the world's only multibillion dollar open source software company, and continues to shatter traditional notions of what people think is possible.