Candidate Spotlight: Bill Foster

Bill Foster – U.S. Congressman for IL-11

Congressman Bill Foster is a scientist and businessman currently representing the Illinois’ 11th Congressional District.  Previously, he served in Congress from March 2008 until January 2011 as the Representative of 14th District.  He is the only PhD physicist in Congress. 

Bill serves on the House Committee on Financial Services, a position he also held in the 110th, 111th, 113th, 114th, and 115th Congresses. On the Financial Services Committee, he advocates for consumer protection and a fair economy for everyone.  In response to the Great Recession, he helped develop several important reforms in the financial services and housing sectors, most notably the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.  In addition, Bill serves as chairman of the Financial Services Committee’s Task Force on Artificial Intelligence.  

Bill also is a member of the Science, Space, and Technology Committee, where he has fought for evidence-based policies and forward-thinking approaches to some of our most pressing issues, including climate change and energy innovation.  He also continues to champion sustained federal funding for scientific research.

Bill’s business career began at age 19 when he and his younger brother co-founded Electronic Theatre Controls, Inc., a company that now manufactures over half of the theater lighting equipment in the United States.

Before he became a Member of Congress, Bill worked for over 20 years as a high-energy physicist and particle accelerator designer at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab). He was a member of the team that discovered the top quark, the heaviest known form of matter. He also led the teams that designed and built several scientific facilities and detectors still in use today, including the Recycler Ring, which is the latest of Fermilab’s giant particle accelerators. 

Bill lives in Naperville with his wife Aesook, who is also a physicist. Bill has two grown children, Billy and Christine. Bill’s father was a civil rights lawyer who wrote much of the enforcement language behind the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  His experience in business, science, and public service gives him a unique perspective on issues facing residents of the 11th congressional district.