MRO Magazine

Odgers Berndtson Names Samantha Foster to Oversee Newly Launched Aerospace and Defense Practice

March 31, 2015
By Business Wire News


Odgers Berndtson, a leading executive search and organizational leadership firm, today announced it has named Samantha Foster as Partner to lead its newly launched U.S. Aerospace & Defense Practice.

Samantha Foster, a seasoned executive recruiter with more than two decades in the Aerospace and Defense sector, will based in Odgers’ New York office. She brings to the firm significant sector expertise and extensive experience partnering with military and commercial aerospace clients on search assignments in the U.S. and abroad, particularly in the areas of avionics design and manufacturing; composites manufacturing; landing gear systems, castings and forgings; and maintenance, repair and overhaul.

The U.S. Aerospace & Defense Practice will partner with sector companies on search engagements to recruit C-suite executives as well as operating unit and field organization leaders, and similarly critical functional roles within Engineering, Research & Development, IT, Security, Human Resources, Sales, and Marketing, among others.

“We are launching our U.S. Aerospace & Defense Practice at a time when defense companies and those in commercial aviation and aerospace face unprecedented market changes requiring a new breed of corporate and functional leadership to make insightful and innovative growth decisions — and to cultivate the next tier of leaders with equal agility to manage through the ever-challenging complexities of these businesses,” said Steve Potter, managing partner for Odgers’ U.S. operations.

He continued: “Samantha is the ideal person to help us launch and grow this practice. In addition to her myriad robust relationships throughout this sector’s landscape, she has the strong technical background, business and political acumen, and seasoned perspective on how innovations and external influences, such as a rise in global instability and cybercrimes, continue to change the talent needs of aviation, aerospace and defense companies, particularly across leadership roles.”

Foster said she was attracted to Odgers because the firm offers global capabilities in a boutique setting and has advisory board members who have unparalleled knowledge and experience dealing with critical issues impacting the aerospace and defense industries.

“It speaks volumes that General George Casey, Jr. (USA Retired) and Barry Libert both sit on Odgers’ advisory board,” Foster said. Casey led the U.S. Army from 2007-2011, and is widely credited with leading its transformation to keep it relevant in the 21st Century. Libert, an advisory to corporate boards and CEOs, is widely regarded as one of the leading authorities on the adoption and application of digital technologies.

Prior to joining Odgers Berndtson, Foster was the Global Head of the Aerospace Sector for search firm ZRG Partners and, earlier, President of the Technical, Aerospace and Defense Division of Management Search Inc. She started her career at Lockheed Martin and subsequently worked at CTL Aerospace in a business development capacity.

Foster completed her graduate studies in Materials Science at Johns Hopkins University; she earned her B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Hofstra University.


Odgers Berndtson is a leading global executive search and organizational leadership firm, with more than 210 partners managing client engagements from offices in 51 cities across 29 countries. Its diverse team of experienced search consultants in the U.S. provides executive search, leadership consulting, and candidate assessment services to organizations in an equally broad range of industries and sectors, both here and abroad. They have the depth and breadth of experience and knowledge to serve all the major industrial sectors, with particularly strong market expertise and penetration in: financial services, including alternative investments, asset management, investment banking, and venture capital; technology, information and communications; healthcare and life sciences; mining; consumer products and services; media and entertainment; and sports. For more information, please see

Jackie Ruegger, 212-370-7187