Gary D. Foster, PhD

Chief Scientific Officer
Published August 20, 2020

What he does at WW 

Gary is a psychologist, obesity researcher, and behavior change expert with a focus on scalable, evidence-based approaches to wellness for adults and children in community settings. As the chief science officer at WW, he oversees the science-based and science-proven program, all clinical research initiatives to advance behavior change and wellness science, and continued program advances. 

He also leads the Science team in translating clinical research so it’s accessible and actionable for everyone, and partnering across the organization to root solutions in science as experiences, features, partnerships, and strategies are developed. 

Gary is also the author of The Shift: 7 Powerful Mindset Changes for Lasting Weight Loss. Learn more about his book here!

His background 

Before joining the WW team in 2013, Gary founded, and was the former director of, the Center for Obesity Research and Education at Temple University in Philadelphia. He also served as clinical director of the Weight and Eating Disorders Program at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. He holds a PhD in clinical psychology from Temple University, master’s degree in psychology from the University of Pennsylvania, and bachelor’s degree in psychology from Duquesne University. 

Throughout his career, Gary has authored more than 225 scientific publications and three books on the causes and treatment of obesity. He has also received numerous honors, including The Obesity Society’s George A. Bray Founders Award, recognition from the American Psychological Association for Outstanding Contributions to Health Psychology, and has been named an Honorary Member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. 

What brought him to WW

Gary has spent his career working alongside people to find solutions to support their weight loss and wellness needs across a range of settings from hospitals, schools, and supermarkets. His goal was always to use the best of science to help people improve their lives in culturally relevant ways. This passion is exactly what brought him to WW—he was thrilled at the opportunity to lead a team that works closely with others to bring science to life in digital, technology-enabled, and face-to-face ways across the world. 

Get to know Gary:

  • In his free time: You’ll find him cheering on the Sixers!
  • You might be surprised to learn: He has a very wide taste in music—everything from James Taylor to Lady Gaga to Chance the Rapper.

Follow Gary on Twitter at @DrGaryFoster.