James D. Foley (born July 20, 1942) is Professor, Stephen Fleming Chair in Telecommunications, and interim dean of the College of Computing at Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech). He is perhaps best known as the co-author of several widely-used textbooks in the field of computer graphics, of which over 400,000 copies are in print and translated in ten languages. Foley presently conducts research with instructional technologies and distance education.
After completing his graduate studies, Foley was first employed by the University of North Carolina. In 1977, he accepted a faculty position at George Washington University, where he became chairman of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. Foley joined the Georgia Tech faculty in 1991.
Shortly after moving to Georgia Tech, Foley founded the GVU Center, which in 1996 was ranked first by U.S. News & World Report for graduate computer science work in graphics and user interaction. That same year, he was appointed director of the Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratories (MERL) in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Foley also served as editor-in-chief of ACM Transactions on Graphics from 1991 to 1995.
In 1997, Foley was recognized by ACM SIGGRAPH with the prestigious Steven A. Coons Award. The receipt of this biannual award places Foley among the company of computer graphics pioneers such as Jim Blinn, Edwin Catmull and Ivan Sutherland.
Foley accepted the position of chairman and CEO of Mitsubishi Electric Information Technology Center America (MEITCA) in 1998, directing corporate R&D at four labs in North America. He returned to Georgia as Executive Director and then CEO of Yamacraw, Georgia's economic development initiative in the design of broadband systems, devices and chips.
Foley became chairman of the Computing Research Association (CRA) in 2001. He stepped down from this position in 2003 but remains on the CRA's board of directors.