FIRST Honors Distinguished Supporters at second annual FIRST Inspire Event

FIRST Honors Dr. Irwin M. Jacobs, Joan K. Jacobs, Dr. Paul E. Jacobs, Geneviève Jacobs, David Siegel and Dana Matsushita for Increasing Accessibility of FIRST Programs During Second Annual FIRST, Inspire Celebration and Charity Event

Proceeds Will Further Expand Opportunities for More Students to Participate in FIRST

NEW YORK, N.Y., November 23, 2016FIRST ®, an international, K-12 not-for-profit founded to inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology, rallied support for STEM education through a series of activities last night during its second annual FIRST, Inspire Celebration, at Cipriani 55 Wall Street in New York City.

FIRST honored Dr. Irwin M. Jacobs, Joan K. Jacobs, Dr. Paul E. Jacobs, Geneviève Jacobs, David Siegel and Dana Matsushita for their efforts to advance the mission of FIRST:

  • Dr. Irwin M. Jacobs and Joan K. Jacobs – Dr. Irwin M. Jacobs is the founding chairman and CEO emeritus of Qualcomm Incorporated where he pioneered and led the commercialization of Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) technology. Today, Qualcomm is the world’s largest fabless semiconductor producer and the largest provider of wireless chipset and software technology. Joan Jacobs serves on the Executive Committee of the La Jolla Playhouse at the University of California at San Diego (UCSD) in addition to being a director on their board, and is a founding member of the university’s Stuart Collection. She is a tireless proponent of the arts in San Diego, having served as chair of the Gold Ribbon Patrons, a fundraising group for the San Diego Symphony, among other endeavors. In October 2015, in addition to being recipients of the Philanthropy in the Arts Award from the National Arts Awards, the couple received the Carnegie Medal for Philanthropy, given every two years to individuals who have dedicated their private wealth to the public good.
  • Dr. Paul E. Jacobs and Geneviève Jacobs – Dr. Paul E. Jacobs is executive chairman of Qualcomm Incorporated, where he is responsible for helping guide the development of new technologies and Qualcomm’s long-term opportunities. A leader in the field of mobile communications for more than 25 years, Dr. Jacobs has been granted more than 80 patents related to wireless technology and devices. Genevieve Jacobs’ wide ranging career included working as an oceanographer, a medic in the Canadian army, an elementary and high school teacher, and a host of a lifestyle TV show, among other endeavors.
  • David Siegel and Dana Matsushita – Prior to co-founding Two Sigma Investments, Siegel was Chief Technology Officer and Managing Director at Tudor Investment Corporation. Siegel has had a lifelong interest in building intelligent computational systems and continues to actively pursue this mission at Two Sigma today. He currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Hamilton Insurance Group, the Scratch Foundation, NYC FIRST and NAF.  Dana Matsushita is a graduate of Brown University and Teachers College, Columbia University with a Master of Arts in Elementary Education.  She is an accomplished musician with a lifelong interest in education and an active volunteer in Scarsdale Public Schools, including helping to introduce STEAM enrichment programs.

“We know that nurturing and strengthening education leads to continued innovation and, in the long run, economic growth,” said Paul Jacobs. “Qualcomm’s support of FIRST goes beyond traditional sponsorship. We want to transform young people’s lives and the future of our industry.”

In addition to the awards, the event featured prominent speakers such as Dan Huttenlocher, Dean and Vice Provost of Cornell Tech; Dean Kamen, founder of FIRST; and many FIRST students recognizing the impact that FIRST has made in STEM education over the past 26 years.

The second annual event raised over $1.4 million to further expand accessibility to FIRST programs. If you’d like to donate to FIRST, please visit:


About FIRST® 
Accomplished inventor Dean Kamen founded FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) in 1989 to inspire an appreciation of science and technology in young people. Based in Manchester, N.H., FIRST designs accessible, innovative programs to build self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills while motivating young people to pursue opportunities in science, technology, and engineering. With support from over 200 of the Fortune 500 companies and more than $30 million in college scholarships, the not-for-profit organization hosts the FIRST® Robotics Competition for students in Grades 9-12; FIRST® Tech Challenge for Grades 7-12; FIRST® LEGO® League for Grades 4-8; and FIRST® LEGO® League Jr. for Grades K-4. Gracious Professionalism® is a way of doing things that encourages high-quality work, emphasizes the value of others, and respects individuals and the community. To learn more about FIRST, go to