Chris Rake

Chris Rake
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, FIRST®

Chris Rake is Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of FIRST®, the world’s leading youth-serving nonprofit advancing STEM. He leads daily operations of FIRST to drive forward its global community, which is dedicated to preparing young people for the future through engaging, team-based research and robotics programs that inspire young leaders and innovators.

Rake joined FIRST in 2018 as Vice President of Programs. Bringing an impressive background in leadership and technical excellence, and a passion for FIRST, he’s championed the growth of the progression of  FIRST programs worldwide and led the team responsible for strategic planning and development of overall program content and experience.

Prior to joining FIRST, Rake served as a Chief Engineer at NI, a FIRST Strategic Partner. He led complex cross-team architectures and initiatives in the areas of Data Acquisition, Embedded Control, and Industrial Systems. As part of the role, Rake also managed and owned the FIRST® Robotics Competition control system program for over ten years, commencing with the inaugural NI FIRST Robotics Competition controller that started development in 2007. Rake also volunteers for various referee, judge, and coaching roles across FIRST programs. 

Rake received his bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering, with Highest Honor, from the Georgia Institute of Technology.