FIRST Board of Directors Welcomes Chris Moore as CEO

MANCHESTER, N.H., November 15, 2021 FIRST®, an international not-for-profit organization with the mission to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders and innovators, announced today the appointment of Chris Moore as chief executive officer. Moore brings visionary leadership, extensive advocacy and field-engagement experience, as well as a passion for building programs that serve youth, families and communities.

Moore will work with the FIRST Board of Directors to further the organization’s strategic objectives, collaborating closely with the global FIRST community to grow access to FIRST programs in the post-COVID-19 era; increase diversity, equity and inclusion in virtual and hands-on activities; and evolve FIRST for a new generation making crucial decisions about educational and extracurricular priorities.

Chris Moore
FIRST is pleased to welcome Chris as our new CEO,” said Karen Horting, executive director and chief executive officer for the Society of Women Engineer (SWE), member of the FIRST Board of Directors and the FIRST CEO Search Committee. “Chris’ years of driving growth for philanthropic organizations, advocating for positive youth development opportunities and convening leaders across government, business, nonprofits and education will help FIRST prepare even more young people for the future. Chris is immensely talented and has a proven track record of growing organizations and nurturing youth wellbeing. I’m grateful to have him on our team as we chart our course for the future.” 

Moore joins FIRST after more than 25 years in executive leadership roles. He is the former chief executive officer of the United States Youth Soccer Association, where he increased youth participation in recreational and competitive soccer programs nationwide. He also served as president and chief operating officer of GENYOUTH – a cross-sector collaboration with the National Football League (NFL) to inspire students to eat healthier and increase daily activity – while leading a partnership with Michelle Obama to promote youth health and wellness in support of her signature “Let’s Move” initiative. Most recently, he served as CEO of Positive Coaching Alliance, where he focused on youth development and making Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) skills and opportunities available to kids through sport.

FIRST has given millions of young people the tools they need to be good, successful global citizens, and I’m honored to join an organization with such an impressive legacy of changing lives,” said Moore. “FIRST is a sport for the mind, and today, it is more relevant than ever. We are poised to be the solution to challenges facing communities around the world.”

In addition to his leadership roles, Moore served as an Aspen Institute “Project Play” Champion and was recognized by the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness & Nutrition as a National Youth Sports Strategy (NYSS) Champion focused on developing a federal roadmap with actionable strategies to increase participation in youth sports. Moore received a bachelor’s in international relations from Lake Forest College and earned an MBA from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business.

“Chris is joining FIRST at a time of tremendous opportunity. Our programs are more relevant than ever, and our students are emerging from the last year arguably more resilient than their peers,” said Dean Kamen, FIRST founder. “We are also immensely thankful to Chris Rake, who has served as interim president throughout our search and was recently named executive vice president and chief operating officer, for his steadfast leadership of the FIRST community.”

Moore’s appointment was the result of an extensive global search led by the FIRST Board of Directors with retained management consulting firm Korn Ferry.

Learn more about the FIRST Leadership team


About FIRST®
FIRST® is a robotics community that prepares young people for the future through a suite of inclusive, team-based robotics programs for ages 4-18 (PreK-12) that can be facilitated in school or in structured afterschool programs. Boosted by a global support system of volunteers, educators, and sponsors that include over 200 of the Fortune 500 companies, teams operate under a signature set of  FIRST Core Values to conduct research, fundraise, design, build, and showcase their achievements during annual challenges. An international not-for-profit organization founded by accomplished inventor Dean Kamen in 1989, FIRST has a proven impact on STEM learning, interest, and skill-building well beyond high school. Alumni of FIRST programs gain access to exclusive scholarships, internships, and other opportunities that create connections and open pathways to a wide variety of careers. Learn more at