avatar for Joe Astroth, Ph.D.

Joe Astroth, Ph.D.

Robotics Education & Competition Foundation
Chairman of the Board

Joe Astroth, Ph.D., joined Innovation First International as executive vice president and chief education strategist in 2011, providing executive leadership for educational initiatives across IFI’s businesses.

He is also chairman of the board of the Robotics Education and Competition Foundation, a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization that supports robotics programs that aim to inspire and motivate students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The REC Foundation operates and supports competitions for some of the world’s leading robotics platforms and organizations including VEX, TSA and the BEST.

Dr. Astroth has a unique blend of industry, academia, management and senior leadership experience, and serves as a highly visible board member of several industry organizations and associations including Project Lead the Way, For the Inspiration and Recognition of Science & Technology (FIRST), The Olin College of Engineering and the College of Design and Innovation, Tongji University, Shanghai, China. 

Earlier in his career, Joe served as a senior executive for more than 15 years at Fortune 1000 company Autodesk and re-established the company’s presence in the global education market. Prior to that, he was a part-time technology consultant and full-time professor at the University of Missouri, where he co-founded a research institute focused on computer cartography, remote sensing and geographic information systems. Joe completed his doctoral work at The University of Chicago.