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Q&A with Board of Directors Member Chris Perkins

Team Rubicon recently welcomed three new members to its Board of Directors, one being Chris Perkins, a managing director at Citi who leads its global over the counter derivatives clearing business.

An Iraq War veteran, Perkins served in the U.S. Marine Corps for nine years. He is a founder of Citi Military Veterans Networks, which now include approximately 3,000 employees across 16 locations in the U.S. and United Kingdom, and cofounder of Veterans on Wall Street, a financial services industry veterans advocacy group.

We grilled him with a few questions to learn why he was drawn to Team Rubicon’s mission.

How did you first hear about Team Rubicon?

As cofounder of Veterans on Wall Street (VOWS) and champion of CitiSalutes, I regularly meet with veterans service organizations. When TR’s CEO Jake Wood came into our offices and told the story of Team Rubicon a few years back, I was immediately captivated by the mission and recognized the immense value it brings not only to communities impacted by natural disasters but also to the veterans themselves. I signed up immediately. In the aftermath of devastating flooding in Wimberley, Texas, I deployed with Team Rubicon and witnessed the power of the organization firsthand. The culture is contagious and the impact profound. 

Perkins (far right) learned what “TR clean” meant while mucking out flooded homes in Wimberley, TX.

What’s most exciting about bringing your experience to our mission?

I lead a global business as a managing director at Citi, and I am a Marine combat veteran. I’m excited to leverage these unique and diverse experiences to help Team Rubicon continue to grow into an institution that is part of our national identity and helps us bridge the civil/military divide.

Best advice you ever received.

As a young Captain, I deployed to Ar Ramadi, Iraq in support of counter insurgency operations. When our group of about 30 Marines arrived in Camp Blue Diamond, Headquarters of 1st Marine Division, we were greeted by our Commanding General, James Mattis. The General looked us in the eye, welcomed us, and outlined the expectations of all Marines under his command. He told us to appreciate and understand the culture around us and to “engage our brains before engaging our weapons.” The leadership lessons of Jim Mattis inspire me to this day.

Any words to pass on to our volunteers who’ve signed up to serve with the team?

Veterans have unique and special skill sets that are invaluable to our nation. They should be very proud of their service and recognize the value that they bring—not only to Team Rubicon but also to corporate America. I hope they have the opportunity to deploy, meet fellow members, and see this amazing organization in action. 

Chainsaw or sledgehammer?

Chainsaw, of course. I’m told a picture tells a thousand words. 

Perkins (left) took guidance from TR sawyer instructor Alan Mangan on Operation Double Trouble in Texas.

Care to know more about Team Rubicon’s staff and board? Head here