Jerry Rawls is Executive Chairman of Finisar Corp., a global technology leader in optical communications components and subsystems. He was elected Chairman of the Board in 2006. He also has served as Finisar's President, Chief Executive Officer, and a member of the Board of Directors from 1989 to 2008.
Previously, Dr. Rawls was employed at Raychem Corp., a materials science and engineering company, where he held various management positions, including Manager of Product Marketing, National Sales Manager, General Manager of the Aerospace Products Division and General Manager of the Interconnection Systems Division.
He holds a bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering from Texas Tech University and a Master's Degree in Industrial Management from Purdue University. He also holds an honorary doctorate from Purdue. He has been generous to both of his alma maters. The business school and golf course at Texas Tech bear his name, and his $10 million gift to Purdue allowed completion of Jerry S. Rawls Hall, which opened in 2003. Dr. Rawls is a member of Tau Beta Pi and Pi Tau Sigma engineering honorary societies.