Growing up in Southern Indiana, Chris spent his youth swimming competitively, which continued into his college years. Out of school, he traveled throughout the Western United States and Mexico, and then he landed a full scholarship to attend graduate school at Arizona State University. Still hungry for adventure, Chris served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Bulgaria. Back in the US, he worked in fundraising in South Carolina. From there, he worked for a nonprofit based in Jamaica. In the winter of 2006, Chris moved to Oregon and began working for KEEN in the area of sustainability.