Ocean currents offer a green, renewable, and sustainable energy resource which can provide grid-scale power and acceptable capacity factors. Technology to harness these currents is still immature and not well understood. Of major concern are the construction, reliability, and performance of rotors fitted to turbines. The efforts of the collaborative partnership described in this paper are focused on designing, analyzing, and constructing a rotor to be fitted to a small-scale research turbine which will eventually be operated in the Gulf Stream off the coast of southeast Florida. We describe the constraints, design methodology, modeling tools, selected design, and construction plans of a first generation rotor. Results of preliminary Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and Finite Element Analysis (FEA) studies are presented which confirm design selections. Refining the design, material selection, and tools used for ocean current turbine rotors will ultimately reduce the cost of harnessing ocean currents and will enable marine renewables to be included in the world's energy portfolio.