Nate Morris

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Nate Morris
Nate Morris Kentucky.jpg
Nate Morris at the 2015 Breeders' Cup World Championships in Lexington, Ky.
Nathaniel Ryan Morris

(1980-10-16) October 16, 1980 (age 39)
NationalityUnited States American
Alma materGeorge Washington University (BA)
Princeton University
OccupationCEO of Rubicon Global
AwardsFortune 40 Under 40 (2014), World Economic Forum Young Global Leaders (2014), Kentucky Entrepreneur Hall of Fame (2019)
Signature of Nate Morris.svg

Nathaniel Ryan Morris (born October 16, 1980) is an American entrepreneur. He is the co-founder and CEO of the cloud-based, full-service waste and recycling company Rubicon Global.[1]


Morris was born in Lexington, Kentucky and raised in Louisville by his mother. He attended Eastern High School, where he played football, was captain of the debate team and was elected president of his senior class.[2] While at Eastern, Morris was selected to attend Boys State and Boys Nation in Washington, D.C., and met President Bill Clinton in the Oval Office. During his trip to Washington, a gunman shot and killed two U.S. Capitol Police officers.[3] Morris also competed in the United States Academic Decathlon and was a member of the National Honor Society.

Nate Morris with former Kentucky Governor Brereton Jones at Boys State in 1998.

Morris won an academic scholarship from the Scottish Rite to attend George Washington University. At GWU, he lived in the Hall On Virginia Avenue and was selected to participate in a year-long program called "America After Watergate."[4] While attending GWU, Morris worked at the U.S. House of Representatives, the U.S. Senate, the Department of Labor and the White House.[5] He is a member of Kappa Sigma fraternity.

After graduating from GWU, Morris worked for the American Red Cross. In 2007, he spent time in China lecturing at the Beijing International Studies University and working for the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development.[6]

Morris returned to the United States and attended graduate school at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University.[7] At Princeton, he studied under former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and was named a fellow at the Center for the Study of Presidency, but left before receiving a degree.[8][9]


Morris is a ninth generation Kentuckian. He is a direct descendant of James Monay, Sr., an explorer who was one of the first to enter into Kentucky with Daniel Boone through the Cumberland Gap.


Rubicon Global[edit]

In 2008, Morris and high school friend Marc Spiegel founded Rubicon Global.[10] Spiegel's family had been in the garbage hauling trade for more than a century; his knowledge piqued Morris's interest in starting a company that could disrupt the waste industry. Morris maxed out personal credit cards and sold items on eBay to fund initial expenses, like a website and basic legal work.[11][12]

Morris is currently CEO of Rubicon. As CEO, Morris has led the company's fundraising efforts. Investors in Rubicon include Leonardo DiCaprio, Henry Kravis, Paul Tudor Jones, Brad M. Kelley, Marc Benioff, Fifth Third Bank, Goldman Sachs, Wellington Management and the New Zealand Superannuation Fund. In October 2016, Rubicon was named a Next Billion-Dollar Startup by Forbes.[13] In September 2017, Forbes reported that Rubicon's valuation was more than $1 billion.[14]

Rubicon was the subject and Morris was the protagonist of a Harvard Business School case study published in 2015.[15]

Morris Industries[edit]

Morris is also the founder and chairman of Lexington, Kentucky-based Morris Industries, a privately held holding company.[16]

Advocate for benefit corporations[edit]

Morris is an advocate for benefit corporations. In 2013, Morris worked with the leadership of companies including Warby Parker and Prudential Financial to pass a law in Delaware recognizing public benefit corporations.[17] In 2014, Morris spoke in support of benefit corporations at a conference sponsored by the Harvard Business Law Review.[18]

In 2017, Morris advocated for the passage of Kentucky House Bill 35, which allowed for the creation of public benefit corporations in the Commonwealth.[19] The bill passed the Kentucky General Assembly and was signed by Gov. Matt Bevin.[20]

Gatton College[edit]

In 2016, Morris was named the first Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the University of Kentucky Gatton College of Business and Economics.[21] He is also a member of the Dean's Advisory Council at the Gatton College.[22]

Media coverage[edit]

Morris and Rubicon were profiled in the January 2017 issue of Forbes magazine.[23] Morris has been featured in media outlets including Vanity Fair,[24] The New York Times,[25] Bloomberg News,[26] and National Journal.[27]

Awards and memberships[edit]

Kentucky businessmen Jim Booth (left) and Nate Morris (right) are recognized at a University of Kentucky basketball game in 2015.

Morris is a former term member of the Council on Foreign Relations,[36] the Young Presidents' Organization Bluegrass Chapter[37] and the Milken Institute Young Leaders Circle.


Morris was raised in a family of Reagan Democrats and was close to his grandfather, who was a United Automobile Workers leader in Louisville.[38]

Morris's views, however, lean more to the right. He is a Republican and has been described as a "wunderkind" political fundraiser in The New York Times.[39] Morris raised money for President George W. Bush's 2004 reelection campaign and was recognized as a Maverick.[40]

Morris has helped to elect Kentucky Republicans including Sen. Mitch McConnell, Gov. Ernie Fletcher and Rep. Anne Northup.[41] He is a friend and supporter of Sen. Rand Paul. Morris traveled with Paul to Israel in 2013 and raised money for his Senate and presidential campaigns.[42] Paul wrote about Morris and Rubicon in his book, Taking a Stand: Moving Beyond Partisan Politics to Unite America.[43]

In 2014, Morris received the Leadership Institute's Conservative Leader Award[44] and Maverick PAC Future 40 Award.[45]


Morris is a signatory of the Founders Pledge.[46]

He created the Morris Foundation, which is based in Kentucky and invests in causes that provide opportunities for self-advancement. Programs funded by the foundation include the Lewis Sexton Scholarship Fund, which provides college scholarships in Kentucky to children of UAW Local 862 members or retirees.[47]

Recent gifts given by the foundation include the Gatton United Building Campaign.[48]

In 2019, Morris created the Nathaniel R. Morris Fellowship at the Gatton College. The fellowship expanded the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress Fellows Program to include a participant from the University of Kentucky.[49]

Thoroughbred horse racing[edit]

Morris is a supporter of the Thoroughbred industry. While working for the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development, he advocated for trade expeditions to purchase Kentucky Thoroughbreds. He is a member of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association, National Thoroughbred Racing Association and Thoroughbred Club of America.[50]


Morris is married to Jane Mosbacher Morris, the founder and CEO of To the Market. She is the daughter of Robert Mosbacher, Jr. and the granddaughter of oil mogul and U.S. Commerce Secretary Robert Mosbacher, Sr..


  1. ^ "Rubicon Global - Executive Leadership". Retrieved 22 December 2015.[dead link]
  2. ^ Cheves, John (29 August 2004). "Kentucky 'Maverick' reels in serious cash for GOP campaign". Lexington Herald-Leader. Retrieved 25 December 2015.
  3. ^ Fields, Greg (12 August 1998). "Youth dreams of presidency". Louisville Courier-Journal.
  4. ^ Gaines, Patrice (21 August 1999). "A Look at History From Room 723". Washington Post. Retrieved 25 December 2015.
  5. ^ Cheves, John (29 August 2004). "Kentucky 'Maverick' reels in serious cash for GOP campaign". Lexington Herald-Leader. Retrieved 25 December 2015.
  6. ^ Storm, Nick. "GOP power broker Nate Morris named to Fortune's top 40 under 40". Pure Politics. cn|2. Retrieved 30 December 2015.
  7. ^ Bykowicz, Julie (29 May 2014). "Rand Paul's money man Nate Morris leverages trash contacts for political cash". Lexington Herald-Leader. Bloomberg News. Retrieved 25 December 2015.
  8. ^ Goldmacher, Shane (18 June 2014). "Rand Paul's New Confidant". National Journal. Retrieved 25 December 2015.
  9. ^ "A Dialogue on Presidential Challenges and Leadership" (PDF). Center for the Study of the Presidency. Retrieved 30 December 2015.[permanent dead link]
  10. ^ Zax, David (25 October 2014). "Dividing and Conquering the Trash". New York Times. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  11. ^ McCullough, Mike; D'Angelo, Caroline (13 August 2012). "Investing in Disruptive Sustainability". Wharton Magazine. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  12. ^ Contributor, Ashoka (30 June 2016). "Kentucky Entrepreneur Nate Morris Is Disrupting The World's Toughest Industry: Garbage". Forbes. Retrieved 12 July 2016.
  13. ^ Feldman, Amy (19 October 2016). "Next Billion-Dollar Startups 2016". Forbes. Retrieved 19 October 2016.
  14. ^ Konrad, Alex (12 September 2017). "Trash Unicorn: Waste Startup Rubicon Global Hits $1B Valuation With $50M Raise". Forbes. Retrieved 12 September 2017.
  15. ^ Sahlman, William A.; Ashmore, Hunter (2015-11-16). "Rubicon Global". Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  16. ^ "Morris Industries - Founder". Retrieved 25 December 2015.
  17. ^ Menin, Sophie (29 April 2013). "Benefit-Corporations on the Rise". Barron's. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  18. ^ "HBLR Presents: Benefit Corporations Conference". Harvard Business Law Review. 2014-03-31. Retrieved 3 March 2016.
  19. ^ Bayens, Dan (17 February 2017). "Kentucky Entrepreneur Nate Morris Voices Support for Benefit Corporation Bill". GlobeNewswire. Retrieved 3 June 2017.
  20. ^ "HB 35". Legislative Record. LRC. Retrieved 18 August 2017.
  21. ^ Quarandillo, Ann Mary (2016-11-28). "Rubicon Global Founder Nate Morris Named Gatton College Entrepreneur-in-Residence". UKNOW. Retrieved 30 November 2016.
  22. ^ "Nate Morris Joins Gatton College Advisory Council". Retrieved 25 December 2015.[dead link]
  23. ^ Konrad, Alex (10 January 2017). "Meet Rubicon Global, The Startup Using Uber's Playbook To Disrupt Your Trash". Forbes. Retrieved 18 January 2017.
  24. ^ Koskoff, Maya (2 June 2016). "Why Did Leo DiCaprio Join a Garbage Start-Up—Literally?". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 21 June 2016.
  25. ^ Zax, David (25 October 2014). "Dividing and Conquering the Trash". New York Times. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  26. ^ Bykowicz, Julie (28 May 2014). "Rand Paul Backer Trades Trash Contacts for Political Cash". Bloomberg News. Retrieved 21 June 2016.
  27. ^ Goldmacher, Shane (18 June 2014). "Rand Paul's New Confidant". National Journal. Retrieved 25 December 2015.
  28. ^ "United States Junior Chamber Names 2013 Ten Outstanding Young Americans". Archived from the original on 2015-12-26. Retrieved 25 December 2015.
  29. ^ "40 Under 40 2014 - Nate Morris, 33". Retrieved 25 December 2015.
  30. ^ "Kentucky Entrepreneur Hall of Fame". Retrieved 25 December 2015.
  31. ^ "Lexington man named one of 2014 Young Global Leaders". Lexington Herald-Leader. 11 March 2014. Retrieved 25 December 2015.
  32. ^ "Rubicon Global Founder and CEO Nate Morris named one of 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs". GlobeNewswire. Retrieved 21 October 2016.
  33. ^ "Penton's Waste360 Unveils the First Annual 40 Under 40, the Next Generation of Leaders in the Waste and Recycling Space". PR Newswire. PR Newswire. Retrieved 2 May 2016.
  34. ^ "Atlanta Business Chronicle names 2018 Most Admired CEO honorees". Atlanta Business Chronicle. 10 July 2018. Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  35. ^ "Rubicon Global Founder and CEO Nate Morris to be Inducted into Kentucky Entrepreneur Hall of Fame". Globe Newswire. 26 August 2019. Retrieved 11 October 2019.
  36. ^ "Council on Foreign Relations - Membership Roster". Retrieved 25 December 2015.
  37. ^ "12 YPO Members Named WEF Young Global Leaders". Retrieved 25 December 2015.
  38. ^ Goldmacher, Shane (18 June 2014). "Rand Paul's New Confidant". National Journal. Retrieved 25 December 2015.
  39. ^ Peters, Jeremy; Martin, Jonathan (22 March 2014). "Paul Has Ideas, but His Backers Want 2016 Plan". New York Times. Retrieved 25 December 2015.
  40. ^ Cheves, John (29 August 2004). "Kentucky 'Maverick' reels in serious cash for GOP campaign". Lexington Herald-Leader. Retrieved 25 December 2015.
  41. ^ Cheves, John (29 August 2004). "Kentucky 'Maverick' reels in serious cash for GOP campaign". Lexington Herald-Leader. Retrieved 25 December 2015.
  42. ^ Goldmacher, Shane (18 June 2014). "Rand Paul's New Confidant". National Journal. Retrieved 25 December 2015.
  43. ^ Paul, Rand (26 May 2015). Taking a Stand: Moving Beyond Partisan Politics to Unite America. Center Street. p. 320. ISBN 978-1455549566.
  44. ^ Kudlick, Ali. "Kentucky Entrepreneur Leads toward Conservative Environmentalism". Retrieved 28 December 2015.
  45. ^ "MavPAC Announces Future 40 Award Recipients". Retrieved 28 December 2015.
  46. ^ "Founders Pledge". Founders Pledge. Retrieved 10 January 2019.
  47. ^ "Morris Industries - The Lewis Sexton Scholarship Fund". Morris Industries. Retrieved 28 March 2016.
  48. ^ "Gatton United - Donors". Gatton United. Retrieved 28 March 2016.
  49. ^ "Center for Study of the Presidency and Congress creates Nathaniel R. Morris Fellowship at UK". 11 December 2019. Retrieved 14 December 2019.
  50. ^ "Morris Foundation - Our Founders". Morris Foundation. Retrieved 14 December 2019.