Two things about Rye Barcott, M.B.A. ’09, M.P.A. ’09: He knows that solving even the most complex problems requires practical approaches, and he isn’t easily daunted.
While an undergrad at the University of North Carolina, he co-founded Carolina for Kibera, an NGO in an impoverished Kenyan settlement that aimed to ease the ethnic and religious unrest that has plagued that country, boosting gender cooperation, and improving health care.
As a Marine, he spent time in Iraq, Bosnia, and the Horn of Africa.
After his tours he earned two master’s degrees at Harvard, and then used his newly acquired skills to helped start Double Time Capital, an investment firm focused on sustainable energy projects at a time when falling fossil fuel prices made the need feel less urgent.
Now he thinks he has a commonsense strategy to help bridge the deep political divide in Congress: Elect more military veterans.
“Veterans as a group, over the last 50 years, have voted across party lines in more ways, statistically, than nonveterans,” Barcott said. “Veteran representation is also at a near-historic low in Congress.”
So Barcott, along with Navy veteran David Gergen, Public Service Professor of Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School, formed With Honor in 2017, a cross-partisan movement to get more veterans in office. Gergen, no stranger to bipartisanship, held high-ranking posts in the administrations of both Democrats and Republicans.