Monumental Alumni

Nate Morris


Nathaniel Ryan Morris



B.A. ’03

Entrepreneur, Business Executive

Monumental Achievement: Nate Morris’s vision of using technology to drive free-market environmental innovation led to his founding and serving as CEO of Rubicon Technologies, which offers a digital platform for smart waste and recycling for governments and businesses throughout the world. In October 2016, Rubicon was named a Next Billion-Dollar Startup by Forbes. In September 2017, Forbes reported that Rubicon's valuation was more than $1 billion, making the company one of GW’s unicorns. Rubicon was recognized as an Industry Disruptor by Inc. Magazine; twice named One of the World’s Most Innovative Companies by Fast Company; and is the subject of a Harvard Business School case study in which Morris is featured as the protagonist. Morris is also the founder and chairman of Lexington, Kentucky-based conglomerate Morris Industries, which is reimagining the industrial economy, and co-founder of the Morris Foundation, which promotes the cherished American value that a better life is possible to those who seek it and invests in causes that provide opportunities for self-advancement. His many honors include being named: to Fortune's 40 Under 40 list in 2014; a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum; and one of the 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs of 2016 by Goldman Sachs at its annual Builders + Innovators Summit. In addition, Morris was inducted in 2019 into the Kentucky Entrepreneur Hall of Fame, the youngest person to ever receive the honor.

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Nate Morris is the founder of Morris Industries, a Lexington, Kentucky-based conglomerate that is reinventing the waste and recycling industry. Morris’s passion to solve the environmental threats was pivotal in his founding of Rubicon, the category creator of the digital waste and recycling experience.

Founded by maxing out credit cards and utilizing a $10,000 line of credit, Rubicon now operates in 22 countries on five continents, with a valuation in excess of $1 billion. The company helps Fortune 500 organizations, Main Street businesses, and municipalities around the world move toward zero waste. Under Morris’s leadership as founder & CEO, Rubicon has acted as a transformational platform to the waste and recycling category while being recognized as an “Industry Disruptor” by Inc. Magazine and twice named “One of the World’s Most Innovative Companies” by Fast Company, and is the subject of a Harvard Business School case study in which Morris is featured as the protagonist.

Committed to highlighting waste as a national security threat to the United States through his role as a senior advisor to the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security. Morris is also a member of Business Executives for National Security (BENS) and the Trilateral Commission.

Morris was the first Kentuckian to be named to Fortune magazine’s 40 Under 40 list and to be recognized as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. He is also the youngest inductee ever to the Kentucky Entrepreneur Hall of Fame.

A ninth-generation Kentuckian and product of public schools, Morris was born in Lexington and raised in a union household by a single mother. Morris graduated from George Washington University as a Scottish Rite Scholar and attended Princeton University’s School of Public and International Affairs. Morris is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and was named a Fulbright Specialist Scholar.

Morris is the founder of the Morris Foundation whose mission is to promote access to the American Dream for all Kentuckians. A generous benefactor to the University of Kentucky, Morris serves on the Dean’s Advisory Council and as the Entrepreneur in Residence at the Gatton College of Business and Economics at the University of Kentucky.

Morris and his wife, Jane, reside in Lexington, Kentucky with their rescue cat Inky.

Monumental Alumni