Edmund S. Muskie Oral History Collection


Don Nicoll

Document Type

Oral History

Publication Date


Interview Number

MOH 419


Frederick Durrie “Rick” Barton was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina on September 5, 1949 to Robert Barton and Nancy Hemenway (Whitten) Barton. After four years the family moved to Spain and later to New York City. Rick went to public elementary schools, then attended Deerfield Academy and Harvard University. Ten years after college, while working in Boston, he received a MBA from Boston University. He recently received an honorary degree from Wheaton College. He worked on Bill Hathaway’s 1972 campaign then worked in his office until 1975. In 1976 he ran for congress and won the primary election but lost the general election against the incumbent David Emery. He then worked for Secretary Joseph Califano in the New England region as director of public affairs. In 1982 he was the finance chairman for Joe Brennan’s general election. He later was director of the Office of Transition Initiatives in the U.S. State Department. Starting in 1999, he worked at the United Nations as Deputy High Commissioner for refugees for two years. For a year he had a special professorship at Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School. He later became director of the post-conflict reconstruction project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Scope and Content Note

Interview includes discussions of: early life and education; early interests; campaigning for Bill Hathaway in 1972; working in the office of Bill Hathaway; running for congress in 1976; various jobs from 1976 to present; working on the 1972 campaign; campaigning with Muskie; Muskie’s personality; other Maine politicians; and the anecdote about golfing with Muskie.

Use Restrictions

Copyright Bates College. This transcript is provided for individual Research Purposes Only; for all other uses, including publication, reproduction and quotation beyond fair use, permission must be obtained in writing from: The Edmund S. Muskie Archives and Special Collections Library, Bates College, 70 Campus Avenue, Lewiston, Maine 04240-6018.