Ross Rocketto ’07

A New Regime

Ross Rocketto is putting the bachelor’s degree in political science he received from Trinity in 2007 to great use in Washington D.C. As he multi-tasks by earning his master of public policy from Carnegie Mellon, Ross works for the lobbying firm American Continental Group and has started a non-profit organization called Running to Govern, or RTG, for short.

By Donna Parker

“Its purpose is to change the conversation away from politics being a zero-sum game and redirect attention to creating effective policy solutions.  We’re recruiting and training younger candidates who buy into our principles,” explains Ross.

“We’re starting at the state level and, so far, we have two pilot states.”

Ross says the germination of RTG was seeded during the 2008 presidential elections as he watched both candidates hammer away at each other in a way that he felt was simply not productive.

“President Obama is the result of neither side truly negotiating in good faith between the ’08 and ’10 election cycles,” says Ross.

“Most of our major supporters are people who feel that realignment is appropriate right now.  They are older political operatives who worked in both parties in the 80s and now lament the situation that they’ve created.”

Ross, though, firmly asserts that this is not generational warfare.

“It’s an interesting dynamic.  We’ve identified the problem with the older generation.  They want to be cynical but the value added has to be more than just an idea—it must be feasible and easy to implement.”

Ross just launched his first online fundraiser to develop an infrastructure to recruit larger foundations.  His partner is a former staffer of President George W. Bush and the organization has a leadership team of four as well as a board of advisors.

“This narrative has a long arc and we need to start off right.  It cannot be built overnight.”

Meanwhile, Ross has plans to pursue community outreach by volunteering for Big Brothers Big Sisters, having mentored at Fox Tech as a Trinity student.

Admittedly, Ross does miss Texas and, in particular, San Antonio, praising his Trinity professors for providing him with a rich support network.

“Char Miller, department of history, and Professor Gibson, department of political science, were my mentors.  Dr. Gibson was so patient and listened to me be stupid for a really long time.  He showed me tough love and provided fantastic advice along the way.  Dr. Miller was helpful in pursing my interests centered around urban studies.  We always clicked really well…and Christine Drennon, department of sociology and anthropology, sparked my interest in current issues.  She was fun, and I always loved her classes.”

Ross still stays in touch with three or four college buddies and fondly recalls playing intramural sports and hanging out on the ledge overlooking the downtown skyline.

Right now, though, he’s focused on what the future will bring. Projecting 20 years down the road, Ross sees himself in elected office, possibly as a governor. 

You may contact Ross at Ross.rocketto@gmail.com.

After reading this story if you feel strongly about any Trinity alumni who the Alumni Office should profile in future AlumNet issues, please submit your suggestions.  We are looking for suggestions in these four categories:  1) recent grads, 2) grads who innovate, 3) grads in business, and 4) grads who serve the world. Feel free to nominate yourself if you fall in these categories. -- AlumNet Moderator