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Biography of Evan Barrett


Biography of Evan Barrett



In January 2017, Evan Barrett retired from his position as Director of Business & Community Outreach for the Highlands College of Montana Tech in Butte which he had held for 4 years. While at Highlands/Tech Evan also taught some classes. As part of his role at Highlands/Montana Tech, Evan was also heavily engaged in film-making about Montana history, including his 43 episode series “In the Crucible of Change,” which focuses on Montana’s 2nd Progressive Era between 1965 and 1980.

Since 1969, Evan has been active and involved at the top level of Montana economic development, government, politics, and education, including the following highlights:

Economic Development

  • · Eighteen (18) years heading up economic development in Butte as Executive Director of the Butte Local Development Corporation (BLDC) (1986-2004)
  • · 8 years heading up Montana economic development for Governor Schweitzer
  • · Founding Board Member, Montana Economic Developers Association (MEDA) (1989-2004) and head of its legislative and public policy committee (1989-2004)


  • · Governor Forrest Anderson (Montana) -- Executive Reorganization Commission, Administrative Assistant (1969-1971)
  • · Governor Tom Judge (Montana) -- Administrative Assistant (1974-76)
  • · U.S. Congressman Pat Williams -- Field Staff Director (1979)
  • · U.S. Senator John Melcher -- Field Staff Director (1979-86)
  • · Governor Brian Schweitzer (Montana) --- Chief Business Development Officer (2004-13)


  • · Served a three (3) year stint as Executive Director of the Montana Democratic Party
  • · Served twelve (12) years as a member of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), where he was a long-term member of the Rules Committee and vice-chair of the DNC Western Caucus
  • · Was campaign manager of two (2) major state level campaigns (Congress & US Senate), and had senior involvement in many other state level Democratic campaigns
  • · Formerly a partner of a regional & national political media consulting firm


  • · Graduate of Red Lodge (Montana) High School (1963)
  • · Helena (Montana) school system, teacher (1968-1969)
  • · Governor Brian Schweitzer -- senior policy team member, helping the Governor to develop and implement strategic redirection for and investment in higher education in Montana (2005-2013).
  • Higher education as student:
    • Montana State University (then MSC) - Undergraduate studies (1963-1965)
    • St. John’s University, Minnesota - attended (1966-1967), BS in Government (1967)
    • University of Montana - Graduate School in Political Science (1967-1968)
  • Montana Tech Foundation, Board of Directors (Chair of the Development Committee) (1989-91)
  • Montana Tech Support Committee (1989-1993), Member & Chairman
  • Montana Higher Education Coalition (1989-1993), founding Board Member, (fighting for better funding for the entire Montana University System)
  • Shared Leadership Task Force (University System/Government Economic Development joint effort under MT Governor Judy Martz) (2003-04), member & Vice Chair of Distance Learning Committee

Evan was born in Red Lodge, Montana in 1945 to an Irish Catholic father and a Jewish mother. He was number three of six sons in the family. He was raised in Red Lodge and Roundup, Montana, graduating high school in Red Lodge. After attending college in Bozeman, Collegeville, Minnesota and Missoula, he lived and worked in Helena for eleven years. In 1979 he moved to Butte and has lived there since, where he and his wife Gail live on the Butte Hill. Evan has four children: Kirsten Barrett of Las Vegas, Erika Barrett Thompson of Bozeman, and Brendan and Siobhan Barrett, both of Butte. He has four grandchildren: Eric Ivory and Jacen Thompson of Bozeman and Ashton Barrett and Brynn Elliott of Butte.

Publication Date

Winter 2016

Biography of Evan Barrett