Leo Linbeck III

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Leo Linbeck
Born Leo Linbeck III
Residence Houston, Texas[1]
Nationality American
Alma mater University of Notre Dame
University of Texas at Austin
Stanford Graduate School of Business
Website www.leolinbeck.com

Leo Linbeck III is an American businessman who is involved in a variety of political and education reform efforts. He serves as president and chief executive officer of Aquinas Companies, LLC and as executive chairman of the Linbeck Group.[3]


At the University of Notre Dame, Linbeck received a bachelor of arts from the Program of Liberal Studies (Great Books) and a bachelor of science in civil engineering. He went on to receive a master of science in structural engineering from the University of Texas at Austin, and a Masters of Business Administration from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he was valedictorian.[4] At Stanford, Linbeck was also chair of the Academic Committee and founder of the Global Management Program.[5]



Early in his career, Linbeck was co-founder of the Jafy Corporation, a software development firm. He also worked for Nishimatsu Kensetsu Kaisha in Tokyo and Osaka.[1]

Linbeck serves as CEO of Aquinas Companies, LLC. After Linbeck joined the leadership team at the company, its annual revenues grew from $40 million to more than $500 million.[3][4] Aquinas Companies has three principal business lines: construction management (Linbeck Group), real estate development (Essex Commercial Properties), and early stage biotechnology development Fannin Innovation Studio (formerly AlphaDev).[5][6][7][8][9] The Greater Houston Community Foundation owns 30% of Aquinas Companies, LLC.[10]

Linbeck was a founder of the Collaborative Process Institute and the Lean Construction Institute.[11] Linbeck is also the founder of Fannin Innovation Studio, a life sciences business development studio in Houston, Texas, where he is active as a design engineer and business adviser for various life science startups.[citation needed]


Linbeck is a lecturer at Stanford's Graduate School of Business. He is a former adjunct business professor at Rice University's Jones Graduate School of Business.[5]

Education reform[edit]

Linbeck serves as an advisor to the Knowledge is Power Program, a network of free open-enrollment college-preparatory schools in under-resourced communities throughout the United States. In 2005, Linbeck developed a strategic growth plan to open forty-two KIPP schools in Houston before 2017. In 2008, Linbeck helped develop a credit support program with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation that helped KIPP raise $65 million, a charter school record.[12]

Linbeck helped to create the Rice Education Entrepreneurship Program (REEP), a business school program for developing school leaders.[5]

Political activities[edit]

Healthcare Compact[edit]

Linbeck, a self-described "conservative communitarian," is the former vice-chairman of the Healthcare Compact Alliance, a 501(c)(4) organization with a stated mission of "providing tools that enable citizens to exert greater control over their government" and offering Americans "more influence over decisions that govern health care".[13][14] The Health Care Compact would transfer the money the federal government spends on health care to states, and give them the ability to suspend federal health care regulations. Linbeck says:

"The focus of this group is governance reform — our ultimate goal is to restore self-governance. It’s not nullification, it's not secession. What it’s an attempt to do is to organize the states in a way that’s constitutional, to use an interstate compact to devolve power over health care away from a centralized federal government. I can’t stand monopolies. And what has happened in health care is an accumulation of power and control and influence in Washington D.C., so federal politicians, big corporations, lobbyists and unions get together and cut a deal. This is bad governance, and it has created a system that is unsustainable."[15]

Linbeck III is president of The Health Care Compact Alliance Texas nonprofit and vice chairman of its national organization. According to the Texas tribune, the Alliance was able to raise $300,000 so far from different people. It finances a lobby team and public activity. Former Republican state Senator Kyle Janek and Texas business lobbyist Mike Toomey. The financiers are composed of private citizens, small business owners and some political entrepreneurs support the concept of self-governance. The Health Care Compact transfers funds the federal government allocates for health care to state governments giving them the capability to hold national healthcare policies[16].

Competitive Governance Action[edit]

Linbeck is the chairman of the Competitive Governance Institute and Competitive Governance Action.[14][17] According to the group's mission statement, Competitive Governance Action "exists to challenge the increasing domination of decision-making in Washington that disenfranchises ordinary citizens, protects incumbents from challenges to their power and position, and allows career politicians to avoid accountability for their actions."[18] The group's efforts include a "Primary Pledge" to encourage citizens to vote in primary elections, support for interstate compacts, including the Health Care Compact, and organization of a coalition to repeal the Sixteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.[14]

Campaign for Primary Accountability[edit]

Linbeck is the co-founder and top donor of the Campaign for Primary Accountability (CPA), a Super PAC with a stated goal of bringing "true competition to our electoral process, to give voters real information about their choices, and to restore fair, not fixed, elections."[19] CPA was featured in a front-page story in the Washington Post on March 8, 2012. The story quotes Linbeck as saying, "We’re trying to make the electoral system competitive, so that Congress will become more accountable to the voters. It’s not about policy, it’s about governance. We’re not interested in shifting power between Republicans and Democrats. We’re interested in shifting power between Congress and the people."[2] According to a Mother Jones article published in March 2012, "the group's aim is to use the power of the purse to do what political parties and state redistricting panels won't—make congressional races competitive again. CFPA, which has raised $1.8 million to date, is targeting at least 10 Republican and Democratic incumbents in half a dozen states, with plans to increase that number over the next few months."[20]

The organization attracted national attention after the March 6, 2012, congressional primary in Ohio's 2nd District when it played a role in defeating incumbent Jean Schmidt.[2] CPA attracted renewed attention when it played a role in incumbent Donald A. Manzullo's defeat in the March 20, 2012, congressional primary in Illinois' 16th District.[21]

According to the Dallas Morning News, "Most so-called Super PACs created in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision push specific candidates, values or policy positions. But a Texas-based group, the Campaign for Primary Accountability, has a far more unique goal: make life more difficult for more congressional incumbents. CPA is targeting incumbents for primary defeat across the nation, using a bankroll that has grown to about $1.8 million to fund challengers to Republicans and Democrats the Super PAC believes has lost touch with the people of their districts."[22]

In January 2013, Linbeck wrote an opinion editorial in Politico stating that CPA would continue to be active in the 2014 congressional elections.[23]


Linbeck sits on the boards of the Texas Families First Coalition, Families Empowered, the Free Enterprise Institute, the Greater Houston Community Foundation, Seton Education Partners, Pathways for Little Feet, the Holocaust Museum Houston, and the Methodist Hospital Research Institute.[4][24] He is a member of the University of Texas Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering Department External Advisory Committee. Linbeck serves on the advisory board of the University of Notre Dame Center for Ethics and Culture and the Positive Coaching Alliance.[1]


Linbeck was a Henry Ford II Scholar at Stanford, where he also won the Arbuckle Award.[4] He is a two-time winner of the Alumni Teaching Award at Rice University's Jones Business School.[25] Linbeck was inducted into the Academy of Distinguished Alumni in the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Texas.[26] Awarded the Max Nathan from the Houston Chapter of the American Jewish Committee [27]

Personal life[edit]

Linbeck is married and has five children, three of whom are adopted. His adopted children are from Colombia, Guatemala, and Ethiopia.[5]


  1. ^ a b c "Leo E. Linbeck, III". Jones Graduate School of Business. Rice University. Retrieved 23 May 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c Kane, Paul (2012-06-18). "Super PAC targets incumbents of any stripe". Washington Post. Retrieved 23 May 2013. 
  3. ^ a b Mathews, Jay (Spring 2008). "Growing Up Fast Will Houston's charter school expansion revolutionize urban education?". Philanthropy Magazine. Retrieved 23 May 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c d "Leo E. Linbeck III". Aquinas Companies, LLC. Retrieved 23 May 2013. 
  5. ^ a b c d e "Leo Edward Linbeck". Faculty Profiles. Stanford Graduate School of Business. Retrieved 23 May 2013. 
  6. ^ "Leo Linbeck III". Linbeck Company. Retrieved 23 May 2013. 
  7. ^ Sarnoff, Nancy (2013-03-19). "Houston's downtown skyline to be reshaped". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 29 May 2013. 
  8. ^ "Real Estate". Aquinas Companies, LLC. 
  9. ^ "Board of Directors". AlphaDev LLC. Retrieved 29 May 2013. 
  10. ^ "2011 Annual Report" (PDF). Greater Houston Community Foundation 2011 Annual Report. Greater Houston Community Foundation. 
  11. ^ "Executive Profile Leo Linbeck III". Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved 23 May 2013. 
  12. ^ Mathews, Jay (2009). Work Hard. Be Nice.: How Two Inspired Teachers Created the Most Promising Schools in America. Algonquin Books. p. 284. 
  13. ^ "About Us". Health Care Compact Alliance. Retrieved 29 May 2013. 
  14. ^ a b c "Chairman of the Board". Competitive Governance Institute. Retrieved 24 August 2013. 
  15. ^ Ramshaw, Emily (2011-03-24). "Leo Linbeck III: The TT Interview". Texas Tribune. Retrieved 29 May 2013. 
  16. ^ Tribune, The Texas (2011-03-24). "Leo Linbeck III: The TT Interview". The Texas Tribune. Retrieved 2018-05-25. 
  17. ^ Sorock, Anne (2013-06-24). "Video introduces concept of subsidiarity with captivating animation". The Frontier Lab. Retrieved 24 August 2013. 
  18. ^ "About Competitive Governance Action". Competitive Governance Action. Retrieved 24 August 2013. 
  19. ^ "Campaign for Primary Accountability". Ballotpedia. Retrieved 29 May 2013. 
  20. ^ Murphy, Tim (2012-03-08). "This Texas "Anarchist" GOPer Is Taking Out Incumbents". Mother Jones. Retrieved 29 May 2013. 
  21. ^ Politico, "Adam Kinzinger topples Don Manzullo in Illinois", March 21, 2012
  22. ^ Hashimoto, Mike (2012-04-06). "Point Person: Our Q&A with Leo Linbeck III of the Campaign for Primary Accountability". Dallas Morning News. Retrieved 29 May 2013. 
  23. ^ Politico "Holding Congress accountable," January 8, 2013
  24. ^ "Family-Centered Public Education System Proposed for Texas". Texas Families First. Retrieved 24 May 2013. 
  25. ^ Nguyen, Julia (2009). "Four Jones School professors recognized for excellence in teaching". Rice News. Retrieved 24 May 2013. 
  26. ^ "CAEE to Induct 2011 Academy of Distinguished Alumni". University of Texas at Austin. Retrieved 29 May 2013. 
  27. ^ https://www.chron.com/neighborhood/memorial-news/article/Linbeck-praised-for-his-efforts-1645397.php

Further reading[edit]