Bill King (’74, J.D. ’78)

Avery Ruxer Franklin – Jun. 11, 2024
POSTED IN: RICE NEWS > Current News > 2024
Bill King joins Rice Baker Institute as finance fellow / Bill King will join Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy as a fellow in public finance.

King is a lifelong resident of the Houston area, earning undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Houston. He has enjoyed a varied business and legal career, including serving as national managing partner of Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson and president of Southwest Airport Services Inc. Currently the managing director of a real estate investment firm, King is also on the board of Methodist Retirement Communities.

His community involvement includes numerous public service and volunteer organizations. From 1992–2005, he held various positions with the city of Kemah, including City Council member and two terms as mayor. King chaired a regional task force on the disastrous Hurricane Rita evacuation, and its recommendations formed the basis of new regional evacuation plans. In 2015 and 2019 he was a candidate for mayor of Houston.

“I have been working for the last two decades to make local government financial information more accessible and understandable,” King said. “I am very excited to have the expertise and resources of the Baker Institute to continue and expand this work.”

King wrote for the Houston Chronicle from 2005–15, authoring a bi-weekly column and serving on the editorial board. He has also written two books, including Unapologetically Moderate: My Search for the Rational Center in American Politics. He is a regular contributor to Real Clear Politics and publishes his own blog at

“Bill will be a critical asset for the institute’s policy work, given his exceptional professional background and ability to present complex issues in practical, common-sense fashion,” said David Satterfield, director of the Baker Institute.

King has also participated in many charitable and civic organizations, including Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston, Methodist DeBakey Heart Council, Houston ISD Foundation, Crime Stoppers, Galveston Bay Foundation, Memorial Hermann Foundation and Trees for Houston.

The Baker Institute’s Center for Public Finance provides policy analysis and recommendations for decision-makers in the public and private sectors on federal, state and local economic issues with a particular focus on how various taxes and government expenditures affect economic growth. The center publishes in-depth studies to advance the frontier of knowledge and draw attention to critical public policy issues such as the economic effects of potential tax policy changes at the national, state and local levels; the distribution of tax burdens and wealth within and across generations; the sustainability of the U.S. budget; and other issues that affect U.S. economic growth.

“The Center for Public Finance is delighted to welcome Bill as he brings a wealth of practical knowledge of local government finance and a knack for finding common sense solutions to difficult problems that confront local governments,” said John Diamond, director of the Baker Institute Center for Public Finance.

The center’s research draws upon the rich academic resources of the Baker Institute and Rice to ensure the highest standards of thought leadership and academic scholarship. The center aspires to influence thinking on pressing policy issues through outstanding research, media outreach, political outreach and testimony and research conferences that result in timely and relevant policy analyses and recommendations.

Avery Ruxer Franklin
Avery is a media relations specialist in the Office of Public Affairs.

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