Charles Koch

Charles Koch

  • Board Member

Charles Koch is a member of the Mercatus Center's Board of Directors. He is chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Koch Industries, Inc., one of the largest privately held companies in America. Under his leadership, Koch Industries has been transformed into a dynamic and diverse group of companies engaged in trading, investment and operations worldwide.

Much of Koch Industries' success can be traced to Mr. Koch's interest in and commitment to scientific and social progress, which led to the development and implementation at Koch Industries of Market Based Management (MBM™). He has striven to further develop the theories and expand the practice of MBM, not only throughout Koch, but also in the next generation of business leaders. He frequently shares information about MBM in university and other lectures across the United States.

Mr. Koch believes that principled entrepreneurship is vital to the well-being of a community. Koch Industries and its employees also contribute to communities by sharing their time, talent and financial resources with human service and educational organizations that help people help themselves. He has continuously supported academic and public policy research for 40 years, with a special focus on developing voluntary, market-based solutions to social problems.

In recognition of his business leadership and community involvement, Mr. Koch has received a number of business and community honors and awards. Some of those include:

  • Honorary Doctor of Science, from George Mason University
  • Honorary Doctor of Laws, from Babson College
  • Honorary Doctor of Commerce, from Washburn University
  • The Entrepreneurial Leadership Award, from the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship
  • The Adam Smith Award, from the American Legislative Exchange Council
  • The Brotherhood/Sisterhood Award, from the National Conference of Christians and Jews
  • Distinguished Citizen Award, from the Boy Scouts of America
  • Free Enterprise Award, from Council for National Policy
  • The Tax Foundation's 2000 National Distinguished Service Award
  • The 1999 Director's Award for Global Vision in Energy, from the New York Mercantile Exchange
  • The 1999 Governor’s Arts Patrons Award from the Kansas Arts Commission
  • The Distinguished Service Citation, from the University of Kansas
  • Honorary Life Member in the Washburn Law School Association
  • Distinguished Citizen Award, from Kansas State University
  • Induction into the Kansas Oil and Gas Hall of Fame
  • Induction into the Wichita and Kansas Business Halls of Fame
  • Spirit of Excellence Award, from The Urban League of Wichita
  • Outstanding Humanitarian Award, from the Greater Wichita Chapter of the National Society of Fundraising Executives
  • Wichita City Medallion
  • Wichita State University Entrepreneur in Residence
  • Wichita District Minority Small Business Advocate of the Year
  • Individual Recognition Award, from Wichita/Sedgwick County Arts and Humanities Council
  • Uncommon Citizen Award from the Wichita Chamber of Commerce

Mr. Koch received a bachelor's in general engineering (1957) and two master's degrees in mechanical (nuclear) and chemical engineering (1958 and 1959, respectively) from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

His employment has been as an engineer, Arthur D. Little, Inc. 1959-61; vice president, Koch Engineering Company, Inc. (Wichita) 1961-63 and as president from 1963-71. He was president of Koch Industries, Inc. from 1966-74, and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, 1967-present.

Mr. Koch is a director of Intrust Bank, N.A. His non-business activities include serving as Chairman of the Institute for Humane Studies, the Claude R. Lambe Foundation and the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation, on the board of the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, and as a member of the Mont Pelerin Society.

Mr. Koch's book, The Science of Success , was published by Wiley in 2007. The book explains Market Based Management®, the distinctive business and management philosophy that has enabled Koch industries to become one of the largest and most successful private companies in the world.

Research Areas

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