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Christopher Leinberger

Profile Updated: March 11, 2022
Christopher Leinberger
Residing In
Lisa K Leinberger
presently proptech startup co-founder, emeritus professor, real estate developer
This is Lisa's and my blended family...all are our kids.
Topher (class More…of 2000)
Yes! Attending Reunion

Following graduation, I have lived throughout the country including (in chronological order): Houston (3 months...but felt like a year), Los Angeles (2 years), Boston (2 years), Philadelphia (1 year), San Francisco (2 years), Los Angeles (8 years), Santa Fe (18 years and it is where my kids were raised), and now Washington, DC (17 years).

I have owned, started and/or run nine different organizations that have been in the private sector (consulting, real estate development and prop tech), nonprofit advocacy (federal level), think tank (Brookings) and academic (University of Michigan and George Washington University). On balance, I have gravitated to the private sector...one gets more stuff done with minimal bureaucracy.

My short bio; land use strategist, proptech start-up co-founder, real estate developer, professor, researcher, lecturer and author. Balancing business realities with social and environmental issues.

School Story

So many memories but the one that stands out was in the fall of 1970, during our Junior year. I was living on Baltimore Pike with about 10-12 other Swarthmoreans in a large mansion. I had a room off the living room. One evening I feel asleep reading what every 19-year old guy reads, Atlas Shrugged, the libertarian bible (I soon jettisoned Ayn Rand's approach to my life). The book was on my chest at 4 AM when I was awoken by a handgun thrust in my face and bright lights from outside surrounding the house. It was held by a man in a suit...so I immediately knew this could not be a normal break-in.

All of us were rounded up in the living room where the 20-30 men.. all in suits..would not initially tell us who they were or why they were there. It eventually came out that they were from the Media office of the FBI and were looking for one of the Greenwich Village radical bombers (a friend/co-author of mine in later years told me he was on the block when the bomb had gone off). Supposedly they were looking for a curly brown-haired, short woman...which roughly described 3 women in the house.

The men in suits left after finding that there were no radical bombers in the house. Then workman from Pennsylvania Bell Telephone showed up at 5 AM...the FBI had cut the phone line and Penn Bell repaired it. Obviously the FBI was a valued customer. The major damage was the diminishment of our faith in our country. In addition, one of my housemates had some marijuana and may or may not have been busted (Mark Schellenberger, was it you?). Then in two weeks, Springfield Township supervisors decided that they did not like having "radicals", even Ayn Rand-reading radicals, living in their midst so they made it illegal for unrelated people to live together in their township. All of us became homeless in October...which led to more adventures for me and I assume my other college mates. I would love to hear stories from any class of '72er who shared the house with me.

The best follow up to this story is that the Media FBI office was burgled the next year, in 1971, and documents were taken, copied and distributed to the New York Times and the Washington Post...the Post published them at great legal risk to the company and publisher Katharine Graham. It directly led to the downfall of cross-dressing J. Edgar Hoover and the reforms of the Church committee of the Senate about domestic surveillance by the FBI and CIA in 1975. There is a great book and a recent documentary, both named 1971, that you can read and see for yourself about this burglary, the remarkable people behind it (who kept it secret for 30 years) and the impacts from it at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1971_(2014_film).

The amazing thing is that while many of us thought the FBI under Hoover should be strongly opposed in 1971, today the FBI has become a major protector of our democracy. I know FBI agents and administrators that are some of the most conscientious people I know. They have been prosecuting the traitors and mis-directed folks who participated in the insurrection at our Capitol last year. The impressive reforms at the FBI are directly related to the 1971 burglary....though probably not from the infamous FBI Break-in on Baltimore Pike.

Christopher's Latest Interactions

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Jan 02, 2023 at 4:33 AM
Christopher Leinberger added a comment on his Profile. New comment added.
Jun 02, 2022 at 10:48 PM

Posted on: May 29, 2022 at 7:50 AM

May 25, 2022 at 7:51 AM

I was David Shilton's roommate on that Hallowell 1st floor hall our Freshman year.  Michi was a delight and introduced all of us to Ramen noodles...what a taste treat to this Philadelphia boy who thought the height of culinary arts was a cheese steak ( which is actually still high on my list and I will be bringing cheese steaks back to DC from my favorite place, Pinncolos, in Media). 

Christopher Leinberger posted a message. New comment added.
May 25, 2022 at 9:38 PM

Posted on: May 25, 2022 at 7:39 AM

Daniel, you confirm that community colleges are a major asset for the country, providing the training for advanced manufacturing, construction and so many fields we liberal arts grads may ignore…except when we need repairs made around the house. Great use of your talent and passion.

Mar 24, 2022 at 11:56 AM
Mar 11, 2022 at 9:59 PM
Mar 10, 2022 at 10:42 PM

Anne was an angel.  She was beautific in her approach to Reese, her kids and her community.  I lived in Santa Fe for 18 years.  My two kids and Anne and Reese's kids were fast friends.  I can not imagine the hole she left in her family's lives.  

Christopher Leinberger changed his profile picture.
Mar 10, 2022 at 10:08 PM