Photo by David Valdez
International Business Consultant
Consultant to US businesses, educational institutions, and other entities interested in opportunities in Qatar, the richest country per-capita on earth and scene of enormous and vigorous growth.
Vice Chairman (USA), Strategic Real Estate Advisors Ltd
September 2007-September 2009
United States representative of a London-based international real estate investment
firm (now defunct) managing at the time over $7 billion in Class A buildings in the United States and United Kingdom. Engaged in business development for the firm in both the US and Qatar.
United States Ambassador to Qatar
August 2004-July 2007
Nominated by President George W. Bush and confirmed by the Senate to be responsible for US relations with Qatar, an energy-rich emirate on the Persian/Arabian Gulf. Possessing one of the highest per-capita incomes in the world, Qatar has given US energy and construction companies multi-billion-dollar contracts. It is also host to a major US air base, the forward headquarters of the US Central Command, and six branches of American universities. The Al Jazeera satellite television network is based in Qatar. The ambassador manages the 160-person embassy, containing employees from the Department of State and four other federal agencies.
Executive Vice President and Professor of Public Policy, University of Texas Health Science Center-Houston
February 2002-August 2004
Responsible for all local, state, federal, and international government relations for UTHSC, comprised of the schools of medicine, nursing, dentistry, public health, biomedical sciences, and information sciences, plus the Institute of Molecular Medicine and the Harris County Psychiatric Hospital.
Director of Government Affairs, Compaq Computer Corporation
July 1993-February 2002
Responsible for government relations and community affairs at the Houston headquarters of what was then the world’s second-largest computing company. From l994-97, managed a $5.0 million corporate giving program.
Director of the Voice of America
August 1991-January 1993
Nominated by President Bush and confirmed by the Senate to be in charge of all overseas broadcasting of the US government, comprised of Voice of America, WorldNet TV, and Radio/TV Marti. Managed some 3000 employees, one-third of them overseas, and an annual budget of nearly $400 million. Hosted a weekly news interview show (“On the Line”), broadcast worldwide on both VOA and WorldNet.
Assistant to the President of the United States and Director of Presidential Personnel
January 1989-August 1991
Appointed by President Bush to advise him on some 3500 presidential appointments: Cabinet, sub-cabinet, regulatory commissions, ambassadorships, judgeships, and part-time advisory boards and commissions. Managed a permanent staff of about 50 plus up to 150 volunteers. In addition, handled Puerto Rican affairs for the Administration.
Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Manpower & Reserve Affairs
May 1984-April 1988
Nominated by President Reagan and confirmed by the Senate to be in charge of all personnel aspects of the then-600,000 Navy and 200,000 Marine Corps men and women, plus their families, retirees, and one-third million civilian employees of the Navy Department. Responsibilities included recruiting, training, education, health, housing, discipline, women’s and minority issues. These activities represented between $30-40 billion a year. Personal staff of 50 plus ancillary staffs of 150. Oversaw selection process for the selection of new Navy bases on East, Gulf, and Pacific coasts.
For one year prior (March 1983-May l984), served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Installations & Facilities, responsible for overseeing the Navy Department’s bases, buildings, environmental and safety programs.
Executive Assistant to the Vice President of the United States
January 1981-March 1983
Advised Vice President Bush on personnel, political affairs, and Texas matters. Accompanied him on 99 trips, 10 of them abroad.
Member of the Texas House of Representatives
January 1977- January 1981
Elected three times to represent a district of some 80,000 people on the west side of Houston (River Oaks, Tanglewood, eastern Memorial Drive, and eastern Spring Branch). Appointed by the speaker of the House as vice-chairman of the Committee on Health Affairs. Resigned seat after the l980 elections to go to Washington.
Executive Assistant to the County Judge of Harris County, Texas
January 1975-July 1976
Principal advisor to the chief administrative official of the county of two million people surrounding Houston. Held special responsibility for mental health/mental retardation, juvenile probation, intergovernmental relations, and a county bond election.
Reporter for the Houston Chronicle
November 1971-November 1974
Covered politics, labor, maritime affairs, and general assignments for the largest newspaper in Texas, serving as the political reporter for the l974 elections. Also wrote for Texas Monthly magazine and as a “stringer” for the Washington Post and Newsweek.
Officer in the United States Navy
July 1968-August 1970
Entered under the Naval ROTC program immediately after graduation from university, serving as navigator aboard a Pacific Fleet destroyer (with duty in the Tonkin Gulf) and as aide to the commander of U.S. naval forces in the Philippines.
Immediately following active duty, spent 16 months traveling on own through Asia and Africa.
Additional Business, Public, and Community Service
Member of the Texas Ethics Commission
2010-2017; chairman, 2016-2017
On appointment of the Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives; an 8-member body which oversees and implements Texas state laws governing campaign finance, officeholder expenditures, and financial disclosure for some 13,000 state and local officials, as well as laws governing lobbyist expenditures.
Founding chairman of the Qatar-America Institute
A US nonprofit organization devoted to enhancing understanding of the Qatari-American relationship in education, energy, security, arts and culture.
Founding member of the board of the Episcopal Health Foundation
A charitable fund of approximately $1.25 billion created from the proceeds of the sale of the St Luke’s Episcopal Health System, covering the 57 counties of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas, centered in East and Southeast Texas. From 2010-13, member and in 2013 chairman of the board of the St Luke’s Episcopal Health Charities, which made annual grants of approximately $3.5 million to entities within the Diocese.
Member of the board of Humanities Texas
2011-present; chairman 2019-2021
A state agency affiliated with the National Endowment for the Humanities, which gives grants to localities across Texas for programs and exhibitions on history, heritage, culture, literature, and philosophy. Humanities Texas also holds training seminars in history and literature for public middle school teachers several times a year in major Texas cities.
Member of the advisory council of the Texas Transportation Institute
A state agency and member of the Texas A&M University System which conducts research on challenges facing all modes of transportation at all levels of government and the private sector, not only in Texas but across the nation and worldwide.
Member of the board of Doha Bank Assurance Company
A full-service insurance company wholly owned by the third-largest bank in Qatar. Left the board when its membership was “Qatarized”.
Member of the Defense Health Board
Appointed by Secretary of Defense Robert S. Gates to advise the Department of Defense on the type, quantity, and quality of health care for the active-duty armed forces, reservists, their families, and retirees.
Member of the Texas State Board of Education
Appointed by Governor George W. Bush; designated by him as chairman for the final two years of his governorship; elected to a full term in 2000. The Board managed the then-$22 billion Permanent School Fund and oversaw curriculum, textbooks, charter schools, testing and accountability for 4 million kindergarten-through-12th grade public school students in Texas.
Member and chairman of the Board of Visitors of the U.S. Naval Academy
On appointment of the first President Bush. Charged by law with overseeing and reporting to the President on all aspects of Academy operations and midshipmen education and life.
President of the Houston READ Commission
1998-2000 and again in 2001
The city’s literacy coalition, on appointment of Mayor Lee P. Brown .
Member of the Houston Port Commission
Appointed by the county commissioners of Harris County, Texas. The seven-member body oversees the public wharves and facilities of the Port of Houston Authority, the nation’s largest port in foreign-trade tonnage and second-largest in total tonnage.
Member of the board of directors of National Public Radio
Formerly a member of the boards of The Asia Society-Texas Center, Houston World Affairs Council, Institute of International Education (regional), the Mental Health Association of Houston; and the Conservation Trust of Puerto Rico. And formerly a member/chairman of several committees of the Greater Houston Partnership.
Ambassador Untermeyer is the author of three books published by Texas A&M University Press on the Reagan-Bush era. The three volumes, composed of edited and annotated entries from a personal journal, are:
▪ When Things Went Right: The Dawn of the Reagan-Bush Administration (2013), covering the author’s time as executive assistant to then-Vice President Bush.
▪ Inside Reagan’s Navy: The Pentagon Journals (2015), covering his service in the Navy Department during the 1980’s.
▪ Zenith: In the White House with George H.W. Bush (2016), covering his service planning the 1988-89 presidential transition, handling Presidential Personnel, and heading the Voice of America.
Ambassador Untermeyer is also the author of How Important People Act: Behaving Yourself in Public (2014), his guide to effective behavior for anyone in the public eye.
Education: A.B. cum laude, Harvard College, l968
Languages: French, Spanish, some German and Arabic
Marital status: Married; one child