Photo by David Valdez
Chase Untermeyer has held positions at all four levels of government – local, state, national, and international — over a period of more than 40 years, with work in journalism, academia, and business as well.
He was born in New Jersey but came to Houston at the age of two. He is a 1968 graduate of Harvard College with honors in government. During the Vietnam War, he served as an officer in the US Navy aboard a Pacific Fleet destroyer and as aide to the commander of US naval forces in the Philippines.
Returning to Houston, Mr. Untermeyer was a political reporter for the Houston Chronicle and executive assistant to the county judge (chief executive) of Harris County, Texas. In 1976, he was elected as a Republican to the first of two terms as a member of the Texas House of Representatives from a district on the west side of Houston.
Mr. Untermeyer resigned his seat to go to Washington in 1981 as executive assistant to then-Vice President Bush. In 1984, President Ronald Reagan appointed him Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Manpower and Reserve Affairs. During the first Bush Administration, he was assistant to the President for presidential personnel and director of the Voice of America.
From 2004 to 2007, he served as United States ambassador to the State of Qatar, on appointment of President George W. Bush. He is currently professor of practice at the Hobby School of Public Affairs at the University of Houston.
He is the author of three volumes of diary-based memoirs of the Reagan-Bush era, When Things Went Right, Inside Reagan’s Navy, and Zenith: In the White House with George HW Bush. He has also published How Important People Act: Behaving Yourself in Public.
He is married to the former Diana Cumming Kendrick of Sheridan, Wyoming, whom he met in the White House. Their daughter Ellyson, a 2016 graduate of Stanford University, works with Facebook.