Chase Untermeyer

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Chase Untermeyer at the 2014 Texas Book Festival.

Charles Graves Untermeyer, known as Chase Untermeyer (born March 7, 1946), is a former United States ambassador to Qatar. He was given a recess appointment by U.S. President George W. Bush and assumed the position on August 2, 2004. After three years, he was succeeded by Joseph LeBaron.

A native of Long Branch, New Jersey, Untermeyer graduated in 1964 from Memorial High School in Houston, Texas and, later (1968), from Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. While at Harvard, he worked in the 1966 congressional campaign of future U.S. President George Herbert Walker Bush of Houston.

He entered the United States Navy after Harvard under the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps program. He served during the Vietnam War as an officer aboard the Pacific Fleet destroyer USS Benner (DD-807) and as aide and flag lieutenant to the late Rear Admiral Draper L. Kauffman, commander of U.S. naval forces in the Philippines.

Returning to Houston, Untermeyer was a reporter for the Houston Chronicle and executive assistant to the county judge of Harris County, Texas. In 1976, he was elected as a Republican to the Texas House of Representatives from Houston, serving until 1981, when he went to Washington. There he served as executive assistant to then-Vice President George H.W. Bush, 1981-1983; deputy assistant secretary of the Navy for Installations and Facilities, 1983-1984; assistant secretary of the Navy for Manpower and Reserve Affairs, 1984-1988; assistant to the President and director of the Office of Presidential Personnel, 1989-1991; and director of the Voice of America, 1991-1993.

Returning once more to Houston, Untermeyer was director of public affairs for Compaq Computer Corporation, 1993-2002, and vice president for government affairs and professor of public policy at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston, 2002-2004.

His part-time public positions include: member and chairman of the United States Naval Academy Board of Visitors, 1993-1996; member of the Houston Port Commission, 1995-1998; member of the board of directors of National Public Radio (NPR), 1996-1998; and member of the Texas State Board of Education, 1999-2003, serving as chairman from 1999-2001. He is currently a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a board member of the Episcopal Health Foundation.

Untermeyer is the author of When Things Went Right: The Dawn of the Reagan-Bush Administration, a memoir of the opening two years of the Reagan Administration; Inside Reagan’s Navy: The Pentagon Journals, describing his service at the Navy Department; and How Important People Act: Behaving Yourself in Public.


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Government offices
Preceded by
Chapman B. Cox
Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Manpower and Reserve Affairs)
December 1984 – April 1988
Succeeded by
Kenneth P. Bergquist