Qatar has hired Chase Untermeyer, who was its former US ambassador, to a one-year $180K contract that went into effect Sept 1 to foster trade with the US and bolster cultural and academic exchanges with the Lone Star State.
He has long ties with the Bush family, serving as aide to president Bush I and appointed by president Bush II to ambassador. In September, Untermeyer escorted Texas land office commissioner George P. Bush, son of former Florida governor Jeb Bush, on a trip to Qatar.
The Arab state, which remains under an economic and political boycott orchestrated by Saudi Arabia, first turned to Untermeyer in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, which hit Houston in August 2017. He was hired to coordinate the distribution of $30M pledged by Qatar for hurricane recovery.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner declared Nov. 19 “Qatar Day in Houston,” to mark the two-year anniversary of the relief fund.
After a ceremony at the city council office, Qatar’s US ambassador Sheikh Meshal bin Hamad Al-Thani, said "The State of Qatar has a history of providing humanitarian assistance throughout the world, including after Hurricane Harvey. We wanted to help our friends in Texas, where our relationships in business, education, and medical and cultural exchange go back decades. It is an honor for us that today is "Qatar Day in Houston."
Untermeyer, who served as a US Navy officer during the Vietnam war, worked as reporter for the Houston Chronicle, PA director at Compaq and VP-government affairs at the University of Texas health science center in Houston.