Kissinger at 100VIEW EVENT DETAILS
Presented in partnership with the University of St. Thomas Distinguished Diplomat Program
Wednesday, May 24, 2023
6 p.m. Reception
7 p.m. Program
Perhaps no one in the post-war era has had a greater influence on U.S. foreign policy than former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, whose accomplishments include a Bronze Star in World War II, a Ph.D. at Harvard, and the 1973 Nobel Peace Prize.
In 1969, Kissinger was named National Security Advisor by newly-elected President Richard Nixon, and would eventually serve as Secretary of State to both Nixon and President Gerald Ford. During his tenure, Kissinger was instrumental in achieving a lasting ceasefire after the 1973 Yom Kippur War, establishing détente with the Soviet Union, negotiating the Paris Peace Accords to end U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War, and establishing U.S. relations with the People’s Republic of China.
Join us for a discussion on the complex legacy and lasting impact Kissinger has had on U.S. policy, with special focus on his work in West and Southeast Asia. The discussion will feature Richard Sindelar, Director of the Center for International Studies at the University of St. Thomas; Chase Untermeyer, retired U.S. Ambassador to Qatar; and Michael Pelletier, Executive Director of the University of Houston Institute for Global Engagement and retired U.S. Ambassador to Madagascar and Comoros, along with moderator Roberto Contreras IV, as they reflect on Kissinger as he celebrates his 100th birthday.
About the Speakers
Richard Sindelar is Director of the Center for Int’l Studies at the University of St. Thomas, and also serves as an assistant professor with courses focusing on American foreign policy, international security, international law and global trade. Sindelar received his law degree from the Georgetown University Law Center and served more than 22 years as a diplomatic officer with the U.S. Department of State Foreign Service. Thereafter and before becoming a full-time professor, he was a lawyer focused on treaty-based trade & investments, and later foreign oil & gas offshore specialists. He has periodically appeared as a TV/radio analyst on international issues on Channel 26 Fox News, Channels 11, 13 and 2, and KTRH Radio. He can speak on various international foreign policy and security topics.
The Honorable 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.
A 1968 graduate of Harvard College, he served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War. He was a Texas state representative; an assistant secretary of the Navy under President Reagan; director of Presidential Personnel and director of the Voice of America under the first President Bush; and U.S. ambassador to Qatar under the second President Bush. He is currently professor of practice at the Hobby School of Public Affairs at the University of Houston. Ambassador Untermeyer is the author of three volumes of diary-based memoirs of the Reagan-Bush era and the book How Important People Act.
Retired Ambassador Michael Pelletier is the Executive Director of the Aspire Initiative Endowed Institute for Global Engagement at the University of Houston. Previously, he served as the U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Madagascar and the Union of the Comoros from January 2019 through June 2021. Ambassador Pelletier retired as a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, class of Minister Counselor, having served as an American diplomat from 1987-2021. He also served at eight U.S. Missions overseas and in senior leadership positions at the U.S. Department of State, including as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. embassy in New Delhi, India, and Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of African Affairs.
Ambassador Pelletier earned a B.S.F.S. from Georgetown University, a Certificat d’Etudes Politiques from Institut d’Etudes Politiques, Paris, France, and a M.I.A. from Columbia University. He received thirteen senior State Department awards, including a Presidential Meritorious Service Award and the Linguist of the Year. Amb. Pelletier is fluent in English, French, and Arabic.
About the Moderator
Roberto Contreras IV is the managing director of Houston EB5’s operations and works with leading industry experts in securities law, immigration, and job creation analysis to secure a safe and predictable outcome for Houston EB5’s clients. Roberto also works with the investor relations teams and marketing teams to effectively communicate new offerings and open new markets. Previously serving as the Director of New Markets, Roberto was responsible for expanding Houston EB5’s global presence and grew to appreciate the special needs of each and every client. During that time, he spent 5 years in East Asia successfully opening Houston EB5’s offices and managing teams and alliances in China and the Philippines overseeing over 80MM in EB-5 and institutional investment to Houston EB5 sponsored projects. Mr. Contreras serves on the Board of Asia Society Texas and the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
Prior to joining becoming the Managing Director, Mr. Contreras also served as the Director of the George H.W Bush Foundation for U.S China Relations. Mr. Contreras holds a BA in Economics and Political Science from Swarthmore College and is fluent in English, Spanish, and Mandarin Chinese.
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