Arthur B. Culvahouse Jr.

Category: Alumni Professional Achievement | Awards

2017 Alumni Professional Achievement Award Winner

Ambassador to Australia and former chair of international law firm O’Melveny & Myers, Arthur “A.B.” Culvahouse is an adept player in US politics.

Culvahouse graduated from the Haslam College of Business in 1970, majoring in economics. He then proceeded directly to New York University, earning his JD in 1973.

From 1973 to 1976, he was chief legislative assistant and counsel to US Senator Howard H. Baker Jr. (’49), a name familiar to many on campus who have visited the Baker Center for Public Policy. Culvahouse began practicing law at O’Melveny & Myers in 1976, becoming partner in 1982 and serving until 1984 and then again from 1989 to 2018. He served as the firm’s chair from 2000 to 2012. During his time away from O’Melveny & Myers, he was White House Counsel to President Ronald Reagan from 1987 to 1989 and was awarded the Presidential Citizen’s Medal in 1989. He also led the search for John McCain’s vice-presidential running mate in the 2008 election and the search for President Donald Trump’s running mate in 2016.

In November 2018, Culvahouse was nominated by President Trump as the US Ambassador to Australia. He officially took office on March 13, 2019, and leads the US mission to Australia, which comprises the embassy in Canberra and three consulates in Sydney, Melbourne, and Perth.

Culvahouse has served on the US Naval Academy Board of Visitors, the Supreme Court Fellows Commission, the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, the Nuclear Command and Control System Federal Advisory Committee, and the Intelligence Oversight Board.

Culvahouse has also served his alma mater as a member of the Development Council and Haslam College of Business Advisory Board. He recently connected with UT students studying in Sydney as part of the College of Communication and Information Global Scholars program, meeting them at a reception hosted by Consul General Sharon Hudson-Dean.