The Honorable Robert Underwood is a former Member of the U.S. Congress and is currently the President of the University of Guam. As an educator, he has served as a high school teacher, curriculum writer, administrator, Dean of the College of Education and Academic Vice President. He is a distinguished scholar with many publications to his credit on educational issues, regional political matters and language change. He served as the Congressional Delegate from Guam in the 103-107th Congresses (1993-2003) during which he sponsored major legislation for Guam, played an active role in Department of Defense authorization bills and was a forceful advocate for political development for insular areas and the extension of educational and social opportunities for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
In recognition for his efforts in building good relations in the Pacific, he received a Presidential Merit Award from President Gloria Arroyo of the Philippines and congratulatory resolutions from the Pohnpei, FSM and Northern Marianas Legislatures. He has also been honored by several national Asian Pacific American organizations and was named citizen of the year by the National Association of Bilingual Education in 1996 and Alumnus of the Year by Cal State University Los Angeles in 2000.
His public service includes an appointment to the National Advisory Council on Bilingual Education during President Carter’s administration and an appointment by President Obama to the National Board of Education Sciences. He also served as Chairman of the Chamorro Language Commission for over a decade and is widely acknowledged as a leading authority on cultural, educational and linguistic issues in Guam and Micronesia. He was awarded a lifetime achievement award by the Guam Humanities Council and is the only Professor Emeritus of Bilingual-Bicultural Education of the University of Guam.
In 2003, he helped create the Asian Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund and served as the first Chairman of the Board. He has worked on several research projects with the East West Center, the University of Hawaii and the Asian Pacific Center for Security Studies.
Robert was born in Guam (1948) and educated in Guam and California. He graduated from John F. Kennedy High School in Guam (1965) and received a Bachelor’s (1969) and Masters Degree in history (1971) from Cal State University, Los Angeles. He holds a Doctor of Education degree from the University of Southern California.