Rear Admiral Robert Smith III, USN (Ret.)


CEO, Texas A&M University at Galveston
Vice President, Texas A&M University
Superintendent, Texas A&M Maritime Academy

(409) 740-4403

Robert Smith III was born in Dallas, Texas, on October 18, 1939. He received his B.S. degree in Agricultural Economics from Texas A&M University in 1961 and is a graduate of the School of Banking of the South at Louisiana State University. He also attended the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, completing studies in National and International Security.

He was commissioned an Ensign in the United States Navy in August 1962. Admiral Smith’s active duty assignments as a member of the Naval Reserve included duty aboard destroyers, aircraft carriers, amphibious ships, and others. He was selected and attended the United States Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island, and completed the junior and senior level command and staff courses. He participated in numerous other assignments in both the Pacific and Atlantic Fleets, including assignments on the Navy Staff in Washington, D.C. He has also authored articles that were published in the Navy’s Surface Warfare magazine. He attended the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, and completed a course in National Security.

Admiral Smith was selected a Rear Admiral (lower half) in December 1987 and earned his second star in June 1991. He retired from the Navy on November 1, 1996 as chief of staff to Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii following almost 35 years of continuous service.
Mr. Smith was employed by the Federal Reserve Bank in 1968 and worked in the Research, Loan, and Bank Services departments prior to his promotion to Public Information Officer and Assistant Secretary of the Board on January 1, 1971. He was promoted to Assistant Vice President and Secretary on January 1, 1974, and to Senior Vice President and Secretary on January 1, 1987.

During 1973-74, he served as Secretary to the Conference of Presidents and the Conference of First Vice Presidents of the Federal Reserve System and was Assistant Secretary to those Conferences in 1972 and 1973. Mr. Smith was on special assignment at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System in Washington, D.C. in 1975, where he served as Assistant Secretary of the Board of Governors. On August 1, 1987, he was assigned responsibility for the activities of the Bank’s Houston and Gulf Coast Region. He has had numerous other special assignments in coordinating Federal Reserve System and Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas responsibilities.


  • Class of ’61 Corps of Cadets, Company C-Armor/B-1, First Regiment
  • President, Dallas A&M Club – 1974 Board of Directors, Association of Former Students – 1976-1980
  • President, Association of Former Students – 1979
  • Trustee, Texas A&M Foundation – 1981-1987
  • Board of Advisors, Department of Finance, Lowry Mays College of Business, Texas A&M University
  • Chairman, President’s Council of Advisors, Texas A&M University
  • Chairman, President’s Corps of Cadets, Board of Visitors
  • Member, Board of Visitors Texas A&M University at Galveston
  • Advisory Council, Corps of Cadets Center for Leadership Excellence
  • Twelfth Man Foundation
  • Dean’s Leadership Council, College of Medicine
  • 2006 Distinguished Alumnus Award
  • 2008 Corps of Cadets Hall of Honor
  • 2008 Distinguished Alumnus Award College of Agriculture
  • 2013 Cesar Chavez Conscience Builder Award


  • Past Chairman, Board of Directors, Houston World Affairs Council
  • Member, Board of Directors, Central Houston, Inc., Houston, Texas
  • Member, Board of Directors, Buffalo Bayou Partnership, Houston, Texas
  • Member, Government Advisory Committee, Greater Houston Partnership
  • Member, Board of Directors, Pearl Harbor Memorial, Honolulu, Hawaii
  • Member, Board of Directors, The Veteran’s Museum, Houston, Texas
  • Former Advisory Board, University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston, Texas
  • Director and Past Chairman, Cotton Bowl Athletic Association, Board of Advisors, Texas Bowl, Houston, Texas
  • Board of Advisors, Marine Military Academy, Harlingen, Texas
  • Dallas All Sports Association
  • Past President and Director, Reserve Officers Association, Dallas, Texas
  • Past Chairman and member, Board of Directors, Dallas Military Ball


  • Commissioned Ensign, August 1962
  • Selected for promotion to Captain, 1984
  • Selected for promotion to Rear Admiral, 1988
  • Selected for promotion to Rear Admiral (upper half), 1991

Significant U.S. Navy assignments included:

  • Commanding Officer, Commander United States Seventh Fleet, Reserve Component
  • Commander, Military Sealift Command, Far East Yokohama, Japan
  • Deputy Commander, Military Sealift Command, Washington, D.C.
  • Commander, Military Sealift Command, Europe (Desert Shield/Desert Storm), Bremerhaven, Germany
  • Commander, Naval Reserve Readiness Command, Naval Air Station , Dallas , Texas
  • Mobilization Assistant and Chief of Staff to Commander in Chief, United States Transportation Command, Scott Air Force Base, Illinois
  • Commander, Logistics Task Force, Commander in Chief, United States Atlantic Fleet, Norfolk, Virginia
  • Chairman, Secretary of Navy, Naval Reserve Policy Board
  • Chief of Staff to Commander in Chief, United States Pacific Fleet, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii

Rear Admiral Smith retired in November 1996, after almost 35 years of service to the United States Navy. In addition to various unit commendations and service awards, his awards include the following: United States Defense Superior Service Medal, United States Legion of Merit (three awards), and the United States Meritorious Service Medal.
On April 18, 2011, Mr. Smith officially became Chief Executive Officer of Texas A&M University at Galveston and subsequently Superintendent of Texas A&M Maritime Academy.

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