Our celebration of Black History Month continues as the City of Baytown recognizes American Diplomat and former Ambassador to Bahrain, Alfred F. Fonteneau.
How many people can say they were honored by Presidents Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan and George Walker Bush? Mr. Fonteneau can but it’s only part of his wide list of accomplishments. Alfred is a proud Texan even though most of his life has been spent in other parts of the world. He was born in nearby Highlands but spent a lot of time in Baytown and is a proud 1963 graduate of George Washington Carver High School. After studying history and foreign language at Texas Southern University, Alfred wanted to explore the world. He completed his graduate studies at Sorbonne University in Paris, France and Sussex University in Sussex, England before receiving his Doctoral degree from the University of Senegal in West Africa.
After his studies, Alfred was ready to serve his country. He was a medic in Vietnam and received a Bronze Star for his contributions. He joined the State Department in 1980, serving on three continents. He retired in 2011 after 31 years of service but as you can imagine, it was hard for him to stay away. After retirement, Mr. Fonteneau was asked to do diplomatic work for the Department of State in Bahrain, something he continues to do today. He has received awards and honors from three presidents. Alfred was also honored by three Secretaries of State, including Colin Powell, and has received a Certificate of Recognition from the U.S. Secretary of Defense. He was also a Buffalo Soldier of the 1st Squadron, 10th United States Calvary and was recognized for his efforts in leading the Regional Embassy Office in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Alfred still lives in Baytown and makes several trips a year to Washington, D.C. It’s purely coincidence that today marks his 77th birthday. His family and friends are proud of his accomplishments in life as well as his contributions to the community.
Thank you for your service to our country and our community.