Duf Sundheim
Principal at GPS Mediation, APC & Former Chairman of the California Republican Party

George Melchoir “Duf” Sundheim III is a successful small business owner, mediator and political activist.

Sundheim graduated with Honors and Distinction in Economics from Stanford University in 1975. While at Stanford Sundheim ran “Volunteers for Youth,” a program that matched Stanford athletes with children with self-esteem issues. The program was so successful that upon graduation Sundheim and Chris Avery took the program national, eventually having programs at 54 campuses across the country.

Sundheim earned his Juris Doctorate from Northwestern University in 1980 with the aid of an Exceptional Student Fellowship. While at Northwestern, Sundheim interned for a federal judge and the Better Government Association.

Upon graduation from law school, Sundheim joined the Silicon Valley law firm of Ware, Fletcher and Freidenrich.  In 1986 Sundheim and former Stanford classmate Stan Doty formed Doty & Sundheim. Sundheim served as President of the firm until 2001.

During this period Sundheim served as a delegate on the U.S.-China Joint Session on Trade, Investment, and Economic Law in 1987 and the U.S.-Soviet Conference on the Law and Trade in 1990. He was President of the Palo Alto Area Bar Association, worked as an NFL Contract Advisor and General Counsel to the Themed Entertainment Association. For his work in the underserved community of East Palo Alto, Sundheim received the California State Bar Pro Bono Award.

Since 2001 Sundheim has been a Principal at GPS Mediation, APC. During this period he has been involved with many education reform efforts including co-founding LINC with Elias Chamorro and served as a Senior Advisor to the Superintendent of the Franklin McKinley School District in San Jose.

Sundheim had been active in the Northern California Lincoln Club since 1990, chairing it from 2001-2003. But starting in 2000, Sundheim began to get more actively involved in California Republican politics. He served on the Committee to Reform and Restructure the Republican Party in 2001, along with several bipartisan committees and boards. In 2003, Sundheim ran for and was elected Chairman of the California Republican Party.

In 2006 under his leadership, the GOP set modern day records for the percentage of African Americans, Latinos, women and Asians voting for Republicans. He served on the RNC Executive Committee from 2006-2007. During his tenure as Chairman, Sundheim raised over $100 million (an all-time record).

Sundheim is political reformer who rejects the siren calls of extremists. Instead, for over a decade he has fought incumbent politicians and established interests to get things done. 

Sundheim particularly emphasizes the plight of working-class. He writes a column for the Spanish-language newspaper, “La Opinion,” every two weeks, largely on economic. and education issues.

Sundheim has been married for over 32 years to Cheryl Sundheim. They have two adult children and live near Palo Alto, California.

Sundheim considers U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz to be his personal mentor, and has worked with the Secretary on various public projects over the years.