Hans Paul Caemmerer was the first civilian secretary of the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts. Unlike his predecessors, he was not an engineer: he had a master’s degree in art and archaeology from George Washington University (1917), a law degree from Georgetown University (1924), and a doctorate from American University (1937). He was an assistant to the postmaster general for the U.S. Postal Service from 1906 until he joined the Commission of Fine Arts as a clerk and assistant in 1919, replacing his brother, Arno Cammerer, who had served as clerk to the commission since 1910 and left the position to become assistant director of the National Park Service. H. P. Caemmerer remained with the commission for more than thirty years; during this time, he wrote several books on the history of Washington, D.C., including Washington: The National Capital (1932) and A Manual on the Origin and Development of Washington (1939). He was affiliated with the Archaeological Institute of America, the Columbia Historical Society, the American Federation of the Arts, and the American Civic Association.