Samuels' father died in a freighter accident when Samuels was eighteen years old. Feeling anger and resentment towards the pilot, who was Denobulan, Samuels joined the extremist xenophobic group Terra Prime. Eventually, he left and distanced himself from the organization in subsequent years, ultimately finding their viewpoint unacceptable.
Coalition of Planets
Samuels witnessed in horror the Xindi attack of 2153, wherein seven million Humans were killed. He believed, following the attack, that Earth's survival depended upon creating alliances with other worlds. He would work toward that goal, building upon the foundation that United Earth Starfleet Captain Jonathan Archer of Enterprise was building when he successfully fostered cooperation between Vulcan, the Andorian Empire, and Tellar – states which had historically been at odds with each other.
In 2155, Minister Samuels presided over summits in San Francisco between delegates from several planets regarding the establishment of a proposed "Coalition of Planets." Samuels set an ambitious goal of six weeks for drafting a charter. During talks, a Human nurse named Susan Khouri entered the room and died of wounds sustained from a phase-pistol. When Samuels learned that Khouri was affiliated with Terra Prime, he asked United Earth Starfleet investigators to keep that fact hidden, as it could derail talks. He was forced to have investigators share their information with Archer's crew, however, when Archer confronted him with his own past with the group – implicitly threatening to damage Samuels' political career. (ENT: "Demons")
Unfortunately, the talks were again interrupted when Terra Prime's leader, John Frederick Paxton, hijacked the verteron array on Mars and threatened to destroy United Earth Starfleet Command if all non-Humans did not leave the Sol system. Minister Samuels learned of this alongside all of the alien representatives via Paxton's broadcast. Samuels ordered Paxton's broadcast blocked immediately, but this proved impossible. Further, he learned that the Vulcan and Andorian embassies were surrounded by protests, suggesting it was a coordinated effort. This cast doubt on United Earth's ability to unite disparate worlds amongst some of the ambassadors, including Soval and Thoris.
Minister Samuels later informed Archer that it was the opinion of the Council that Enterprise be ordered to destroy the Terra Prime base on Mars. Archer objected, noting that, if the array were destroyed in the crossfire, it could cause a massive explosion that might also destroy Utopia Colony. Instead, Archer was allowed to take a team into Paxton's facility on a mission to regain control of the array. When it appeared that they would not succeed in time, however, Samuels attempted to order Ensign Hoshi Sato, who had been placed in command of Enterprise, to destroy the array. Sato refused to carry out Minister Samuels' order, citing United Earth Starfleet regulations that stated that he did not have the authority to give her orders or to relive her of command. Destroying the array subsequently proved unnecessary, as Archer was able to take control at the last second.
After the Terra Prime crisis was averted, Minister Samuels assembled the delegates once again and appealed to them to continue talks, noting that they could not allow the Humans' past to win over their future. He then turned the floor over to Captain Archer, who made an impassioned plea with them to not abandon the Coalition. Archer was successful, and negotiations for the Coalition of Planets went forward. (ENT: "Terra Prime")
Samuels was played by Star Trek regular Harry Groener. In the final draft script of "Demons", Samuels was referred to as being in his "60's" as of 2155, and "very much in love with the sound of his own voice." An ultimately omitted line of dialogue from the same script involved Samuels admitting to Archer that, though Archer didn't care what Samuels had done in his youth, there were certain people who would care about that.
In the Star Trek: Enterprise novel The Good That Men Do, Samuels was established as the Prime Minister of United Earth (β) in 2155. He continued to serve in that role through the end of the Earth-Romulan War in 2160 and the establishment of the Federation in 2161. The novels The Romulan War: To Brave the Storm and Section 31: Control establish that Samuels was amongst the signatories of the Articles of the Federation, the Federation's founding document.