Thomas and Alison Schneider Professor of Public Policy, Goldman School of Public Policy, UC Berkeley
Former Assistant Secretary of Defense for Global Strategic Affairs
Michael Nacht, Thomas and Alison Schneider Professor of Public Policy, was dean of the Richard and Rhoda Goldman School of Public Policy, UC Berkeley from 1998 to 2008 when U.S. News and World Report ranked the school the #1 graduate school in public policy analysis.
Nacht is a widely known specialist on U.S. national security policy and management strategies for complex organizations. He has had three tours of government service and recently stepped down as Assistant Secretary of Defense for Global Strategic Affairs, having received unanimous U.S. Senate confirmation. In this capacity he played a key role in developing the Nuclear Posture Review, the Ballistic Missile Defense Review, the Department's cyber strategy, the National Space Policy, and methods to counter the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. He chaired the High Level Group that shapes NATO nuclear weapons policy. He received the Distinguished Public Service Award, the Department's highest honor for a non-career civilian. Previously in government he served as Assistant Director of the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency and was a NASA missile aerodynamicist in the early days of the U.S. manned space flight program.
Before joining the Berkeley faculty, Nacht was first Associate Professor of Public Policy and Associate Director of the Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government (1973-1984) where he was founding co-editor of the quarterly journal International Security, and then Professor and Dean of the University of Maryland School of Public Affairs (1986-1994).
He is the author of The Age of Vulnerability: Threats to the Nuclear Stalemate (Brookings, 1985), co-author of Missing the Boat: The Failure to Internationalize American Higher Education (Cambridge, 1991) and co-author or co-editor of three other books. His articles on U.S. national security policy have been published in Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, International Security, Daedalus, International Organization, Survival and other prominent journals. His opinion articles have been published in The New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, and the San Francisco Chronicle. His most recent publications include co-authored chapters on both homeland security and nuclear proliferation in Stephen Maurer (ed.), WMD Terrorism: Science and Policy Choices (MIT Press, 2009).
He is listed in Who's Who in America, 2011 and has been a consultant to the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the Sandia National Laboratories and other public and private organizations.