Michael Nacht

Michael Nacht

Michael Nacht is the Aaron Wildavsky Dean and Professor of Public Policy in the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California-Berkeley. Since his appointment in 1998, with the support of a major gift from the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund, the school has doubled its space; increased faculty appointments by 60 percent and doubled graduate student enrollment; launched research initiatives in environmental policy and in information technology and public policy; and started new executive programs in Mexico, East Asia, Germany, and with California city managers. The school was ranked the nation's No. 1 graduate school of public policy in the April 2004 edition of US News & World Report.

Nacht specializes in U.S. national security policy, international affairs and management strategies for public and private organizations. From 1994 to 1997, he served as assistant director of the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (now part of the Department of State), where he led the Agency's work on nuclear arms reduction and missile defense negotiations with Russia and initiated nuclear arms talks with China. He participated in five Clinton presidential summits with Russian President Yeltsin and Chinese President Jiang Zemin and helped draft the START III nuclear agreement reached at the 1997 Helsinki summit. He is the author or co-author of five books and more than 60 other publications, most recently "The Domestic Roots of US China Policy" (Harvard Press). From 2001-2004, he was a member of the Department of Defense Threat Reduction Advisory Committee, where he chaired panels on counter-terrorism and counter proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. He has made more than 100 television and radio appearances since 9/11 to discuss U.S. national security policy, Iraq, weapons of mass destruction, and homeland security. He has appeared on CNN International, MSNBC, CNBC, NPR, KABC in Los Angeles, KCBS in San Francisco, and is a regular commentator on KRON-TV in San Francisco.

Nacht received a B.S. in Aeronautics and Astronautics and an M.S. in Operations Research from New York University and a Ph.D. in Political Science from Columbia University. He began his career as a NASA missile aerodynamicist and also worked in the private sector for a management and systems consulting firm before assuming his first academic appointment at Harvard University in the 1970s. He served for more than 10 years each on the faculty and in administrative positions at both Harvard and the University of Maryland, College Park.

He is an advisor to both the Los Alamos and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories; a member of the U.S. Comptroller General's Educator's Advisory Panel; and on the Board of Trustees of the Bay Area Economic Forum, the World Affairs Council of Northern California, and the Japan Society of Northern California.

He plays tennis with his friends, racquetball with his enemies, basketball with his sons, backgammon with his wife, Marjorie, and fetch with his golden retriever, DiMaggio. He rarely wins.