Michael Nacht holds the Thomas and Alison Schneider Chair in Public Policy. From 1998-2008 he was Aaron Wildavsky Dean of the Goldman School. He is a specialist in U.S. national security policy; science, technology and public policy; and management strategies for complex organizations.
He is the author or co-author of six books and more than eighty articles and book chapters on nuclear weapons policy; regional security issues affecting Russia and China, the Middle East and East Asia; cyber and space policy; counter-terrorism and homeland security; international education; and public management. He recently co-edited and co-authored Strategic Latency and World Power: How Technology Is Changing Our Concepts of Security published by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Center for Global Security Research.
Nacht served as Assistant Secretary of Defense for Global Strategic Affairs (2009-2010), after unanimous U.S. Senate confirmation, for which he received the Distinguished Public Service Award, the Department’s highest civilian honor. Previously, he was Assistant Director for Strategic and Eurasian Affairs of the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (1994-97), during which time he participated in five Presidential summits, four with Russian President Yeltsin and one with Chinese President Jiang Zemin.
He is currently chair of the Policy Focus Area for the Nuclear Science and Security Consortium led by the U.C. Berkeley Department of Nuclear Engineering. He is also co-investigator of a new Department of Defense Minerva Research Project on “Deterring Complex Threats” with colleagues from UC San Diego.
He 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.
Areas of Expertise
- US National Security Policy and International Relations
- Science, Technology and Public Policy
- Management Strategies for Complex Organizations
Last updated on 02/04/2019
Nacht, Michael. National Missile Defense: An American Perspective (Paris: French Institute of International Relations, November 2001), 32pp.
Nacht, Michael. “Weapons Proliferation and Missile Defense: New Patterns, Tough Choices,” in Robert Lieber (ed.), Eagle Rules? Foreign Policy and American Primacy in the Twenty-First Century (New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 2001).
Nacht, Michael. Les Notes de L’ifri: Missle Defense and International Security in the 21st Century (France: Ifri, 2001).
Missile defense appears as a topic of intense international debate every ten years. This happened in the 1960s and 1970s prior to the signing of the ABM Treaty (Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty); in the 1980s with the Strategic Defense Initaitive (SDI); and in the 1990s, following the Gulf War, with the GPALS project (Global Protection Against Limited Strikes). Today the NMD project (National Missile Defense)-re-designated MD (Missile Defense)- with the arrival of the Bush Administration- might well, unlike its forerunners, be progressively deployed. It could re-map strategic relations among the main world players, especially after the September 11th terrorist attacks.
Nacht, Michael. “National Missile Defense—The Politics: How Did We Get Here?” The Washington Quarterly, vol. 23, No. 3, Summer 2000.
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Nacht, Michael. “Skeptical Support: An American View of ESDI,” INFO Security Policy: Change in the Strategic Environment of Switzerland, vol. 29, April 2000.
Articles and Op-Eds
KQED Forum, July 15, 2016
SF Chronicle, October 22, 2015
SF Chronicle, August 14, 2015
SF Gate, August 31, 2014
SF Chronicle, March 14, 2014
KQED Radio, April 16, 2013
Washington Post, December 19, 2011
Fronteras Desk, June 28, 2016
SF Chronicle, January 22, 2016
The Wall Street Journal, January 8, 2016
KTVU, January 4, 2016
Fox Business, July 26, 2013
The New York Times, May 2, 2011
The New York Times, March 14, 2003
The New York Times, June 21, 2002
The New York Times, August 17, 2000
Robert J. Birgeneau, Henry E. Brady, Michael Nacht
Event: Public Research Universities: Recommitting to Lincoln's Vision
Date: September 8, 2016 Duration: 68 minutes
Michael Nacht, Henry E. Brady
Date: February 5, 2016 Duration: 28 minutes
Event: Spring 2014 Board of Advisors Dinner
Date: April 20, 2014 Duration: 48 minutes
2008 Wildavsky Forum Panel Discussion: Explaining the Inexplicable: Suicide Bombers’ Motivation as the Quest for Personal Significance
Arie W. Kruglanski, Michael Nacht, James N. Breckenridge
Event: 2008 Wildavsky Forum - Arie W. Kruglanski
Date: April 4, 2008 Duration: 116 minutes
Wednesday 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM and by appointment