Michael Nacht assumed his duties as Assistant Secretary of Defense for Global Strategic Affairs (GSA) on May 18, 2009, after his nomination was confirmed by the US Senate by unanimous consent. GSA is a newly configured directorate in OSD (Office of the Secretary of Defense) that develops policy for the Secretary on countering weapons of mass destruction, nuclear forces and missile defense, cyber security and space policy.
This is Nacht's third tour of government service. He was a NASA missile aerodynamicist in the early days of the manned space program. From 1994-97 he was Assistant Director for Strategic and Eurasian Affairs of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency where he led the Agency's work on nuclear weapons reductions and missile defense negotiations with Russia and helped establish the first nuclear weapons policy dialogue with China. Nacht participated in five Clinton presidential summits, four with Russian President Yeltsin and one with Chinese President Ziang Zemin.
Before entering the Obama administration, Nacht was Professor of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley where he served from 1998-2008 as Dean of the Goldman School of Public Policy. During his tenure the School was ranked the nation's #1 graduate school of public policy analysis by US News and World Report.
His previous professional experience included Dean and Professor in the School of Public Affairs of the University of Maryland, College Park and founding co-editor of the journal International Security while serving as Associate Professor of Public Policy and Associate Director of the Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.
Nacht is the author or co-author of five books and more than seventy other publications on US national security policy, US-Russia nuclear arms competition, the proliferation of nuclear weapons and related subjects. His articles have appeared in Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, International Security, Survival, Daedalus, International Organization and other journals.
Nacht holds a B.S. in Aeronautics and Astronautics and an M.S. in Operations Research from New York University, an M.S. in Statistics from Case Western Reserve University, an M.A. in Political Science from the New School for Social Research, and a Ph.D. in Political Science from Columbia.