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Michael Nacht Is New Dean of Goldman School of Public Policy

By Kathleen Scalise, Public Affairs
posted September 2, 1998

Michael Nacht, professor of public policy and former dean of the School of Public Affairs at the University of Maryland, is the new dean of the Richard and Rhoda Goldman School of Public Policy, effective July 1.

The 55-year-old Nacht "received rave reviews as dean at Maryland," says Chancellor Berdahl. "He was a dynamic leader who recruited to the school both top-quality scholars and distinguished, retired policy makers."

A native of New York, Nacht earned his BS in aeronautics and astronautics and began his career working on missile aerodynamics for NASA.

He subsequently earned his PhD in political science from Columbia University and joined the faculty of Harvard University, where he remained until 1984.

At Harvard Nacht held a number of appointments, including associate director of the Center for Science and International Affairs at the Kennedy School of Government. He was also the founding co-editor of the quarterly journal International Security.

Nacht left Harvard for the University of Maryland, serving as dean there from 1986 to 1994. Under his leadership the school tripled student enrollment and established four new research centers. Nacht also initiated a wide range of public programs, including a nationally televised U.S. presidential primary debate in 1992.

Nacht's expertise encompasses U.S. national security policy and international affairs. He served from 1994 to 1997 as assistant director for Strategic and Eurasian Affairs at the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency in Washington, D.C., leading its work on nuclear arms reduction negotiations with Russia, and initiating nuclear arms control talks with China. He participated in four summit meetings between President Clinton and Russian President Boris Yeltsin, and in one Clinton summit with China's President Jiang Zemin.

Nacht is author or co-author of five books. His most recent publication appears as a chapter in the book, "Beyond Government: Extending the Public Policy Debate in Emerging Democracies" edited by Craufurd Goodwin of Duke University.

Nacht has published more than 50 articles on international and security affairs, and testified before Congress on subjects ranging from arms control to the supply and demand for scientists in the workplace.

In addition to Columbia University, Nacht is a graduate of New York University (BS, aeronautics and astronautics; MS, operations research), Case Western Reserve University (MS, statistics) and the New School for Social Research in New York (MA, political science).

"It is a privilege and a challenge to receive this appointment," said Nacht. "I am joining a diamond of an academic institution and hope with the help of the faculty, staff, students and alumni to increase its luster even more."

Berkeley's School of Public Policy was established in 1969. Competition for admission to the school is keen, with about 10 applications for each opening.

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