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William A. Nitze

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This article is part of the Center for Media & Democracy's focus on the fallout of nuclear "spin."

William A. Nitze is currently president of the Gemstar Group and sits on the advisory board for The European Institute. According to his Gemstar biography:

"Mr. Nitze has been working on energy and environmental issues for most of his career. During his 14 years at Mobil Oil he became familiar with the upstream and downstream sides of the oil business in North America, Asia, Africa and Latin America. As Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Environment in the Ronald Reagan and George Herbert Walker Bush Administrations [1987-1990], Mr. Nitze was the principal U.S. working level negotiator on multilateral environmental issues ranging from chemical safety to trade in endangered species to climate change. In 1988 Mr. Nitze played a key role in creating and organizing the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

"After leaving the State Department in early 1990, Mr. Nitze spent seven months as a Visiting Scholar at the Environmental Law Institute (ELI), during which time he wrote a monograph entitled The Greenhouse Effect: Formulating a Convention under the auspices of the Royal Institute of International Affairs and ELI. Many of the elements discussed in the Royal Institute monograph were subsequently incorporated into the Framework Convention on Climate Change signed in 1992. Mr. Nitze has written and spoken widely on climate change and other environmental issues. In 1993-94, he taught a new course on forming an international regime to address climate change at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University. He will teach the same course with Professor Scott Barrett in the spring of 2002.

"As President of the Alliance to Save Energy, Mr. Nitze led a broad coalition of business, government, labor and consumer interests in supporting and implementing policies and programs to promote energy efficiency ranging from energy efficient building codes to efficiency standards for appliances to energy efficiency incentives in mortgages and commercial leases. While at the Alliance, Mr. Nitze founded the Alliance's international program and organized the Business Council for Sustainable Energy.

"As Assistant Administrator for International Activities at EPA from 1994 to the end of the Bill Clinton Administration [1994-2001], Mr. Nitze strengthened EPA's international role by making it a key player in implementing NAFTA and managing its associated institutions and by making it the lead agency on environmental issues in several bi-national commissions co-chaired by Vice-President Albert Gore, Jr.. He made environmental security a focus of EPA's international work, instituting for the first time a formal working relationship among the Department of Defense, the Department of Energy and EPA on environmental security issues.

"In his work at Gemstar, Mr. Nitze will build upon his experience in building coalitions that bridge the public and private sectors. Mr. Nitze holds B.A. degrees from Harvard College [1964] and Wadham College, Oxford [1966] and a J.D. degree from Harvard Law School [1969]."


News Item, 10 August 2003: "A Debate Over U.S. 'Empire' Builds in Unexpected Circles."

"...the infant Committee for the Republic, whose members include C. Boyden Gray; former U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia Charles W. Freeman, Jr.; Stephen P. Cohen, president of the Institute for Middle East Peace and Development in New York; William A. Nitze, son of Paul H. Nitze, the Ronald Reagan administration's top arms control negotiator; and John B. Henry, a Washington businessman and descendant of Revolutionary War patriot Patrick Henry. Members have met over lunch and are drafting a manifesto. A draft of the mission statement says, 'America has begun to stray far from its founding tradition of leading the world by example rather than by force.'"


News Item, 30 July 2003: "HiEnergy Incorporates HiEnergy Defense, Inc., a Subsidiary Dedicated to Defense Applications of SuperSenzor. Appoints Col. Bill Lacey William J. Lacey, Jr. and Hon. William A. Nitze to Lead." Nitze will serve as Chairman of the Board.

According to the press release, Nitze "is currently President of Gemstar Group, Inc. (Global Environmental Market Solutions through Technology And Reform), which was founded in May 2001 to work with partners around the world in implementing market-based approaches to global environmental problems. Mr. Nitze is a graduate of Harvard College and Oxford University (UK) and received a J. D. degree from Harvard Law School. After a brief practice at the law offices of Sullivan and Cromwell in New York, he spent 14 years with Mobil Oil as a legal counsel, 4 years of which were spent in Japan."

"'On behalf of the new management, Mr. Nitze said, 'I am very excited to be working on a technology that will make a major contribution to our national security."


European Institute [http://www.europeaninstitute.org/content.php?section=energy Comparison and Coordination of US and EU Environmental Policy Roundtable on Environment and Energy], April 25, 2002:

"With Margot Wallström, European Commissioner for Environment; Paula J. Dobriansky, Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs; Maurice Strong, Chairman, Earth Council; C. Boyden Gray, Partner, Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering; Kaj-Ole Johannes Bärlund, Director, Environment & Human Settlements Division, UN Economic Commission for Europe; Wayne S. Balta, Vice President, Corporate Environmental Affairs and Product Safety, IBM Corporation; Samuel L. Smolik, Vice President, Environment, Health and Safety, The Dow Chemical Company; Sascha Müller-Kraenner, Director of the Washington Office, Heinrich Böll Stiftung; and Pieter Verkerk, Counselor, Environment, United States and Canada, Royal Netherlands Embassy. Chaired by William A. Nitze, President, Gemstar Group; and Melinda Kimble, Senior Vice President for Programs, United Nations Foundation."


The U.S. Senate confirmed William Albert Nitze as EPA Assistant Administrator for International Activities on Aug. 25, 1994.

Nitze is an internationally renowned expert on environmental issues. He has held key positions in government, non-governmental organizations and the private sector in the United States and abroad.

From September 1990 to August 1994, Nitze was President of the Alliance to Save Energy, Washington, D.C., a non-profit coalition of environmental, government, industry and consumer leaders dedicated to promoting investment in energy efficiency. He was Visiting Scholar from February to August 1990, at the Environmental Law Institute, Washington, D.C., where he was at the forefront in developing international environmental policy.

As Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Environment, Health and Natural Resources, from 1987 to 1990, Nitze had a lead role in international negotiations on global issues such as climate change, ozone layer protection, transboundary shipments of hazardous substances, biotechnology and the conservation of tropical forests. He received the Superior Honor Award of the Department of State in 1988.

Source: US Environmental Protection Agency National News, August 29, 1994.


"Throughout the 1980s, concern about the greenhouse effect grew slowly.... In 1987, the Global Climate Protection Act was passed. Hearings conducted by Senator Wirth highlighted the potential role that nuclear power might play in mitigating global warming. Frederick Koomanoff, director of the Energy Department's Carbon Dioxide Research Division, told Wirth's committee that 'safe fission' was one of several energy sources that do not produce carbon dioxide. William A. Nitze, the State Department's assistant secretary for environment, health, and natural resources, argued for 'more aggressive' nuclear power development to diminish global warming. And Gordon J. MacDonald, vice president and chief scientist of the MITRE Corporation, urged the United States to take a 'leadership role' in developing nuclear power. 'The problems of climate change underline the importance of restoring the nuclear energy option,' he said."[1]


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