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Hon. David B. Waller

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From 1993 through 2011, Mr Waller served as Deputy Director General and head of management of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Throughout that time he was the highest ranking American in the UN agencies based in Vienna, Austria —one of the UN headquarters cities.

Frequently cited as the example of a purposeful, efficient intergovernmental organization, charged with matters critical to international peace and security, the IAEA — with its 152 Member Countries — has a multicultural staff of more than 2,300 in Vienna; regional offices in New York, Geneva, Toronto and Tokyo; laboratories in Austria and Monaco; and inspectors and experts working around the world. It is charged with verifying nations’ nuclear non-proliferation commitments (including the special cases involving Iraq, Iran, Libya and North Korea), advancing the safety of nuclear power reactors worldwide, and promoting peaceful uses of nuclear technology (e.g. in medicine, agriculture, water resources management and industry).

Mr Waller also served, by appointment of Secretary-General Annan, as Vice-Chair of the UN system wide High Level Committee on Management, reporting to the Secretary-General and the Executive Heads of the UN organizations.

In 2005, Mr Waller was the representative of the IAEA’s management at the ceremony in Oslo awarding it the Nobel Peace Prize. In 2003, he received, on behalf of the Agency, the Albert Schweitzer Gold Medal for Science and Peace. And, in 2011 the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) awarded him its Gold Medal in recognition of his contribution to the reduction of the threat of nuclear weapons.

Earlier in his career, in 1986, Mr. Waller was nominated by President Reagan, and confirmed by the U.S. Senate, as Assistant Secretary of Energy for International Affairs, the sub-cabinet position he held through 1989. In that capacity he was the Secretary of Energy’s chief advisor and spokesman on international energy policy and emergency preparedness. He represented the U.S. at various multinational agencies, including the International Energy Agency of the OECD, headquartered in Paris, and the IAEA in Vienna. He was responsible for formulation and implementation of bilateral energy relations and programs with foreign governments and, in this connection, was engaged in extensive foreign travel. Contacts were at the ministerial level and often included participation in private meetings with Heads of State/Government. Additionally, he was liaison with embassies in Washington, received foreign delegations, and testified before various Congressional committees.

In recognition of his work as Assistant Secretary, Mr. Waller was presented, in 1989, the Secretary’s Award — the highest honor given by the Department of Energy — for outstanding leadership. Thereafter, in 1990, the Secretary presented him with the Superior Achievement Award, in special recognition of his achievements in the international arena.

Prior to his service as Assistant Secretary, Mr. Waller served from 1981 to 1986 as Senior Associate Counsel to the President at the White House. The Office of Counsel to the President functions as a small law firm that advises and represents the President and senior White House staff regarding all official legal matters.

Before serving in the Reagan Administration, Mr. Waller practiced law from 1978 to 1981 at the Washington D.C. firm of Hogan and Hartson (the largest Washington-based law firm, now ‘Hogan Lovells’).

He was recruited directly from law school into the Attorney General’s Honor Program at the U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, D.C., where he worked from 1974 to 1978 as a trial attorney representing the interests of the U.S. in federal courts around the country.

Mr. Waller is a graduate of Denison University, Granville, Ohio (cum laude, 1970), where he was named Economics Fellow and was inducted into Omicron Delta Kappa Leadership Honorary and Omicron Delta Epsilon Economics Honorary. Following undergraduate school and duty in the Army Reserves, Mr. Waller graduated first in his class from the University of Tulsa, College of Law (J.D., with honors) in 1973.

In 1991 he was awarded Denison’s Distinguished Alumni Citation and was named a member of its Board of Trustees, on which he served until 1997. He delivered the commencement address at Denison in 2005 and was awarded a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa. In 1984 he was elected to the National Council of the Friends of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, in Washington, a position in which he served until moving to Vienna.

Throughout his years in Vienna, Mr. Waller was a Commissioner of the Fulbright Commission, and a member of the Board of Advisors of Webster University, the largest American based undergraduate and graduate school in that city. He is a frequent speaker worldwide.

Mr. Waller was born in Decatur, Illinois, where he attended public school and earned the Eagle Scout award. He enjoys distance running, skiing, cycling and other outdoor sports. He is a member of the Metropolitan Club of the City of Washington.