David B. Waller served as Deputy Director General and head of management of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) from 1993 through 2011. The IAEA – with its 162 member countries – has a staff of more than 2,300 in Vienna as well as 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 fight against nuclear terrorism, enhancing the safety of nuclear power reactors worldwide, and promoting peaceful uses of nuclear technology.
Previously, Waller served at the White House as a legal counsel to U.S. President Ronald Reagan (1981 – 86), and in 1986 was nominated by the President, and confirmed by the Senate, as Assistant Secretary of Energy for International Affairs, a position he held until 1989. In that role, he served as the Secretary of Energy’s chief advisor and spokesperson on international energy policy and emergency preparedness programs. He represented the United States at various multinational agencies and was responsible for the formulation and implementation of bilateral energy relations and programs with foreign governments.
Waller began his professional career in the Attorney General’s Honor Program at the U.S. Department of Justice, and thereafter was in private law practice at Hogan & Hartson (now Hogan Lovell).
Waller was the representative of the IAEA’s management at the ceremony in Oslo awarding it the 2005 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, while at the Department of Energy, he received The Secretary’s Award — the highest honor given by the Secretary of Energy — for outstanding leadership, and the Superior Achievement Award, in special recognition of his achievements in the international arena.
Waller graduated, cum laude, from Denison University. Thereafter, following duty in the U.S. Army Reserves, he graduated first in his class from the University of Tulsa, College of Law. He delivered the commencement address at Denison in 2005 at which time he was awarded a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.