The Honorable William H. Young was appointed by President George H. W. Bush to be Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy and served in that position, reporting to Secretary of Energy James D. Watkins, from November 1989 to January 1993. He was the top national policy maker for civilian nuclear energy, the pinnacle of his profession, and enhanced his understanding of national politics. During that period, he:
�Was the administration sponsor of major enacted legislation, persuading a Democratic Congress to pass the first change in the Atomic Energy Act in 38 years; this positioned nuclear energy as one potential future solution to global warming as well as economic growth.
�Was the principal architect of the administration�s major swords-to-plowshares achievement�a $12 billion agreement for the U. S. to purchase excess Soviet nuclear weapons material from 20,000 warheads for conversion to commercial nuclear reactor fuel�which The New York Times called �a deal that was central to ending the cold war� and whose energy has supplied 10 percent of America´s electricity during each of the past 15 years.
�Made arrangements in legislation to privatize a $1.4 billion per year enterprise that he directed, eliminating an unnecessary role of government.
Young is profiled in The Prune Book, a description of the toughest science and technology jobs in Washington, published by the Carnegie Commission on Science, Technology, and Government in 1992.
He spent years as a senior business executive, ultimately serving as an officer and director of a large international engineering and construction corporation, Burns and Roe, Inc., where he managed both its domestic and foreign operations. He propelled the company to the forefront of advanced energy technology development. He dealt with many members of Congress on public policy questions. He subsequently opted for a new style of work as an independent management and technical consultant to electric utility companies, the federal government, and others, which provided the flexibility for more research and writing.
Young has devoted a lifetime to study of social, political, and humanistic ideas and their history. He seeks to contribute further to society by writing books that combine his diverse real world experience, lifelong study of social, political, and humanistic ideas, and the views of eminent thinkers in many fields to achieve this book´s distinctive perspectives on interrelated Western and American history.
He has M. S. degrees in engineering; served as an officer in the U. S. Navy; and is married, with three grown children and three grandchildren. He and his wife Betty reside in Toms River, New Jersey.