William F. Martin is an energy economist who has served as Executive Secretary of the National Security Council, Special Assistant to President Ronald Reagan and Deputy Secretary of the US Department of Energy under President Reagan. He is also chairman of the Department of Energy’s Nuclear Energy Advisory Committee and chairman of the Council on Foreign Relation’s Energy Security Group for the past ten years. In 2006, he was elected President of the University for Peace of the United Nations.

Martin was educated at the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School (BS, 1972) and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (SM, 1974). His master’s thesis was the basis of an article he published in the Harvard Business Review (“Our Society in 1985: Business may not like it, March 1975”). Following graduation from MIT, he joined the MIT Energy Laboratory as Program Officer for the Workshop on Alternative Energy Strategies. During his four years on the professional research staff of MIT, he co-authored three books, Growth and Its Implications for the Future, (Roundtable Press, 1973), Energy Supply to the Year 2000 (MIT Press, 1977) and Professional Materials for Environmental Management Education (MIT Press, 1975).

Following MIT, Martin was responsible for energy statistics for developing countries at the International Energy Agency (OECD, Paris) and was part of a UN expert group that developed the methodology for reporting United Nations energy statistics. In 1977, he was promoted to special assistant to the Executive Director of IEA, Ulf Lantzke, and served in this capacity for three years during the time of the second oil shock.

Following his four years in Paris, Martin joined the Department of State as Special Assistant to the Under Secretary of State. In 1981, he was transferred to the National Security Council as Director of International Economic Affairs. From l983 to l985, he was appointed Special Assistant to President Ronald Reagan, responsible for the coordination of the President’s international and head of state meetings. Martin also served as the Executive Secretary of the National Security Council before being confirmed by the United States Senate as United States Deputy Secretary of Energy.

Martin joined the Board of the World Resources Institute in 1998 and served as WRI’s Chairman of the Development Committee. In 1997, he was a co-author of a Trilateral Commission study, Maintaining Energy Security in a Global Context. In 1992, he served as the Executive Director of the Republican Platform Committee and co-authored the Committee’s volume, The Shared Vision, Uniting our family, our country, our world (Republican National Committee, 1992).

In 2004, Martin was appointed by the Secretary General of the United Nations to the Council of the University for Peace. He was elected Chairman of the Council of the University for Peace at its October, 2006 meeting. In 1998, Martin co-founded the Robinson-Martin Security Scholars Program at the Prague Security Studies Insitute that aims to educate Czech students in national security. He is also co-founder of the Club of Prague, a group of internationally prominent scientists, businessmen and scholars devoted to the finding technological solutions and new ways of thinking to meet energy challenges in a sustainable manner. The Club was formed under the auspices of former President Vaclav Havel, Prague Mayor Pavel Bem and Foreign Minister Alexander Vondra.

On May 8, 2018, Martin received the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver from Emperor Akihito of Japan in the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. The citation of the Emperor and Prime Minister notes his contributions to strengthening US-Japan relations in the field of nuclear energy. On October 4th the US Ambassador of Japan held an event in his honor. The US deputy secretary of Energy spoke at the gathering. The full text of his speech is available here.

For all speaking inquires please contact info@williamflynnmartin.com or call 240-505-2324. 


At the risk of omitting a few of your accomplishments I can’t let this occasion pass without citing some of your specific achievements for the record. You played a pivotal role in urging the Europeans to reduce their dependence on Soviet gas, and you were the principal draftsman of the Williamsburg Economic Summit Communique in l983. I recall with fondness your extraordinary roll in coordinating many international events both in the Oval Office and on the road — in Korea, Japan, China, Canada and throughout Europe. Then again you were at my side as Executive Secretary of the National Security Council. In this capacity you played a crucial role as day-to-day operations manager of our national security interests.
— Ronald Reagan June 9, 1986
I am appreciative of the prominent role you played at President Reagan’s National Security Council to hasten the demise of the Soviet Union and bring the light of freedom to the Czech Republic.
— Vaclav Havel, President, Czech Republic January 27, 2003
I would like to thank you for your contributions to the University for Peace over the last eight years, including your tenure as President of the Council of the University.
— Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General of the United Nations, September 6, 2012
Thanks for that thoughtful note and the copy of your updated “Issues ’88” book. Thanks too, for your strong support. That means a lot to both Barbara and me, as does your friendship.
— George H.W. Bush September 22, 1988 commenting on his overall 1988 campaign issues book that Martin prepared.
This small volume summarizes much of the important work going on today with regard to global survival...I know of no other publication to date which emphasizes more systematically or extensively, and in such readable form, the interacting relationships amongst diverse fields.
— Maurice Strong, Secretary General of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, 1972 commenting on William Martin’s book, Growth and Its Implication for the Future.
I am pleased to learn that you have agreed to act as Coordinator for the International Atomic Energy Agency’s 20/20 project, providing liaison between the Secretariat and the Commission of Eminent Persons that I am establishing under under the Chairmanship of Ernesto Zedillo, former President of Mexico.
— Mohamed El Baradei, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency and Nobel Peace Prize recipient
I want to thank you for the important behind-the-scenes role you played making the International Energy Agency Ministerial meeting a success. The issues raised in your thoughtful op-ed piece certainly merit wide publication.
— Henry A. Kissinger November 10, 2009
In recent days…you have given me the confidence that sometimes you really can “win a big one.” I am referring to the miracle you pulled off over the course of the past year in persuading our NATO allies of the wisdom of limiting their reliance on Soviet gas and of developing the Norwegian fields.
— Ronald Reagan May 24, 1983
Once again, you have demonstrated extraordinary skills in coordinating the many activities and bilateral associated with my appearance before the United Nations General Assembly. Indeed, the entire week was an important of for US foreign policy, and your draft of my radio address summarizing the UNGA, IMF/World Bank and Gromyko meetings was particularly helpful.
— Ronald Reagan, October 18, 1984
I commend you for your outstanding contribution to the success of the Williamsburg Summit. Your exceptional work on East-West energy issues, your contribution in putting together the concise final briefing package for the negotiations and your draft of the original Williamsburg Declaration were of great assistance in forging both working documents and a clear and effective end product. You have made a major contribution to an endeavor which will bear fruit in decades to com.
— Ronald Reagan, July 29, 1983
Bill, I’ve been fortunate to have you at my side for some of our most significant foreign policy successes.
— Ronald Reagan December 5, 1983