Former White House Advisor on Environmental Quality George "David" Banks Joins CSIS

WASHINGTON, April 15, 2013 — The Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) is pleased to announce that George “David” Banks, managing director of Vanguard Political, a strategy consultancy, has joined CSIS as senior fellow and deputy director for the Program on Nuclear Energy Policy. The Program, led by Michael Wallace, will address current challenges in nuclear energy development based on the understanding that nuclear energy is an essential part of the United States’ clean energy future; as well as examining the maintenance of U.S. influence on safety and nonproliferation standards around the globe.

“The United States currently operates 25 percent of commercial nuclear power facilities,” said CSIS President and CEO John Hamre. “However, due to present construction rates in the developing world, that percentage may drop to 7 percent by 2050. It is imperative that we chart a path forward harmonizing business, civil, and government interests—David Banks has the expertise to help formulate that vision.”

A native southeast Missourian, Mr. Banks has been an influential voice on energy issues in several capacities. Before his advocacy work, Mr. Banks was Republican deputy staff director of the United States Senate Environment & Public Works (EPW) Committee. He helped manage and coordinate environmental policy, tactics, and strategy for the GOP in the Senate, working closely with other Republican policymakers and interested stakeholders. Prior to the Senate, Mr. Banks was a partner at Boyden Gray & Associates, a law firm in Washington, D.C. He advised and represented utilities and trade associations, working to advance civil nuclear energy.

During the Bush administration, Mr. Banks was the senior adviser on International Affairs and Climate Change at the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ). At the Council, Mr. Banks was one of the chief architects of the Major Economies Meeting on Energy Security and Climate Change and in September 2008, he was nominated by President George W. Bush to be assistant administrator of International Activities at the EPA. Banks' CEQ work on promoting the reduction of non-CO2 greenhouse gases, including methane and HCFCs, was later recognized by the Obama Administration, earning him an EPA Climate Protection Award for Diplomacy.

From 2004 to 2006, he served as the State Department's point person on climate change and energy diplomacy at the U.S. Mission to the EU in Brussels, Belgium, where he received a Superior Honor Award for promoting U.S. diplomatic objectives. He was also a CIA economic analyst and served as legislative fellow to Congressman Howard Berman. Mr. Banks holds a JD from George Mason University and a MA in Economics and baccalaureate degrees in history, economics, and political science from the University of Missouri at St. Louis.


The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) is a bipartisan, nonprofit organization that seeks to advance global security and prosperity by providing strategic insights and practical policy solutions to decisionmakers.