When President Obama appointed Frank Loy as Alternate U.S. Representative to the 66th Session of the UN General Assembly in 2011, it marked the fourth U.S. administration to name him to a senior position in the Department of State. In the second administration of President Clinton he served as Under Secretary for Global Affairs. His portfolio included developing US international policy and conducting negotiations in the fields of human rights, the promotion of democracy, refugees, population issues and humanitarian affairs, counter-narcotics, and particularly climate change (he was the lead US climate negotiator for three years) and other environmental issues such as trade in genetically modified agricultural products.
Under President Carter he was Director of the Department’s Bureau of Refugee Programs, with the personal rank of Ambassador. This was a time of large and politically complicated refugee populations, such as the Afghans in Pakistan, Cambodians in Thailand and numerous African refugee populations. It was also the period of Vietnamese and Haitian boat people seeking safety, and the Mariel boatlift, during which 125,000 Cubans came to the U.S in a three week period.
In the Johnson Administration he served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic Affairs. He was the lead negotiator in the creation of the Intelsat consortium, which operates the space segment of the first a global satellite communications network. He also negotiated multilateral agreements in the field of aviation and shipping, and numerous bilateral air transport agreements. His first government post was as special assistant to the administrator of the FAA.
During 2007 and 2008 he served in the Obama Campaign as a co-leader of the Energy and Environment team, and as a member of the National Finance Committee.
He spent some 10 years in the business sector, first as Senior Vice President of Pan American Airways. There he was responsible for securing from foreign governments operating rights for its airline and hotel operations, while concurrently directing Pan Am’s extensive technical assistance programs, and later Pan Am’s US government affairs office.
In 1974 he became a founding partner of the turn-around firm that brought the Penn Central Transportation Company, then the largest industrial bankruptcy in U.S. history, out of bankruptcy. He subsequently became president of the NY Stock Exchange-listed company that emerged from that bankruptcy.
From 1981-95 he served as president of The German Marshall Fund of the US, an American foundation focused on US/European political and economic relations. Following the fall of the Berlin Wall, GMF concentrated the bulk of its efforts on promoting democratic institutions (such as an independent press, a functioning legislature, effective political parties, an independent judiciary, a civil society of non-governmental institutions, etc.) in former Soviet-bloc Eastern European countries.
He has retained an interest in German/American affairs, and today chairs the Arthur Burns Fellowship Program, an exchange program of German and American journalists. He also serves on the board of the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies. In recognition of his long-time service, the President of the Federal Republic of Germany, in November 2010, awarded him the Grosses Verdienstkreuz des Verdienstordens der Bundsrepublik Deutschland, Germany’s highest civilian award.
Over the years he has served on a variety of corporate boards, including Madison Square Garden, Pharmaceutical Product Development, Applied Bioscience, Buckeye Pipeline, Arvida, a Florida land developer, and Six Flags, owner of theme parks.
At present he serves on the boards of numerous non-profit organizations, particularly in the field of the environment. These include Environmental Defense Fund (former chair), The Nature Conservancy, The Pew Center for Global Climate Change, Resources For the Future (vice chair and former chair), and ecoAmerica (vice chair).
He serves as board chair of Population Services International, which, with an annual budget of some $600 million, provides family planning and health products and services in over 60 developing countries. He is also the chair of the Round Table of Environmental Health, Sciences, Research and Medicine of the Institute of Medicine, one of the three U.S. National Academies.
He has chaired numerous other non-profit boards, including Goddard College, The Washington Ballet, The League of Conservation Voters (where, for one year, he also served as president), and Environment 2004, a “Section 527” political organization that sought to elect the Democratic candidate for President in 2004. He is a member of The American Academy of Diplomacy and the Council on Foreign Relations.
Early in his career he practiced corporate and corporate finance law in Los Angeles with the firm of O’Melveny & Myers. He has taught a course in Environmental Law and Policy at the Yale Law and Forestry Schools.
He is a graduate of UCLA and the Harvard Law School, lives in Washington D.C, with his wife, Dale, a painter, and has two children and four grandchildren.