His decision anticipates a new appointment to the seven-member board by Secretary Gale A. Norton, who is expected to name his successor in the coming weeks.
“Mike brought to the Presidio an immense wealth of experience with the public. He understood the significance of our mission, and he always kept the ‘big picture’ before us,” said Toby Rosenblatt, chairman of the Presidio Trust Board of Directors. “We will miss his keen awareness of the importance of all of our decisions, big and small. It has been a great privilege to work with him.”
Michael Heyman has had a distinguished four-decade career at the University of California at Berkeley, serving as Chancellor from 1980 to 1990. From 1994 to 1999 he served as secretary of the Smithsonian Institution. He continues to teach law and city planning at U.C. Berkeley.
Heyman earned a bachelor of arts from DartmouthCollege and a J.D. from Yale University, and was editor of the Yale Law Review. In 1958, he was chief law clerk for Supreme Court Justice Earl Warren. In 1993, he was Counselor to Interior Secretary Bruce Babbit, who later appointed him to the Trust Board. Heyman has published extensively in the areas of civil rights, constitutional law, land use planning, metropolitan government and housing, environmental law and management, and affirmative action.
“In the course of creating a management plan for the Presidio, Mike guided much of our thinking about how to preserve this national treasure,” said Craig Middleton, executive director of the Trust. “He encouraged us to hold true to our principles and brave the controversy of our legislated mandates. He is an exceedingly principled man, with great foresight, and a tremendous presence.”
Created by Congress in 1996, the Presidio Trust is charged with preserving the Presidio’s natural, cultural, scenic, and recreational resources while achieving financially self-sufficiency by 2013. Six presidential appointees and the Secretary of the Interior, or her designee, sit on the board of directors and oversee the management of 80 percent of Presidio lands. The park spans 1,491 acres from the Pacific Ocean to the San FranciscoBay and offers impressive views, a diverse ecosystem, a dynamic shoreline and historic forests.