- Not to be confused with the political writer, game author and font designer, Dave Nalle.
Born in Philadelphia, his study of Engineering at Princeton University was interrupted by World War II where he served as a Naval Aviator. He returned to complete a degree in English after the war. In the 1950s he joined the United States Information Agency and was assigned to the Middle East desk and eventually sent to Afghanistan. During the 1960s he was posted in Iran, Syria and Jordan and began to develop a reputation as a linguist and expert on Central Asia and the Middle East. While in Iran he also served as director of the Iran-America Society. He returned to the United States to head the USIA's division for the Near East, South Asia and North Africa in the late 1960s and early 1970s and was then posted to Moscow as Press and Cultural Affairs Officer. After his tour in Moscow he returned to his prior supervisory position at USIA. He served a total of 28 years with the USIA.
During and after his tour in Moscow at the end of the Brezhnev regime he and his wife Peggy Nalle played a role in assisting Russian dissident artists in organizing shows in Moscow and in getting their work out of the Soviet Union and shown in the United States and Europe, as well as helping some dissident artists in emigrating from Russia.
After retiring from the USIA he became the founding director of the Alfred Friendly Press Fellowship, a position which he held for 10 years, overlapping with his position as Washington editor of the Central Asia Monitor. He has written on Middle East and Central Asian affairs for Middle East Journal and Middle East Policy. He is the Chairman Emeritus of the Nava'i Lecture in Central Asian Studies at Georgetown University and currently teaches courses on Central Asia at OLLI/American University. He is on the National Advisory Committees of the Middle East Policy Council and the Alfred Friendly Foundation.
- A Common Ground Video on Islam and the West, 1987.
- Report on Survey of Ferghana Valley in 1999.
- Listing of articles and reviews at the Middle East Policy Council.
- Course Syllabus from 2002.
- Current course listing from American University.
- Biographical information in CESWW database at Harvard.
- Biographical information at Middle East Policy Center.