Nimziki grew up in Lancaster, Pennsylvania and was the son of an agronomist. He attended Georgetown University, where he earned a double major in criminology and international relations. Nimziki joined the CIA in which he proved himself to be a highly efficient administrator, and steadily rose through the agency's ranks and eventually became Director of the CIA. He was among the few selected people who were aware of extraterrestrial life from the Roswell incident under Project Smudge. During the fallout of the Watergate scandal in 1972, Nimziki successfully proposed having every extraterrestrial-related information and assets placed under his purview.
Nimziki served under four presidential administrations, including the Whitmore Administration. During his term as Secretary of Defense under President Whitmore, Nimziki was highly ambitious and he had amassed enough power similar to that of J. Edgar Hoover. He was not a likable man, in which he earned the unflattering nickname, "the Iron Sphincter."
War of 1996
By the time of the 1996 invasion, Nimziki chose not to reveal his knowledge about the aliens to the President and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He initially advocated a preemptive attack on the aliens should they show themselves as a threat, which was proven correct. Nimziki escaped the destruction of Washington, D.C. on Air Force One. Following the loss of NORAD and a failed counterattack against the aliens, Nimziki reluctantly revealed to Whitmore the existence of Area 51 and his knowledge about the aliens. General William Grey later called Nimziki out on knowing about the aliens all along, and reprimanded him for failure to disclose the information before the failed counterattack was launched. Nimziki claimed it was deemed classified, and he assumed the counterattack would be more effective.
Nimziki later strongly advised Whitmore in launching a nuclear strike on the invaders. He had believed that America’s nuclear arsenal would be sufficient enough to break through the aliens’ shields. Furthermore, Nimziki not only hoped for the nuclear strike would overcome the invaders, but he also saw this as a political capital that would publicly validate him and emerging from the war as a potential new president. Whitmore was very hesitant to deploy nuclear weapons that would cause lasting collateral damages, but he finally heeded Nimziki’s advice after learning the aliens' sinister purpose to harvest Earth's natural resources and wiping out its inhabitants. But an attempt on one of the City Destroyers above Houston fails to penetrate its shield. Nimziki was left very disappointed by the results and tried to pursue Whitmore for further nuclear strikes that he still believed could break through the Destroyer’s shields. But Whitmore called off the remaining strikes.
During the next day, Nimziki was present to learn from David Levinson’s discovery of disabling the aliens’ shields and his proposal to launch a renewed counteroffensive. Nimziki was deeply skeptical of Levinson's plan and urged Whitmore to dismiss it by arguing that they do not have enough available manpower and coordination to launch such an assault, and doubting Area 51’s captured alien spacecraft capable of flying and the pilot qualified to fly it. However, Nimziki was proven wrong after Levinson demonstrated the vessel to be fully operational, and USMC Captain Steven Hiller volunteered to be its pilot. Whitmore approved the plan.
Nimziki, in a last ditch effort, again tried to make another appeal to Whitmore to scuttle Levinson's plan. But Whitmore had enough of Nimziki and his obstructive antics, stating to him of his mistake for "appointing a sniveling little weasel like [him] as [his] Secretary of Defense" and promptly had him fired much to Nimziki's shock.
During the aliens' attack on Area 51, Nimziki found himself invited by Julius Levinson to join his prayer reading. Although Nimziki professed that he is not Jewish, Julius doesn't mind it at all.
Shortly after humanity's victory against the aliens, Nimziki apologized to Whitmore and in turn he was allowed to worked on the American Reconstruction Committee, serving as General William Grey's chief assistant. Nimziki later attempted to run for office in the 2000 presidential election but only to lose in a landslide victory by William Grey.
- Nimziki: "I spoke with the Joint Chiefs when they arrived at NORAD. They agree we must launch a counteroffensive with a full nuclear strike."
- Whitmore: "Over American soil? You're saying at this point we should sacrifice more innocent American civilians. Is that right?"
- Nimziki: "Sir, if we don't strike soon, there may not be much of an America left to defend."
- — Nimziki urging Whitmore for a nuclear strike against the aliens.
- "Uh, excuse me. Mr. President? That's not entirely accurate."
- ―Nimziki reluctantly telling the truth of Area 51.
- "Two words, Mr. President. Plausible deniability."
- ―Nimziki to President Whitmore on Area 51's secrecy.
- Independence Day/novel
- ID4: Independence Day
- Independence Day: Silent Zone
- Independence Day: Crucible (mentioned)
Behind the scenes
- According to James Rebhorn, he compares Albert Nimziki to Oliver North, who served under Ronald Reagan and was known for his role in the Iran-Contra scandal, describing him for firmly believing that everything he does is ultimately for the good of his country.
- Nimziki's firing lampoons Joe Nimziki, MGM's head of advertising who reportedly accounted for unpleasant experiences for Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich when studio executives forced recuts of Stargate.
- Despite Nimziki's claim that Whitmore cannot fire him, the President of the United States is actually able to dismiss Cabinet members from their position if need be without Senate approval, per the Supreme Court ruling of Myer v. United States.
- Independence Day: Silent Zone
- Independence Day: Official Novelization
- How I Saved the World
- Independence Day: Crucible
- The Making of Independence Day by Rachel Aberly & Volker Engel Aug. 1996, p. 44.
- Stephen Galloway (July 4, 2001). "Affleck's Schedule Busies After 'Harbor'". bnet.com.
- Rebecca Ascher-Walsh (July 12, 1996). "SPACE UNDER FIRE". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved July 8, 2008.