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NATO seeks Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges

NATO 5<y Senior Level  Brussel, Brussels Hoofdstedelijk Gewest, Belgium 3 Mai 2017

Job Description

Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges


The NATO Secretary General is looking to recruit principal official for his most senior management team to be his primary advisors in the area of Emerging Security Challenges

The Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges (ASG/ESC) is responsible for the development and delivery of NATO’s policies in the area of Emerging Security Challenges. These include:

  • Primary responsibility for all aspects of Cyber Defence, including capability development, training and exercises, and the development of effective links with national administrations and the private sector;
  • Energy Security;
  • Counter Terrorism;
  • Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) non-proliferation efforts;
  • Nuclear Policy;
  • Cooperation with partner nations and with other international organisations, in particular with the United Nations and the European Union, as appropriate, on all aspects of emerging security challenges;
  • NATO’s Science for Peace and Security programme.

The Division promotes security cooperation on these challenges through a variety of programmes, within NATO, with partner nations and with other international organisations. The Division has established a NATO Headquarters’ strategic analysis capability to help guide policy making.

The ASG/ESC is the Secretary General’s primary advisor on emerging security challenges and related policy, capability and partnership issues.

The ASG/ESC will manage the Emerging Security Challenges Division, which is composed of approximately 50 International Staff members. The Assistant Secretary General is supported by one Deputy ASG.

There are 8 Assistant Secretaries General, all of whom report to the NATO Secretary General and are also accountable to the North Atlantic Council. As a member of the Secretary General’s senior management team, each Assistant Secretary General is also expected to contribute to overall policy development and delivery, including in areas beyond their direct set of responsibilities.


The ASG/ESC will deal directly with NATO members and partners on issues relating to emerging security challenges, and will chair and co-chair high-level committees of Nations. These committees include the Cyber Defence Committee and the Deputy Permanent Representatives Committee.

The ASG/ESC will speak in public fora and to the Press on behalf of the Secretary General. There is a substantial representation function associated with this appointment.

In his/her role as manager of the Division, the incumbent will lead and oversee a team of international staff which are under the direct supervision of the Heads of Section. Specifically, s/he will:

  • Attract staff: Ensure recruitment panels for posts in his/her Division are fair and objective; Serve on the Establishment Committee and make selection recommendations with the best interests of the Organization in mind;
  • Develop staff: Adhere to sound management principles with staff, and provide in depth mentoring, coaching and training opportunities; be available for guidance at critical moments; ensure that all Divisional staff are clear on Organizational and Divisional objectives; provide regular and fair feedback on performance, informally as appropriate and via the performance management system;
  • Monitor and promote performance: Participate in a collegial review of performance at Divisional level to discuss possible development and mobility opportunities for individuals, identify high potentials and help ensure common standards are applied in the process across the Organization; as a member of the Establishment Committee, make contract renewal or conversion decisions with the best interests of the Organization in mind;
  • Foster continual improvement: Act as a member of the Headquarters Management Board (HQMB) and Headquarters Policy Board (HQPB), actively contribute to the improvement of the Organization; participate in the Senior Leader Orientation Programme, the Chairman Training Programme, and other programmes related to the successful execution of his/her duties.


Key challenges facing the successful candidate for ASG/ESC during the next 3 years will likely include:

  1. Taking forward NATO’s Cyber Defence Policy to strengthen the cyber defences of both NATO and Allied Nations; in particular implementing the Warsaw Summit decision to recognise cyberspace as a domain of operations and further implementing the Cyber Defence Pledge;
  2. In the field of WMD non-proliferation, supporting the international non-proliferation regime and further developing Allied capacity and capabilities to defend against Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) threats;
  3. Enhancing NATO’s contribution to the fight against terrorism, including through the Defence Against Terrorism programme of work.


The candidate must:

  • have a solid background in security policy matters developed through 10-15 years of experience at senior level;
  • have a university degree (Master’s level preferred) in a relevant field;
  • have experience working in a multilateral environment or an environment with a variety of stakeholders from multi-cultural backgrounds;
  • have a proven track record of experience in progressively senior posts, recent experience in senior-level leadership positions and significant professional experience in managerial positions;
  • have a proven track record of creating a high-level vision and directing organisations to develop and implement the necessary policies;
  • possess the following minimum levels of NATO’s official languages (English/French): VI (“Proficiency”) in one; I (“Beginner”) in the other.



Candidates must demonstrate the following competencies:

  • Achievement
  • Change leadership
  • Conceptual thinking
  • Clarity and accuracy
  • Developing others
  • Impact and influence
  • Initiative
  • Leadership
  • Organizational awareness


Selection of candidates for NATO posts is based upon the merit principle.



The successful applicant will be employed for an initial period of 3 years. Exceptionally, there may be possibility of a one-year extension thereafter.

Applications must be submitted using one of the following links, as applicable:

  •   For NATO civilian staff members only: please apply via the internal recruitment portal (for more information, please contact your local Civilian HR Manager);
  •   For all other applications:


NATO as employer values diverse backgrounds and perspectives and is committed to recruiting and retaining a diverse and talented workforce. NATO welcomes applications of nationals from all member Nations and strongly encourages women to apply.

Building Integrity is a key element of NATO’s core tasks. As an employer, NATO values commitment to the principles of integrity, transparency and accountability in accordance with international norms and practices established for the defence and related security sector. Selected candidates are expected to be role models of integrity, and to promote good governance through ongoing efforts in their work.

Due to the broad interest in NATO and the large number of potential candidates, telephone or e-mail enquiries cannot be dealt with.

Appointment will be subject to receipt of a security clearance (provided by the national Authorities of the selected candidate) and approval of the candidate’s medical file by the NATO Medical Adviser.

Applicants who are not successful in this competition may be offered an appointment to another post of a similar nature, albeit at the same or a lower grade, provided they meet the necessary requirements.

Please note that we can only accept applications from nationals of NATO member Nations.

The nature of this position may require the staff member at times to be called upon to travel for work and/or to work outside normal office hours.

The Organization offers several work-life policies including Teleworking and Flexible Working arrangements (Flexitime) subject to business requirements.


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