Deputy Assistant Secretary General, Operations Division

NATO Direct
12,015.95Euro (EUR) Monthly
Contract Type
Expiry Date

International Staff, NATO HQ

The mission of the Operations Division of the International Staff is to prepare NATO for the defence of Alliance territory, to respond to crises at home and abroad, and to strengthen the capabilities of partners. The Operations Division advances the core tasks of the Alliance (Collective Defence, Crisis Management, Cooperative Security) by providing political oversight of NATO’s crisis management activities and operations, situational awareness, advance planning, well-exercised and executed crisis response, and outcome-oriented defence and related security cooperation programmes.

The Deputy Assistant Secretary General (DASG) for Operations reports directly to the Assistant Secretary General (ASG) for Operations and deputises for her/him as required. The DASG for Operations supervises the Front Office and the two Directors (one for Operations and one for Defence and Institutional Capacity Building).

Key challenges for this position for the coming years include:

  • Developing policy advice on current and future NATO operations and missions, including NATO Mission Iraq, NATO’s maritime operations, NATO’s KFOR operation, and NATO’s participation in the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS;
  • Shaping and helping ensure the successful delivery of a NATO training and capacity building support to a range of partners, including countries aspiring to NATO membership; and
  • Ensuring that NATO’s crisis response planning and decision-making is sufficiently robust and agile to be able to meet current and future challenges from all strategic directions.

 In addition to the application form, candidates are expected to submit a Word or pdf document, maximum of three A4 pages, summarising their views on the above-listed key (and possible other) challenges, and how they would address them if selected for the position.




The incumbent must:

  • hold a university degree from an institute of recognised standing or equivalent level of qualification;
  • have at least 15 years of experience working in the realm of politics and military, preferably in a large security policy and defence-related national or multi-national organisations, out of which at least 10 years gained in progressively senior leadership positions;
  •  have extensive experience in the integration of complex political and military issues, ideally to include the politico-military aspects of crisis management or military operations;
  •  have extensive people management experience and the capacity to lead, motivate and engage diverse and multidisciplinary teams;
  •  have a sound knowledge of, and preferably experience in, NATO’s organisation, military forces, planning and procedures;
  •  experience in advising very senior leadership (eg at the level of government Ministers / Chiefs of Defence) on political/military issues;
  •  be available to travel extensively, including to operational theatres;
  •  be able to work outside normal office hours in response to crises and urgent requirements;
  •  possess the following minimum levels of NATO’s official languages (English/French): VI (“Proficiency”) in one; I (“Beginner”) in the other.



The following would be considered an advantage:

  •  several years' experience in a comparable position within a Ministry for Foreign Affairs, a Ministry of Defence or relevant branch of the armed forces or government or intergovernmental agencies;
  • a more advanced level in one or both NATO official languages



Vision and Direction

Develop, communicate and implement a vision for the Division to face the challenges of the future. Support the divisional staff around common objectives, ensuring that the vision guides the mid- and long-term programme of work. Act as a role model of inclusive leadership and promote resilience, flexibility and innovation. Ensure the proper management of human resources issues within the Division.

Policy Development

Provide advice and political-military assessments to the NATO Secretary General and ASG for Operations. Contribute to, and supervise, strategic assessments and planning for current NATO operations and missions and for potential NATO involvement in crisis response as well as for capacity building.

Planning and Execution

Provide oversight and direction on current operations and missions as well as on capacity building programmes. Oversee crisis management procedures and exercises and contribute to contingency planning. Oversee crisis-reporting procedures. Oversee lessons learned from NATO-led operations. Oversee the successful delivery of NATO training and capacity building support to a range of partners, including countries aspiring to NATO membership.

People Management

Lead and oversee a team of International Staff (IS) which are under the direct supervision of their Directors and the Front Office. Directly supervise Directors and the Executive Officer. Act as a role model of inclusive leadership and promote integrity, resilience and innovation. Adhere to sound management principles with staff. Provide in-depth mentoring, coaching and training opportunities. Be available for guidance to staff at critical moments. Ensure that all divisional staff are clear on organisational and divisional objectives. Provide regular and fair feedback on performance, informally as appropriate, and formally via the performance management system.

Stakeholder Management

Coordinate closely with other Divisions of the IS, the International Military Staff (IMS), Allied Delegations and non-NATO nations’ Missions, as well as with other International Organisations as required.

Expertise Development

Apply knowledge and experience to support the NATO Secretary General and ASG for Operations in the management of NATO operational and planning issues as well as capacity building issues. Present effectively to senior NATO and national officials.

Representation of the Organization

Chair the Operations Policy Committee (OPC), the Council Operations and Exercises Committee (COEC) and other relevant committees as required. Represent NATO with high level visiting groups, in international conferences and in contacts with other International Organisations.

Perform any other related duty as assigned.

The incumbent must demonstrate:

  •  Achievement: Demonstrates decisiveness based on solid considerations and trade-offs;
  •  Change Leadership: Champions change;
  •  Conceptual Thinking: Creates new concepts;
  •  Developing Others: Provides in-depth mentoring, coaching and training;
  •  Impact and Influence: Uses complex influence strategies;
  •  Initiative: Plans and acts for the long term;
  •  Leadership: Communicates a compelling vision;
  •  Organisational Awareness: Understands underlying issues;
  •  Self-Control: Stays composed and positive even under extreme pressure.


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