Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy

Brussels, Belgium
Industry Sector:
International Public Sector
Type of contract:

Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy

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Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy




NATO’s Public Diplomacy Division (PDD) plays a key role in conveying the Alliance’s strategic and political messages to opinion formers and to the public in general. PDD works to raise the Alliance’s profile with audiences worldwide, and to build support for Alliance operations and policies. PDD contributes to the international security debate. The Division provides information environment awareness to the Secretary General and other NATO HQ stakeholders; and it acts as coordinator for strategic communication activities undertaken by other Divisions at NATO Headquarters (HQ), as well as by other entities belonging to the NATO structure.

The Assistant Secretary General (ASG) reports directly to the Secretary General of NATO and advises the Secretary General on strategic communication issues. S/He is a member of the Secretary General’s senior management team. S/He will, in close cooperation with the Spokesperson and under direction of the Secretary General, set the overall communications objectives, identify key audiences, and oversee the prioritisation of resources and the execution of plans. The ASG will manage the Division (presently approximately 90 staff members) and will be supported by a Deputy, while working closely with the NATO Spokesperson.

There are eight ASGs, 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 ASG is also expected to contribute to overall policy development and delivery, including in areas beyond their direct set of responsibilities.


The candidate must:

  • have a strong background developed through at least 10-15 years of experience in international and public diplomacy;
  • 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 experience facilitating high-level dialogue and consensus;
  • be an innovative, strategic, conceptual thinker and be able to design and use complex influencing strategies to fulfil the required objectives;
  • possess the following minimum levels of NATO’s official languages (English/French): VI (“Proficiency”) in one; I (“Beginner”) in the other.


The ASG/PDD is responsible for managing and directing NATO HQ’s communications activities, in close cooperation with the Spokesperson who is responsible for media relations, and under the direction of the Secretary General and, on his behalf, the Private Office.

There is a substantial representation function associated with this appointment. He/she will be called upon to represent the Secretary General at high-level meetings.

In her/his 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 Sections. Specifically, s/he will:

  • Attract Staff: Ensure recruitment panels for posts in her/his Division are fair and objective;
  • 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; Recommend contract renewal or conversion decisions with the best interests of the Organization in mind;
  • Foster Continual Improvement: Act as a member of the Headquarters senior staff boards including on management, situational awareness, and strategic anticipation matters, actively contributing 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 her/his duties.

4. COMPETENCIES  Candidates must demonstrate the following competencies:

  • Achievement
  • Change Leadership
  • Conceptual thinking
  • Clarity and Accuracy
  • Developing Others
  • Impact and Influence
  • Initiative
  • Leadership
  • Organizational Awareness


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

  1. Development of cutting edge communications and information environment assessment tools to ensure that NATO has the best possible situational and strategic awareness and that priorities and political messages are clearly communicated to the widest audiences possible in NATO and Partner countries;
  2. Careful prioritisation and allocation of resources.

In addition to the application form, candidates are expected to submit a Word or pdf document summarising their views on the key (and possible other) challenges, and how they would address them if selected for the position. This essay will be evaluated as part of the longlisting assessment (see full instructions on how to apply below “7.Recruitment Process”).


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


Application Closing Date – 11th November 2019

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The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is an intergovernmental alliance that is both military and political of countries from north American and Europe who are committed to fulfilling the goals of the North Atlantic Treaty.

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