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Assistant, Innovation Unit

  • International Staff, NATO HQ
Brussels, Belgium
Application Deadline: April 14, 2024
  • International Staff, NATO HQ
Brussels, Belgium
Application Deadline: April 14, 2024


The Innovation, Hybrid & Cyber (IHC) Division provides a coordinated approach for NATO to the emerging security challenges of the 21st Century. It serves as NATO HQ’s focal point for policy development on issues linked to innovation and Emerging and Disruptive Technologies (EDTs), Data and Artificial Intelligence (AI) Policy, cyber, hybrid, energy security, security of critical undersea infrastructure, as well as the impact of climate change on security.

The Division also promotes security cooperation on these challenges through a variety of different programmes, with Allies and with Partner nations, as well as with industry, academia and with other International Organisations (IO).The Innovation Unit is responsible for driving forward the innovation strategy and agenda at NATO, helping to ensure that the Alliance understands and benefits from the policy and practical implications—both opportunities and risks—of emerging and disruptive technologies (EDTs). IHC is therefore at the forefront of efforts to maintain the Alliance’s technological edge and respond to the challenges of EDTs.

The Innovation unit helps identify innovation priorities to foster the adoption of emerging and disruptive technologies and protect the Alliance from risks posed in this space. The Unit contributes to eliminating barriers to innovation, whether these are policy or process-related constraints. The Unit has played a key role in the establishment and development of the NATO Innovation Fund (NIF) and in support of the NATO Defence Innovation Accelerator for the North Atlantic (DIANA), and now acts as a key conduit liaising with both entities.

The incumbent under the direction of the Head of the Unit will carry out the duties of Assistant. S/he organise events, workshops and seminars, and support the development, monitoring and implementation of various projects related to the work on innovation.

S/he is accountable for efficiently handling a wide range of support duties of an administrative and organisational nature.



The incumbent must:

  • Have a good general education at least to higher secondary level or to secondary o level;

  • have a proven ability to proof-read policy documents for accuracy and consistency (spelling, grammar, style, punctuation, presentation/formatting);

  • Have at least 4 years' previous experience of organisational duties;

  • Have familiarity with various software packages, in particular the Microsoft Office suite or similar;

  • Possess experience in organising conferences or programme administration;

  • Have some knowledge of, and experience in accountancy;

  • Possess the following minimum levels of NATO’s official languages (English/French): V (“Advanced”) in one; I (“Beginner”) in the other;

  • Have experience working in a multilateral environment or an environment with a variety of stakeholders from multi-cultural backgrounds.


The following would be considered an advantage:

  • Experience in the management of projects and development of programmes;

  • Experience in financial management.


Planning and Execution

Assist with the day-to-day administration: arrange meetings and handle related details, such as necessary travel arrangements and mission coordination, as well as coordination of leave plans. Organise process and draft procedural documents for committee procedures and other internal procedures. Organise own workload to ensure the accurate and timely execution of duties. Provide back-up support to other Sections within the IHC Division. Administer the Unit Head’s schedule.

Information Management

Answer enquiries and incoming calls. Prepare documents and inputs, including tables of figures requiring careful presentation on innovation activities in Excel and PowerPoint. Maintain currency on NATO’s tasker/tracker system. Track all tasks assigned to Innovation Unit and raise to relevant staff officer and unit leadership tasks assigned as well as imminent deadlines. Monitor progress and ensure that tasks are appropriately uploaded and marked as complete.Take minutes at meetings as necessary.

Oversee the information flow into and out of the office including retrieving and organising correspondence/documents (including classified information). Maintain an effective followup and/or reminder system for pending actions within the Unit/Team.

Support the development and application of assessment tools and techniques. Ensure cross-sectional and divisional collaboration. Enhance coordination and harmonize the different aspects of work.

Stakeholder Management

Liaise with points of contact to ensure efficiency in daily management of workload and processes. Be the point of contact for initial requests of various nature. Maintain all lists of internal and external contacts. Support the organisation of the Innovation Board and Innovation Task Force meeting. Organise and support visits of external stakeholders to NATO HQ.

Knowledge Management

Collect, categorise, and track relevant information required for various tasks and projects. Maintain well-structured paper and electronic filing systems.

Organisational Efficiencies

Provide constructive suggestions to improve office procedures. Find ways to be faster, better and more effective in managing information and using office tools. Support the Unit in tracking overall unit workflow and efficiencies under the direction of Unit leadership.

Expertise Development

Keep abreast of and learn more about opportunities and risks of emerging and disruptive technologies to support political and operational decision making in order to support the unit’s effort to ensure that NATO is able to make a significant contribution in broader discussions beyond the Alliance on innovation.

Financial Management

Ensure that proper financial procedures are followed for the budget, prepare the necessary financial documents, follow up on activities to ensure that financial files are correctly processed and maintain records of all financial transactions. Develop and maintain expertise on the working procedures, financial rules and mechanisms of other cooperative programmes, and funding mechanisms in the International Staff (IS) and beyond, in order to enhance cooperation between experts NATO-wide, including national representatives of NATO and partner nations.

Perform any other related duty as assigned.


The incumbent works in a team with the other members of the Innovation Unit and reports to the Head of the Unit. S/He will maintain close working relationships with other staff in the IHC Division, as well as throughout the Organization.

S/He will develop close working relationships with other sections of the IHC Division, and will oversee coordination with other divisions of the IS, the International Military Staff (IMS), the Science and Technology Organization, NATO Strategic Commands (in particular Allied Command Transformation), the NATO Communications and Information Agency, and national delegations as necessary.

  • Direct reports: N/a;

  • Indirect reports: N/a.


The incumbent must demonstrate:

  • Clarity and Accuracy: Checks own work;

  • Customer Service Orientation: Takes personal responsibility for correcting problems;

  • Empathy: Listens actively;

  • Flexibility: Acts with flexibility;

  • Initiative: Is decisive in a time-sensitive situation;

  • Organisational Awareness: Understands the Organization's structure;

  • Teamwork: Expresses positive attitudes and expectations of team or team members.


Contract to be offered to the successful applicant (if non-seconded): Definite duration contract of three years’ duration; possibility of an indefinite duration contract thereafter.

Contract clause applicable

In accordance with the NATO Civilian Personnel Regulations, the successful candidate will receive a definite duration contract of three years, which may be followed by an indefinite duration contract.

If the successful applicant is seconded from the national administration of one of NATO’s member States, a 3-year definite duration contract will be offered, which may be renewed for a further period of up to 3 years subject to the agreement of the national authority concerned. The maximum period of service in the post as a seconded staff member is six years.

Serving staff will be offered a contract in accordance with the NATO Civilian Personnel Regulations.

Note: Irrespective of previous qualifications and experience, candidates for twin-graded posts will be appointed at the lower grade. Advancement to the higher grade is not automatic, and will not normally take place during the first three years of service in the post. Under specific circumstances, serving staff members may be appointed directly to the higher grade, and a period of three years might be reduced by up to twenty four months for external candidates. These circumstances are described in the IS directive on twin-graded posts.


Please note that we can only accept applications from nationals of NATO member countries. Applications must be submitted using e-recruitment system, as applicable:

  • For NATO civilian staff members only: please apply via the internal recruitment portal (link);

  • For all other applications:

Before you apply to any position, we encourage you to click here and watch our video providing 6 tips to prepare you for your application and recruitment process.

Do you have questions on the application process in the system and not sure how to proceed? Click here for a video containing the information you need to successfully submit your application on time.

More information about the recruitment process and conditions of employment, can be found at our website.

Appointment will be subject to receipt of a security clearance (provided by the national Authorities of the selected candidate), approval of the candidate’s medical file by the NATO Medical Adviser, verification of your study(ies) and work experience, and the successful completion of the accreditation and notification process by the relevant authorities.

NATO will not accept any phase of the recruitment and selection prepared, in whole or in part, by means of generative artificial-intelligence (AI) tools, including and without limitation to chatbots, such as Chat Generative Pre-trained Transformer (Chat GPT), or other language generating tools. NATO reserves the right to screen applications to identify the use of such tools. All applications prepared, in whole or in part, by means of such generative or creative AI applications may be rejected without further consideration at NATO’s sole discretion, and NATO reserves the right to take further steps in such cases as appropriate.


NATO is committed to diversity and inclusion, and strives to provide equal access to employment, advancement and retention, independent of gender, age, nationality, ethnic origin, religion or belief, cultural background, sexual orientation, and disability. 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.

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.

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.

Please note that the International Staff at NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium is a non-smoking environment.

For information about the NATO Single Salary Scale (Grading, Allowances, etc.) please visit our website. Detailed data is available under the Salary and Benefits tab.
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