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Assistant, Plans Section

  • International Staff, NATO HQ
Brussels, Belgium
Application Deadline: June 24, 2024
  • International Staff, NATO HQ
Brussels, Belgium
Application Deadline: June 24, 2024


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 Prevention and Management, Cooperative Security) by providing situational awareness, advance planning, wellexercised and executed crisis response, and outcome-oriented defence and related security cooperation programmes.

Under the authority of Director for Operations, the Plans Section contributes to the effective preparedness of the Alliance to face both deterrence and defence challenges and crises. The Section coordinates political-military advice for the North Atlantic Council through the Operations Policy Committee (OPC) on these matters. It guides the political aspects of advance planning in support of the Alliance’s deterrence and  defence, as well as potential NATO-led crisis response operations and exercises. It handles all aspects of strategic planning that require the North Atlantic Council’s attention and coordinates work on posture management. The Section also has oversight of the enhanced situational awareness process in NATO HQ and of Geospatial Services.

The incumbent will carry out the duties of Assistant in the Plans Section in the Operations Directorate. They are accountable for efficiently handling a wide range of support duties of an administrative and organisational nature and will assist the Head of Section and the Staff Officers within the Section and in the Directorate as necessary.

They will interact with a wide range of officials/colleagues, and will need to demonstrate good communication skills in their interactions. Given the fast pace of global events, flexibility, adaptability and availability to perform tasks at short notice and under pressure are major components in this particular area of work. The incumbent will support the organization of Operations Policy Committee meetings, workshops, seminars and other activities related to deterrence and defence.



The incumbent must:

  • Possess a good general level of education, at least to higher secondary level;

  • Have at least 4 years' relevant experience of administrative and organisational work;

  • Have experience coordinating and screening budgets;

  • Have excellent knowledge and experience with various software applications, in particular with Excel, PowerPoint, SharePoint, or similar collaboration tools;

  • Demonstrate flexibility and the ability to work in a fast-paced, rapidly evolving environment with shifting priorities;

  • Have experience within multidisciplinary and multi-cultural environments, dealing with a variety of stakeholders;

  • Have proven organisation and coordination skills, working as part of a team;

  • Have good professional drafting and editing skills in at least one of the official NATO languages; and

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


The following would be considered an advantage:

  • Demonstrated interest in current international events;

  • Have experience or knowledge in the field of deterrence and defence;

  • A diploma or qualification in a relevant field for the post;

  • Experience in a national administration or International Organisation.


Planning and Execution

Assist with the day-to-day administration including arranging meetings and handling related details. Be responsible for travel arrangements and mission preparation/execution for Plans Section staff. Organise own workload to ensure the
accurate and timely execution of duties in order to allow for the successful completion of any additional work, such as organising unplanned missions, drafting urgent memos, etc.

Information Management

Support documentation and information flow for Plans Section projects. Administer the Section Head’s schedule and assist the Staff Officers. Answer enquiries and incoming calls. Type and format all kinds of documents for the Section, including memoranda and tables of figures requiring careful presentation. Compile documents and information packages for the Operations Policy Committee. Take minutes and/or conduct live editing at meetings, as necessary. Support Committee work, including as committee secretary, when necessary. Oversee the paper flow into and out of the office including retrieving and organising correspondence/documents (including classified information), determining the urgency of such documents and distributing as appropriate. Verify document processing and distribution complies with NATO and
Section procedures and policies. Maintain an effective follow-up and/or reminder system for pending actions within the Section.

Knowledge Management

Collect, categorise, and track relevant information required for various tasks and projects. Maintain and coordinate updates for the section watch list of current projects. Maintain well-structured paper and electronic filing systems, for classified and unclassified documents. Assist in the maintenance of the Plans Section’s websites.

Stakeholder Management

Liaise with various points of contact within the Plans Section, but also across the NATO enterprise, to ensure efficiency in daily management of workload and processes. Serve as the point of contact for initial requests of various nature and
determine the urgency of such requests. Coordinate administrative arrangements with external stakeholders invited to NATO HQ by the Section. Maintain all lists of internal and external contacts and identify points of contact throughout the Organization.

Expertise Development

Proactively develop skills in areas such as planning and organising, new technology, languages and effective communication. Liaise with other Assistants to share and learn best practice. Remain aware of world events and their impact on the Section’s work.

Organisational Efficiencies

Provide constructive suggestions to improve office procedures, especially in time of crisis management. Find ways to be faster, better and more effective in managing information, using office tools and in providing responses.

Financial Management

Coordinate and screen budget submissions. Ensure that accurate financial procedures are followed for the budget, prepare the necessary financial documents, follow up on activities to ensure that financial files are accurately processed and maintain records of all financial transactions. Submit and process financial requests in a timely and accurate manner. 

Perform any other related duty as assigned.


The incumbent reports to the Head of the Plans Section and will maintain close working relationships with other staff across the Operations Division, as well as throughout the Organisation on a variety of issues, supporting day-to-day work and the organization and flow of information for planned and unplanned events. The incumbent will also deal with external contacts, sometimes under stressful situations, to share and obtain information as directed. They will also contact national, civilian and military representatives of NATO and non-NATO countries as directed.

  • 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 twingraded 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 Pretrained 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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