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Head Resilience Section

  • International Staff, NATO HQ
Brussels, Belgium
Application Deadline: May 21, 2024
  • International Staff, NATO HQ
Brussels, Belgium
Application Deadline: May 21, 2024


The Defence Policy and Planning (DPP) Division leads work in the NATO International Staff on the defence-related aspects of the Alliance’s fundamental security tasks at the politicalmilitary level. The Defence Policy and Capabilities Directorate in DPP addresses a wide range of issues related to the Alliance’s deterrence and defence policies and strategies.

The Division’s Resilience Section (RS) develops, facilitates and supports the development of advice to NATO and national authorities at the political level. The Section contributes to:

  • Providing efforts to support national resilience through civil preparedness, both of which support NATO’s deterrence and defence posture;

  • Ensuring the full implementation of the Strengthened Resilience Commitment, related language in the Strategic Concept;

  • Fulfilling the increased level of ambition on building resilience by developing analyses and advice covering a wide range of resilience dimensions; and,

  • Enhancing NATO-EU cooperation in resilience, and related crisis management and civil-military support also remains a key strategic priority.

The Head of Section will oversee the provision of policy advice and recommendations, as well as support the meetings of the North Atlantic Council (NAC), the Resilience Committee (RC), including the Resilience Planning Groups, the Defence Policy and Planning Committee (DPPC), other relevant NATO entities and senior NATO stakeholders. Additionally, s/he will support nations in implementing the seven Baseline Requirements and in developing their national resilience goals and implementation plans stemming from NATO’s collective resilience objectives. S/he will assist with the resilience-related planning and conduct of NATO operations and exercises by facilitating civil-military support, and oversee the analysis of the resilience aspects of the NATO Defence Planning Capability Survey. The Head of Section will engage regularly with delegations, national authorities, civil experts, the NATO Military Authorities, other Alliance bodies and other International Organisations.

The incumbent will work in a Division that considers diversity and inclusion as essential to the way it works. At DPP, Diversity and Inclusion is considered to be as important as our programme of work and the number of staff who support it. DPP is a workplace that values each staff member for their contributions, perspectives and potential. At DPP, staff members feel equally involved in and supported in all areas of the workplace.

Key challenges facing the successful candidate for the Head, Resilience Section in the coming five years will include:

  • Ensuring the full implementation of the Strengthened Resilience Commitment, the NATO 2030 resilience agenda, and resilience-related language in the NATO Strategic Concept;

  • Supporting the NATO Military Authorities and nations in adapting the Alliance’s deterrence and defence posture, including by facilitating civil support to the military across the seven baseline requirements;

  • Engaging with the European Union and relevant partners to advance efforts to strengthen resilience and civil preparedness.

In addition to completing the application form, including the pre-screening questions, candidates will be asked to summarise their views on the key challenges above, and outline how they would address them if selected for the position (maximum 2 pages of A4 paper). This essay will be evaluated as part of the shortlisting assessment (see full instructions on how to apply at the end of the vacancy notice).



The incumbent must:

  • Possess a university degree, or relevant educational qualification, from an institute of recognized standing;

  • Have at least 10 years of relevant professional experience in progressively responsible positions, in one or more applicable fields in a national administration, international organisation or in the armed forces, out of which at least 5 years of experience leading and developing diverse teams;

  • Have experience working on the key defence and security policy issues of the Alliance, including in relation to resilience;

  • Have a solid understanding of NATO’s political and military consultative processes and structures, including the roles and responsibilities of the NATO civil and military bodies involved in resilience and civil preparedness;

  • Possess general knowledge of NATO’s resilience and civil preparedness agendas;

  • Possess strong analytical skills and the ability to develop and present complex strategies in a compelling manner;

  • Be able to communicate effectively with strong writing, briefing and negotiating skills;

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

  • Be prepared to work outside normal office hours and to travel.


The following would be considered an advantage:

  • Experience in executing similar work for a national administration (including civil ministries and agencies), military or international organisation;

  • Project management experience.


Expertise Development

Advise the Director for Defence Policy and Capabilities, the Assistant Secretary General (ASG), Deputy ASG for DPP, and NATO leadership, as well as the Resilience Committee on resilience and civil preparedness matters. Synchronise, promote, and develop related policies and activities across the Alliance. Support efforts to ensure civil support for the Alliance’s deterrence and defence, including through plans and exercises. Assist with the resilience-related planning and conduct of NATO operations and exercises by facilitating civil-military support, Provide support to nations in implementing and assessing the baseline requirements for national resilience. Conduct periodic civil regional assessments across the baselines and support the analysis of the resilience aspects of the NATO Defence Planning Capability Survey.

Vision and Direction

Develop, communicate and implement a vision that positions the Section to face the challenges of the future in an ever-changing strategic environment. Champion change and motivate the team around common objectives, ensuring that guide the Section’s mid and long-term programme of work. Act as a role model of inclusive leadership and promote resilience and flexibility. Demonstrate creativity and innovation in approaching resiliencerelated issues, and develop advice and policy papers accordingly.

People Management

Adhere to and promote sound and inclusive leadership and management principles for the Section. Lead a large and diverse team of international staff, voluntary national contributions, temps and interns, who execute a variety of objectives and complex tasks, in different sub-teams. Set objectives and establish priorities. Inspire staff to work creatively and collaboratively with limited resources. Promote a positive, productive and inspiring work environment. Be an active listener and provide constructive feedback. Put particular focus on fostering day-to-day staff decisions, with delegated responsibility. Champion diversity and inclusion, provide in-depth performance management, mentoring, coaching and training opportunities and be available to offer guidance at critical moments. Ensure that all staff under his/her responsibility are clear on Organizational, Divisional and Directorate objectives. Provide regular and fair feedback on performance as a staff development tool, throughout every day work, and formally via the HQ Performance Review and Development (PRD) system.

Policy Development

Oversee the development of the Alliance’s political and political-military advice in relation to resilience in line with overall Alliance priorities and requirements. Monitor compliance with NATO resilience policies and strategic objectives, and support nations in addressing issues, including through promoting best practices. Coordinate and support the implementation of these policies, including outreach policy.

Project Management

Provide thought leadership and oversee the development of NATO’s resilience policies and programmes, including those with a financial dimension. Prepare for and assist in civil crisis management operations during exercises and real world events, as appropriate, and contribute to the development of a consolidated “Resilience Picture” to support military planning and Council decision-making during crisis periods.

Stakeholder Management

Provide oversight of the activities of the Resilience Planning Groups as well as oversee and facilitate the activities of national civil experts working under the RC. Liaise and cooperate with the NATO Military Authorities and national representatives. Support activities conducted by nations through expert meetings and team visits. Develop contacts and cooperation designed to enhance resilience with relevant partner nations. Oversee staff-to-staff cooperation with the European Union on resilience, including by leading the NATO delegation in meetings of the Structured Dialogue. Liaise and cooperate with NATO’s defence planning community to ensure country-related analyses and assessments of the resilience dimension of the NATO Defence Planning Process.

Representation of the Organization

Represent the Section at NATO and in various international settings, including in dialogues with government, civilian and military national representatives and giving presentations at conferences and seminars.

Financial Management

Prepare and oversee the implementation of the Section’s budget, determining, with the Director, funding priorities. Ensure due diligence in planning, executing and reporting on resilience-related programming.

Organisational Efficiencies

Adapt Section structures and procedures as necessary to ensure maximum efficiency and motivation.

Planning and Execution

Plan for the longer-term. Ensure that short- and mid-term plans are implemented to achieve overall objectives. Perform any other related duty as assigned.


The incumbent reports to the ASG DPP and the DASG DPP through the Director for Defence Policy and Capabilities. S/he will develop close working relationships with other Sections and Directorates of the Division, and will oversee coordination with other Divisions of the International Staff, the International Military Staff, the NATO Military Authorities, national delegations, partners, and non-NATO entities, such as the European Union, as appropriate.

  • Direct reports: 12;

  • Indirect reports: 0.


The incumbent will demonstrate the following competencies:

  • Achievement: Sets and works to meet challenging goals;

  • Change Leadership: Personally leads change;

  • Conceptual Thinking: Clarifies complex data or situations;

  • Developing Others: Provides in-depth mentoring, coaching and training;

  • Impact and Influence: Uses indirect influence;

  • Initiative: Plans and acts for the long-term;

  • Leadership: Positions self as the leader;

  • Organisational Awareness: Understands organisational politics;

  • Self-Control: Stays composed and positive even under extreme pressure.


Contract to be offered to the successful applicant (if non-seconded): Definite duration contract of three years; possibility of renewal for up to three years, during which the incumbent may apply for conversion to an indefinite duration contract.

Contract clause applicable

In accordance with the contract policy, this is a post in which turnover is desirable for political reasons in order to be able to accommodate the Organisation's need to carry out its tasks as mandated by the Nations in a changing environment, for example by maintaining the flexibility necessary to shape the Organisation's skills profile, and to ensure appropriate international diversity.

The maximum period of service foreseen in this post is 6 years. The successful applicant will be offered a 3-year definite duration contract, which may be renewed for a further period of up to 3 years. However, according to the procedure described in the contract policy the incumbent may apply for conversion to an indefinite contract during the period of renewal and no later than one year before the end of 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 also 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 Régulations.


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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