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Officer, Defence Capabilities

  • International Staff, NATO HQ
Brussels, Belgium
Application Deadline: August 5, 2024
  • International Staff, NATO HQ
Brussels, Belgium
Application Deadline: August 5, 2024


The Defence Policy and Planning (DPP) Division has the lead role on the defence-related aspects of NATO’s fundamental security tasks at the political-military 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.

Within the DPP, the Defence Capabilities Section supports the political-military work on the Alliance’s military adaptation, in particular through the implementation of the deterrence and defence concept and the warfighting concept. It deals with a wide range of policy issues related to Alliance’s deterrence and defence posture and its related initiatives, capabilities and structures, including the NATO Command Structure and the NATO Force Model. It supports the Defence Policy and Planning Committee (DPPC) by preparing the appropriate policy through relevant and timely political-military advice.

Under the supervision of the Head, Defence Capabilities, the incumbent assists in the further development of the Alliance's deterrence and defence initiatives. The post holder assists in developing political-military advice and on the further adaptation of the Alliance’s defence structures, concepts, and procedures.

The incumbent works in a Division which 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 which 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.



The incumbent must:

  • Possess a university degree, or an equivalent level of qualification, from an institute of recognised standing or equivalent qualification;

  • Have a minimum of 3 years of relevant experience;

  • Have the capacity for independent conceptual analysis of issues affecting the Alliance’s deterrence and defence initiatives;

  • Be conversant with the organisation, preparation, command and employment of national military forces, including their interaction and relationship with Alliance structures;

  • Be conversant with NATO policy issues, including the organisation, basic procedures and processes on defence policy and planning issues, major deterrence and defence initiatives;

  • Have the ability to communicate in a clear, logical, persuasive way and use succinct arguments in oral and, especially written form;

  • Be familiar with various software packages, in particular the Microsoft Office suite or similar;

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

  • Be flexible to travel (10%) and work outside normal business hours, when requested.


The following would be considered an advantage:

  • A Master’s degree in a relevant field;

  • Work experience in a NATO context;

  • Relevant military policy expertise on plans development, and preparation of forces for deterrence and defence activities at national or international level;

  • Experience using collaborative tools, i.e. SharePoint.


Policy Development

Support the development of general policy documents. Prepare, study or implement North Atlantic Council (NAC) decisions on deterrence and defence. Assist in developing and coordinating defence policy, including deployability, sustainability, training, verification, interoperability and command and control.

Expertise Development

Develop expertise on possible defence capability shortcomings and remedies. Keep well informed on current developments and emerging trends related to own area of competence and recommend application to the work of the Section.

Stakeholder Management

Develop and maintain a network of contacts within NATO, including other parts of the International Staff, NATO Military Authorities and national delegations, as well outside the Alliance with other international organisations, think tanks and experts in the security environment in order to monitor and analyse current affairs and key policy issues. Coordinate closely with colleagues in DPP and other Divisions to ensure policy developments are aligned with other NATO activities.

Knowledge Management

Develop reports and studies on wider security issues and on their interaction with defence policy and programmes. Prepare reports, briefing materials, press statements and other material for defence ministerial meetings. Draft presentations, related to own area of competence, to be used by the Assistant Secretary General (ASG), by DPP or other senior NATO officials.

Information Management

Determine priorities, identify urgent matters, and organise and address tasks and requirements accordingly. Channel information to key players in NATO and influence strategy and opinions. Assist appropriate NATO committees in the development and preparation of documents dealing with the conceptual development of the Alliance’s defence policy and the implementation of such policy. Perform any other related duty as assigned.


The incumbent reports to the Head, Defence Capabilities Section and coordinates closely across NATO HQ with the International Staff, the NATO Military Authorities and Allied officials, as well as with counterparts in other international organisations, think thanks and external experts. The post holder maintains close working relationships throughout DPP and works effectively with other NATO divisions, in particular with those related to outreach cooperation and capacity building and the International Military Staff (IMS), to ensure shared situational awareness, effective staff-level coordination and stakeholder management.

  • Direct reports: N/a;

  • Indirect report: N/a.


The incumbent will demonstrate:

  • Analytical Thinking: Sees multiple relationships;

  • Clarity and Accuracy: Checks own work;

  • Conceptual Thinking: Applies learned concepts;

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

  • Impact and Influence: Takes multiple actions to persuade;

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

  • Organisational Awareness: Understands organizational climate and culture;

  • 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; 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.

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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