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Principal Engineer (Cryptography)

  • IMS
Brussels, Belgium
Application Deadline: August 18, 2024
  • IMS
Brussels, Belgium
Application Deadline: August 18, 2024


The NATO Digital Staff (NDS) is an integrated staff composed of members of the International Military Staff (IMS) and International Staff (IS) at the heart of NATO’s Digital Transformation. The staff maintains digital subject matter expertise for providing the highest quality advice, policy and leadership to ensure the Alliance’s technological edge, enable data-driven decision-making and release the potential of multi-domain operations. The NDS is responsible for the establishment,
maintenance and evolution of NATO as a digital, data-driven decision-making organisation where the power and potential of interoperable digital technologies and a data-centricity are fully exploited for the benefit of the Alliance. Led by the Director NDS, the Staff supports different NATO senior policy committees and in particular, the Military Committee (MC), the Digital Policy Committee (DPC) and the Cyber Defence Committee (CDC). It functionally operates under the co-ordinated executive management authority of the Director General of the IMS and the Assistant Secretary General for Defence Investment.

The Cyber Defence (CD) Branch acts as the Staff lead for cyberspace operations, information assurance, cyber security and cyber defence. This includes: supporting the Military Committee in its governance roles for cyberspace as a domain of operations and for cryptography; supporting the NATO Digital Policy Board (NDPB) and its substructure in the expertise domains of Communications and Information Systems (CIS) Security, cyber defence as well as cryptography and the improvement of knowledge within these domains.

The incumbent is the principal engineer with the CD Branch and assists the Branch through deep technical and engineering expertise and experience in its support of the MC in the governance and oversight of NATO’s cryptography. His/her technical expertise is functional to the efficient and effective support to the development and execution of short-term Cryptographic Modernization and Transformation projects and efforts, connected to the NATO 2030 Key Requirement Areas (KRA). In detail, Cryptography supports all NATO 2030 KRAs through securing Data and Information in rest and on transit on aspects such as command and control, connectivity, business continuity, resilience, training and exercises, interoperability, integration of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, integrated air and missile defence, joint fires, nuclear consultation, multi-domain operations. He/she will align these requirements with ongoing planning activities and projects’ design and execution in the areas of the NATO Cryptographic Modernization and Transformation programmes with specific high priority target to the projects seeking NATO Cryptographic resistance against the imminent threat posed by the Emerging Quantum Computing Disruptive Technologies. 


The incumbent will be working closely with the Staff Officer (Information Assurance – Crypto) to advance mainstream cryptographic efforts and NATO 2030 related Cryptographic efforts concurrently and coherently. Main duties are as follows:

  • Undertake role as Task Lead for immediate and short-term tasks in the areas related to his/her own area of responsibility or assigned to CD as the lead Branch. These tasks can be organized under a team that is comprised of members within and/or outside of the NDS, as required. Additionally, undertake role as a Task Contributor, liaising and coordinating with other CDO members and NDS Branch Action Officers assigned as Task Lead for a task related to incumbent’s areas of responsibilities, as well as when CDO is assigned as a supporting Branch to another Branch assigned as the Lead Branch for that task;

  • The primary area of expertise, as a Technical Action Officer, is the management, synchronization and oversight of the relevant processes, with specific emphasis to interoperability, integration, coherence, synergic and timed implementation aspects;

  • Supports the NATO Cryptography governance functions, providing qualified strategic assessment and advices to the MC for the achievement of the NATO 2030 Digital Transformation key targets in the area of Cryptography;

  • In more detail he/she is responsible for the high-level coordination and overseeing of the Alliance-wide Cryptographic Modernization efforts, seeking for:

  1. the immediate enforcement of Quantum Safe measures into the NATO Cryptographic assets;

  2. the coordinated identification and implementation of the technical and procedural mitigation measures, seeking for the impact mitigation of the forthcoming cryptographic algorithm decertification.

  • This activity requires strategic vision, plans coordination with the BiSCs and NATO Agencies and significant negotiation skills;

  • Supports the NATO Cryptography technical governance functions, providing qualified strategic assessment and advices to the MC, the DPC and its substructures including on the subject areas listed below. Following the fast evolution of the cyber security environment the incumbent is required to evaluate and accordingly revise MC 74/4 and the Cryptographic Directives and Guidance in the following areas:

  1. Cryptographic security;

  2. Cryptographic selection and procurement process;

  3. Transmission Security (TRANSEC);

  4. Emission Security (EMSEC);

  5. Communication Security (COMSEC);

  6. Identity and Access Management;

  7. Partners Cryptographic Interoperability.

  • Evaluates and processes National requests seeking the Military Committee approval of new cryptographic systems and mechanisms, designed to face the new security threat scenario, in line with the NATO 2030 Key Requirement Areas;

  • Evaluates and processes Partner’s requests for temporary release or procurement of NATO-approved cryptographic equipment and mechanisms, and associated key material, in support of relevant NATO 2030 Key Requirement Areas;

  • Provides appropriate Staff support to the DPC’s Sub-structure, addressing areas related to own area of responsibility (cryptography) in support of all NATO 2030 Key Requirement Areas as directed by the Branch Head. In particular, carrying out the duties of Technical Subject Matter Expert, Mentor, Secretary and/or Task/Team Lead at meetings for:

  1. Coordinating meeting schedules and issuing Agendas;

  2. Organizing and preparing meetings and attendance;

  3. Issuing Decision Sheets and Action Sheets;

  4. Preparing background briefing and speaking notes at the meetings;

  5. Preparing and circulating routine correspondence including notes, letters and working papers;

  6. Verifying the implementation of actions assigned. Acting when required on behalf of and under the direction of the DPC’s Sub-structure Chairs for day-to-day matters;

  7. Participating, as required, in meetings of other DPC’s Sub-structure meetings and teams.

  • Liaises with NATO Bodies and Agencies, NATO Nations, Non-NATO Nations and International Organizations as required in the performance of incumbent’s duties in support of applicable NATO 2030 Key Requirement Areas;

  • The incumbent also performs as an Action Officer on general CDO matters related to the integrity, availability, non-repudiation, authentication and confidentiality of information and supporting systems and resources in support of all NATO 2030 Key Requirement Areas;

  • Provides programme management functions and participates in the works of Integrated Project Teams as directed by the Branch Head for the accomplishment of NDS and CD target activities in support of all NATO 2030 Key Requirement Areas.



  • Minimum 10 years of experience and in-depth update to the state-of-the-art in Cyber Security, with particular emphasis on Information Assurance, cryptographic technologies, mechanisms, and key management;

  • Minimum 6 years experiences in risk management activities in the field of Cyber Security, of which at least one year of experience in Cryptographic Risk Management;

  • Knowledge of cryptographic systems and mechanisms’ integration methodologies into Internet Protocol Networks, including aspects related to Cryptographic Key Management and Distribution functions and interoperability protocols and standards;

  • Knowledge of NATO’s Cryptographic Security documentation baseline. The incumbent is required to have a full picture of the current NATO approved cryptographic regulations and the respective scope and applicability;

  • A proven record of managing teams and creating an enabling environment, including the ability of effectively leading, supervising, mentoring and evaluating Staff;

  • Excellent drafting ability and communications skills;

  • Excellent negotiating skills for participation in multinational conferences and meetings within his/her area of responsibility;

  • Excellent presentation skills.


  • The incumbent must have a University Degree at Master’s level in one of the following areas: Computer or Communication Science, Information Management, Information Security, or a related field. Exceptionally a degree on a lower level or in a different area can be accepted if completed with 10 years’ experience in post-related duties;

  • The incumbent must have a Project Manager Certification at PRINCE2 level and a minimum of 5 years proven experience in Project Management;

  • The incumbent must be qualified in risk and information security with CISM and CRISC certification and possess comprehensive knowledge of the principles of network security and symmetric and asymmetric cryptography.


  • Candidates must have an advanced level of spoken and written English. The working language in the IMS is English and therefore candidates will be required to pass a one-hour multiple-choice computer-based test in English at the required level as well as to demonstrate their abilities in the written test and interview.

Computer Literacy

  • Use of MS-Office applications in crucial to the effective and successful execution of daily duties. Advanced user experience with Word, Outlook, Excel, PowerPoint.



  • Familiarity with NATO’s organization, method of work and procedures;

  • Demonstrated ability to operate effectively in a highly complex organizational context;

  • Familiarity with the NATO’s landscape of Cyber Defence, Information Assurance and CIS Security Policies Directives and Procedures;

  • Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to work as a team leader within NATO.


  • Formal Information Assurance qualifications;

  • NATO Security Course – NSO (N1-38);

  • Non-specified training that will allow the incumbent to remain current or gain new skills associated with existing or emerging requirements of the post (within the context of the job description) may be provided by NATO in accordance with the IMS Training Policy.


  • An elementary level of French.


  • Conduct as Chairperson of multinational groups and seek, through keen sense of judgement and tact, the resolution of conflicts;

  • Manage effectively a large group dynamic to meet objectives and deadlines as well as facilitate discussions and provide professional guidance;

  • Respond to any mission and task in the most flexible and efficient manner;

  • Analyse complex problems and provide realistic solutions in a timely manner;

  • Deal with numerous problems simultaneously.


Candidates must demonstrate the following competencies:

  • Analytical Thinking: Sees multiple relationships;

  • Flexibility: Adapts to unforeseen situations;

  • Impact and Influence: Takes multiple actions to persuade;

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

  • Organizational Awareness: Understands organisational climate and culture;

  • Teamwork: Cooperates.


  • With Staff members of the IMS, the IS, the Strategic Commands, and other NATO Civil and Military Bodies;

  • With National Representatives to NATO Committees and Working Groups;

  • With Staff members of national and international organisations, such as the European Union and the United Nations;

  • With representatives of industry and academia.


This post is fundamental for the operation and continuity of the NDS to accomplish its mission in the support of all NATO2030 KRA.


Security Clearance – NATO CTS/Crypto (if not currently held, the incumbent must be eligible for this level of clearance).

Work Environment – Normal office environment.


Applications must be submitted by 18 August 2024 (23:59 Brussels time) using one of the following links, as applicable:

  • For NATO civilian staff members only: please apply via the internal recruitment portal (for more information, please contact your local Civilian HR Manager);

  • For all other applications:

Applications are automatically acknowledged within one working day after submission. In the absence of an acknowledgement, please make sure the submission process is completed, or, resubmit the application.


The successful candidate will fill this post as a Project Linked NATO International Civilian (PLN) with a three-year definite duration contract within the NATO 2030 Agenda. On expiry of this term, the PLN will be deleted or absorbed into the ceiling pending approval or, exceptionally, will be considered for extension. The above remains applicable also if the successful candidate is seconded from a national administration. Serving NATO international civilian personnel will be offered a contract in accordance with the NATO Civilian Personnel Regulations.

Appointment will be subject to the deliverance of the appropriate security clearance by the national authorities and approval of the medical file by the NATO Medical Adviser.

A written test will be held as part of the selection procedure.

Applicants who meet the necessary requirements and who prove to be competent for the post but who are not successful in this particular competition, may be considered for posts of a similar nature, albeit at a lower grade, which may become vacant in the near future.

NATO as an employer values diverse backgrounds and perspectives and is committed to recruiting and retaining a diverse and talented workforce. NATO welcomes applications of nationals from all Member States 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.

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 IMS at NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, is committed to providing equality in working opportunities regardless of sex, race or ethnic origin, religion, disability, age or sexual orientation.

The IMS is a non-smoking environment.
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