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Programme Officer (Arabic and French Languages), Public Diplomacy Division

  • International Staff, NATO HQ
Brussels, Belgium
Application Deadline: July 31, 2024
  • International Staff, NATO HQ
Brussels, Belgium
Application Deadline: July 31, 2024


NATO’s Public Diplomacy efforts serve a vital function within the Alliance by communicating its purpose and priorities to audiences worldwide. In fulfilling this role, the Public Diplomacy Division (PDD) actively strengthens NATO’s public image, thereby fostering trust in and support for the Alliance. The Division also acts as coordinator for strategic communication activities across all NATO civilian and military bodies and commands.

The Engagements Section’s principal goals are to strengthen NATO’s public image, foster awareness and understanding of NATO, its values, policies and activities, and ultimately enhance trust in and support for the Alliance. The Section’s strategic outlook is aligned to the NATO Communications Strategy. The Section is committed to building long-term relationships, fostering dialogue and cooperation with relevant audiences in NATO countries and around the world through a combination of people-to-people as well as digital engagement tools. To that effect, the Section engages with opinion leaders, policy makers and professionals as well as online interest groups and young people across NATO member and partner countries. Cooperation themes are guided by NATO’s evolving political agenda, with a focus on the Alliance’s core tasks, i.e. collective defence, crisis management and cooperative security.

Under the daily supervision of the Head, Engagements Section, the Programme Officer is responsible for managing a portfolio that may include nation-based engagement programmes, thematic programmes and contributions to NATO communications campaigns, as well as functional cooperation assignments (including communications advisory support and capacity building). The overall aim is to engage with audiences in the Alliance’s southern neighbourhoods – particularly the Middle East, North Africa and Sahel regions.



The incumbent must:

  • Possess a university degree, or an equivalent level of qualification from an institute of recognized standing, in a relevant discipline (political or social sciences; international relations; international law; communications sciences; public relations; journalism; etc.);

  • Have at least 3 years of relevant professional experience, in particular in public diplomacy and the management of communication projects;

  • Have an in depth understanding of and experience in dealing with the countries in the Middle East, North Africa and the Sahel (especially Mediterranean Dialogue and Istanbul Cooperation Initiative members) and issues affecting them;

  • Have excellent communication skills, both orally and in writing, and be able to draft clearly and concisely all types of documents (memos, backgrounders, speeches, speaking points, reports etc.) required in the post;

  • Have an excellent knowledge of international affairs, security and defence policy issues,

  • Have experience demonstrating sound political judgment and analytical skills;

  • Have experience in planning, implementing, monitoring and assessing a broad range of public diplomacy activities, including events, projects and campaigns using multiple communication tools and channels;

  • Have experience in working with senior level officials;

  • Possess proven project management and organizational skills;

  • Possess experience administering programme funds;

  • Have excellent communication skills, both orally and in writing;

  • Have knowledge of Modern Standard Arabic (MSA);

  • Possess a minimum level V (“Advanced”) in both NATO’s official languages (English and French).


The following would be considered an advantage:

  • Sound expertise on the latest trends in the organization of public diplomacy activities;

  • Good knowledge of NATO policies and activities;

  • Experience in working with Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs); think tanks, civil society entities and national media;

  • Experience as a public speaker as well as working with and briefing high level groups;

  • Experience in developing and managing communications capacity building programmes / training for government structures;

  • Knowledge of other NATO and/or partner nation languages;

  • Experience in working on public diplomacy activities on transatlantic relations.


Expertise Development

Support the Section Head in planning, executing and assessing NATO public diplomacy activities in line with the assigned geographic, thematic and functional scope of the assigned portfolio, with focus on the MENA region. Continuously enhance expertise in the planning, implementing, monitoring and  assessment of a broad range of public diplomacy activities, including events, projects and campaigns using multiple communication tools and channels. Monitor and analyse developments and public trends in the countries concerned. Remain alert to political developments and public trends that may affect the efficacy of programmes and the image of the Alliance. Draft background papers, or written analyses for use by senior NATO officials, as required. Develop and maintain a subject matter expertise in assigned strategic issue files and follow them on behalf of PDD. Promote with innovative public diplomacy engagement understanding of and support for NATO policies and programmes as well as encourage discussion on security and NATO-related issues, in NATO or partner countries, as assigned. Where appropriate, participate in conferences, seminars and external meetings and brief public audiences on NATO's current roles and policies. Apply latest technological trends in the organization of innovative and interactive public diplomacy engagements tailored to specific audiences.

Project Management

Organise, manage and assess engagement projects and programmes sponsored by NATO, in line with the assigned geographic, thematic and functional scope of the portfolio, with focus on the MENA region. Manage or support, as assigned, strands of work pertaining to the implementation of NATO’s Communications Strategy and associated campaigns with an audience driven approach. Ensure project/programme adherence to related objectives. Review project/programme evaluations in an effort to align future NATO sponsored projects/programmes with PDD goals and to ensure the best use of NATO resources. Arrange and conduct special communications projects in support of NATO high-level meetings, including NATO ministerial meetings and Summits. Design and manage dedicated engagements and information programmes for target groups from the assigned NATO nations and partner countries in accordance with priorities. Conduct follow-up work on projects and seminars in relevant countries, as well as assessment of activities. Support the Head, Engagements Section, in the managerial and organizational follow-up of projects/programmes.

Policy Development

Provide regular analyses and inputs to the Division's senior management through the Head, Engagements Section, related to key political and public developments and trends, with focus on the MENA region. Analyse the impact of a potential PDD action on NATO’s relationship with the country or countries concerned. Contribute to political background analyses and liaise with other Divisions in the International Staff and the International Military Staff, as required.

Stakeholder Management

Develop and sustain contacts with key opinion formers, policy makers and professionals as well as online interest groups and representatives of the successor generation, including academics, think tanks, media and representatives or NGOs and civil society entities, with the aim of identifying individuals and groups to assist and contribute to NATO public diplomacy efforts. Provide special reports, newsletters, multimedia material and other  information material to NATO staff. Contribute to and provide social media content for senior social media accounts. Employ creative means to reach audiences. Arrange participation by groups from assigned countries at briefing programmes in NATO HQ in Brussels, Belgium.

Knowledge Management

Develop, maintain and contribute to performance assessment of the activities undertaken by the Section in line with evolving evaluation standards, including the maintenance of contact details for project partners and country profiles.

Financial Management

Administer programme funds, including preparing budgets and financial reports and monitoring budget implementation, in accordance with NATO rules and regulations.

Perform any other related duty as assigned.


The incumbent reports to the Head, Engagements Section and works in close cooperation with  Programme Officers and Programme Assistants in the Engagements Section as well as with staff throughout the Public Diplomacy Division. In addition, the Programme Officer is required to work in cooperation with NATO staff in various other Divisions and Agencies, as well as with representatives of national delegations and NATO's military bodies. The incumbent also cooperates with a broad range of external partners and interact with external contractors supporting the organisation of
information and communication projects.

  • Direct reports: N/A;

  • Indirect reports: N/A.


The incumbent must demonstrate:

  • 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.


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.

Please note that the competition for this post is provisionally scheduled as follows:

  • Pre-selection testing in July 2024;

  • Final remote selection in October 2024.

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 email 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 nonsmoking 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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