Get the latest news from the job market, Sign up for our newsletter!

Senior Programme Manager

  • International Staff, NATO HQ
Brussels, Belgium
Application Deadline: July 14, 2024
  • International Staff, NATO HQ
Brussels, Belgium
Application Deadline: July 14, 2024


The Senior Programme Manager will lead an independent programme office (iPO) dedicated to delivering enhanced NATO Air Command and Control (eAirC2) capabilities. This role requires a leader with extensive experience in programme management, software acquisition and rollout, particularly in the defence sector, who can drive innovation, collaboration, and operational excellence to achieve NATO's objectives.

Key challenges facing the successful candidate for Senior Programme Manager during the next 2-3 years include:

  • Rapidly and effectively establishing the office, working closely with air command and control (AirC2) communities in Allied nations and with multiple stakeholders across NATO civil and military staffs;

  • Successfully driving forward progress to meet challenging timelines.

In addition to the application form, candidates are expected to submit a Word or pdf document summarising their views on the key (and possible other) challenges, and how they would address them if selected for the position. This essay, which should be no more than 1 A4 page long, will be evaluated as part of the preselection assessment.

Shortlisted candidates will have to be available for the selection process which is expected to take place online for 1 day between 19-21 August 2024 for Assessment Centre and 26 and 27 August 2024, in Brussels, Belgium.



The incumbent must:

  • Possess a Master’s degree or equivalent qualification, preferably in engineering, business administration, or a related field;

  • Have a minimum of 15 years of experience as Programme Manager leading complex, multistakeholder programs, out of which 5 years in team management and coordination;

  • Have in-depth experience in leading operations, including strategic planning, state-of-the-art programme and business management processes and resource management;

  • Have in-depth knowledge and experience involving the development, management, acquisition and/or implementation and sustainment of major software-related programmes, preferably within the context of the Defence sector;

  • Have knowledge of command and control systems, processes and technologies, preferably in the air domain;

  • Possess strong strategic thinking and decision-making skills, with the ability to develop and execute long-term acquisition strategies aligned with NATO's priorities;

  • Have excellent communication and interpersonal skills, with the ability to effectively engage and influence stakeholders at all levels, including senior government officials and industry executives;

  • Demonstrate proven leadership abilities, including experience in building and leading highperforming teams in a dynamic and multicultural environment;

  • Have sound understanding of agile project management methodologies (or similar);

  • Possess the following minimum levels of NATO’s official languages (English/French): VI (Proficiency) in English; II (Elementary) in French.

In addition, in view of the urgency to fill this position, candidates possessing a valid NATO or National security clearance will be given priority consideration.


The following would be considered an advantage:

  • A doctoral level degree, preferably in engineering, business administration, or a related field;

  • Significant experience working on defence acquisition, particularly within the aerospace industry and air command and control (AirC2);

  • Sound understanding of NATO procurement regulations and budgeting processes;

  • A project or programme management professional qualification (such as PMP or PRINCE2).


Policy Development

Develop the iPO implementation plan and oversee its implementation, including the initial set-up (including hiring, contracting and setting up infrastructure), design and development of technical requirements. Develop and implement the eAirC2 Programme Plan, as agreed by governance bodies. Collaborate with member states and NATO bodies (including but not limited to IS, IMS, ACO, and ACT). Work with industry and other external stakeholders to identify requirements, assess technological advancements, and prioritize acquisition initiatives.

Stakeholder Management

Cultivate strong relationships in NATO Headquarters and associated entities. Additionally, cultivate relationships with NATO member states, industry partners, and other stakeholders involved in AirC2 capability development.

Planning and Execution

Oversee the planning and execution of financial, human, and logistical resources for the iPO. Engage with key decision-makers to garner support, secure funding, and foster collaboration on programme objectives.

Expertise Development

Provide senior assistance, advice and recommendations on defence research and armaments matters including technological trends, long-term planning and prospects for cooperation.

Financial Management

Oversee the allocation and management of financial, and logistical resources for the iPO. Develop and manage programme budgets, ensure adherence to procurement regulations, and optimize resource utilization to maximize programme effectiveness while ensuring pre-defined timelines are being met. Identify and mitigate risks and challenges associated with the AirC2 capability acquisition programme. Develop risk mitigation strategies, monitor external factors impacting programme execution, and adapt plans accordingly to ensure successful outcomes.

Organisational Efficiencies

Identify, plan and implement initiatives aimed at improving efficiency and proficiency across all areas of the iPO. Establish performance metrics and evaluation criteria to assess the effectiveness and impact of acquisition programmes. Implement monitoring mechanisms to track progress, analyze results, and report findings to senior management and stakeholders.

People Management

Provide strategic direction and leadership for the iPO dedicated to eAirC2 capability acquisition. Oversee a set of three sub-sections of the programme office: PMO office, programme support, technology & architecture. Build and lead a diverse team of NATO-internal and external professionals responsible for executing acquisition programmes within the iPO. Foster a culture of collaboration, innovation, and accountability to drive high performance and achieve programme objectives. Support the conception of career and development programmes tailored to the specific organisational context. Provide mentoring, coaching and training opportunities and be available to offer guidance at critical moments. Ensure that all staff under the responsibility of the Senior Programme Manager have clear objectives. Provide regular and fair feedback on performance, informally as appropriate and through the HQ Performance Review and Development (PRD) system. Identify possible development and mobility opportunities for team members.

Vision and Direction

Develop and formulate strategic goals and objectives for the iPO and ensure follow-up and implementation. Lead the consultation and decision-making process on eAirC2 capability acquisition.

Representation of the Organization

Visit Allied and partner countries as necessary; meet and/or liaise with officials and senior members of Allied and partner Delegations/Missions to NATO. Conduct iPO related briefings and presentations to senior level groups and decision-makers visiting NATO HQ. Represent the iPO at international conferences, seminars and workshops held at the senior level.


The incumbent reports to the AirC2 Steering Body established under the CNAD. The incumbent carries out administrative and support work for the Board Members, as required.

  • Direct Reports: 2;

  • Indirect Reports: 28.


The incumbent must demonstrate:

  • Achievement: Sets and works to meet challenging goals;

  • Change Leadership: Champions change;

  • Conceptual Thinking: Creates new concepts;

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

  • Impact and Influence: Uses complex influence strategies;

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

  • Leadership: Communicates a compelling vision;

  • Organisational Awareness: Understands underlying issues;

  • 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.

Contract clause applicable

This is a senior post of specialised political nature in which turnover is required for political reasons. 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. The maximum period of service in this post is six years.

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.

Serving staff will be offered a contract in accordance with the NATO Civilian Personnel Regulations.


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.
We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. By browsing this website, you agree to our use of cookies.

Sign in

Sign Up

Forgotten Password