Officer, Current Operations Section

Primary LocationBelgium-Brussels


NATO International Staff (NATO IS)



Application Deadline

07-Jan-2024, 11:59:00 PM

Salary (Pay Basis)



NATO Grade G17-G20

The mission of the Operations Division of the International Staff is to prepare NATO for the defence of Alliance territory, to respond to crises at home and abroad, and to strengthen the capabilities of partners. The Operations Division advances the core tasks of the Alliance (Collective Defence, Crisis Management, Cooperative Security) by providing policy recommendations, situational awareness, advance planning, well-exercised and executed crisis-response, and outcome-oriented defence and related security cooperation programmes.

The Current Operations Section supports the North Atlantic Council (NAC) and the Operations Policy Committee (OPC) in all political-military aspects related to NATO-led operations, missions and activities.

The incumbent, under the direction of the Head of the Current Operations Section for whom s/he will deputise as required, will address and assess joint security issues concerning conflict prevention, cooperative diplomacy, NATO operations and post-crisis management activities in light of Alliance objectives. The Current Operations officers work closely together and leverage staff time and skills so the incumbent should be prepared to remain flexible and adaptable to the needs of the section. Given the extremely demanding nature of responses requested for operations, adaptability and availability to perform her/his tasks at short notice and under pressure are major components in this particular area of work.


EssentialThe incumbent must:

  • possess a university degree, or an equivalent level of qualification, in political science, international relations or related fields;
  • have strong knowledge of international relations and current affairs, with particular emphasis on crisis management issues and international organisations;
  • have at least 4 years’ of relevant experience participating in and guiding multilateral diplomacy talks;
  • demonstrate flexibility and strong drive for teamwork and diversity;
  • possess excellent drafting skills;
  • possess the following minimum levels of NATO’s official languages (English/French): V (“Advanced”) in one; II (“Elementary”) in the other;
  • be available and willing to travel to non-permissive environments and undertake the Hostile Environment Awareness Training (HEAT);
  • provide proof of medical fitness and compliance with preventive medical measures and requirements in the area of deployment;
  • be flexible to work outside of normal office hours, if required.

DESIRABLE The following would be considered an advantage:

  • previous experience of integrating political and military issues in relation to crisis management and conflict resolution;
  • working experience in an international organisation or a national administration;
  • field experience, particularly in the Balkans, Afghanistan, Iraq or other working experience of NATO military operations and training missions ;
  • knowledge and/or understanding of NATO Headquarters environment and processes, including the roles and responsibilities within the NATO Military Chain of Command.

Policy Development Analyse and evaluate important security and political developments on countries and regions of assignment, draft related policy documents, clearly outlining NATO responsibilities and involvement, and monitor policy implementation. Integrate observations and use to draft policies on how to handle crisis operations, clearly outlining NATO responsibilities and involvement. Compile and share information and advice on matters affecting her/his area(s) of responsibility, including selecting political issues for inclusion in briefing material and other background topics for the Secretary General, Ambassadors and other senior NATO officials on a daily and weekly basis. Participate in and lead internal task forces, as required.

Expertise Development

Conduct strategic forecasts regarding current and future NATO operational commitments. Analyse operational and theatre capacities and options on a regular and sometimes immediate basis. Formulate operational proposals for stakeholders, such as the International Military Staff (IMS) and Strategic Commands, within a strict timeframe to address critical events. Assess the effectiveness of NATO involved operations and conduct lessons learned exercises. Draft presentations, related to her/his area of competence, to be used by the Assistant Secretary General (ASG) or other senior NATO officials at public conferences and meetings. Present papers related to her/his area of expertise for conferences and to be shared with international organisations. Visit operational theatres to observe and assess operations.

Information Management

Determine priorities and urgent matters and address accordingly. Influence NATO operations by creating an interface for dialogue and exchange on NATO current and future operational commitments and NATO defence planning and policy and capability enhancements. Channel information to key players in NATO and influence strategy and opinions.

Representation of the Organization

Assist the Head of the Current Operations Section, the Deputy Assistant Secretary General (DASG), Operations and the ASG by providing briefs, taking notes and preparing documents associated with work related to the NAC, Ministerials, bi-laterals and subordinate groups and committees. Prepare for and report on planned and unplanned meetings of various NATO bodies that discuss the political aspects of NATO’s involvement in crisis management. Attend meetings and relevant conferences concerning NATO operations with the goal of representing NATO in an international environment. Deputise for the Section Head in her/his absence, as required.

Project Management

Follow and report on the implementation progress of NAC decisions and completed operations where NATO was involved.

Stakeholder Management

Contribute to the stability and growth of relationships with international organisations and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) in the field of crisis management and expand points of contact to discuss urgent situations by participating in regular dialogue.

Perform any other related duty as assigned.


The incumbent reports to the Head of the Current Operations Section and coordinates work with the Section Head and with other Officers. S/hemaintains close working relationships within OPS and liaise with other NATO Divisions and Independent Offices, NATO Military Authorities (NMA) and the IMS in order to ensure proper coordination and communication regarding work activities and accurate development of operational engagement plans. In addition, s/he is required to maintain solid communication with international organisations and take on assignments on various regions that may change due to global events.

Direct reports: N/A

Indirect reports: N/A


The incumbent must demonstrate:

  • Analytical Thinking: Makes complex plans or analyses;
  • 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 organisational climate and culture;
  • Teamwork: Solicits inputs and encourages others.

6.CONTRACTContract 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.

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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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