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James Appathurai

NATO Secretary General’s Special Representative
for the Caucasus and Central Asia

James Appathurai is the Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs and Security Policy and NATO Secretary General’s Special Representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia.

Born in Toronto on 07/08/1968. 

Career

February 2004 to November 2010:  NATO Spokesperson

May 1998 to January 2004:  Deputy Head and Senior Planning Officer, Policy Planning and Speechwriting Section
Political Affairs Division - NATO

August 1994 – May 1998:  Policy Officer Department of National Defence - Ottawa

March 1993 – August 1994:  Editorial Assistant Canadian Broadcasting Corporation - Toronto

 

Education

  • University of Amsterdam, Department of International Relations, Amsterdam
    Master of International Relations (cum laude), February 1993. 

  • University of Toronto, Departments of Political Science and History, Toronto
    Bachelor of Arts (Honours), September 1991.

Publications

25+ articles and book chapters on security issues, including on NATO, peacekeeping, Euro-Atlantic security, Canada, and regional security cooperation.

 

Ambassador
Tomasz Szatkowski

Representative of Poland
North Atlantic Council

Ambassador Tomasz Szatkowski (born 10 May 1978) is a graduate in law, with additional postgraduate degrees in national security studies (University of Warsaw) and war studies (King’s College London).

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He also completed a postgraduate course in intelligence policy (King’s College London), a training course for staff officers (US Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey), as well as a course in defence policy programming and strategic management (Defence Academy of the United Kingdom - Shrivenham). He is a recipient of scholarships from the UK Ministry of Defence (2004), US Department of State (2007), Asmus Policy Entrepreneurs Fellow of the German Marshall Fund of the United States (2013) and participant in the program of the Munich Security Conference Munich Young Leaders (2019).

Having held senior positions in the Polish administration (the Parliament of the Republic of Poland, Chancellery of the Prime Minister, Ministry of National Defence), defence industry, public media and the European Parliament he has extensive experience in the national security domain, in particular defence and armaments policy, oversight of the special services and public media. 


Before taking up the position of the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Poland to NATO, in 2015-2019, he was the deputy minister of national defence responsible among others for international affairs, organization of the NATO Summit in Warsaw in 2016, Strategic Defence Review and negotiations on enhancing the American military presence in Poland.

He is an author of numerous publications on the aforementioned issues, published both in Poland and abroad. His interests are in the classic military strategy, in particular the relationship between technology and strategy, intelligence strategy, defence economics, as well as problems of coordinating national security policy.

 

Schuyler "Sky" Foerster

Founding Principal

CGST Solutions

(Moderator)

Schuyler Foerster is founding principal of CGST Solutions, a consulting firm specializing in national security policy and civic education.  A graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, he received his doctorate from Oxford University in politics and strategic studies; holds masters degrees in public administration and international relations from The American University and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, respectively; and was a post-doctoral National Security Fellow at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.

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With over 28 years teaching experience at both the graduate and undergraduate levels, he currently teaches courses in political science and national security policy as a visiting professor at Colorado College, Colorado Springs CO, and at Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic.  He is Emeritus Professor of Political Science at the U.S. Air Force Academy, where he taught for several years as an active duty military officer and, from 2010-2016, as the Brent Scowcroft Professor of National Security Studies, and continues to mentor cadets.  In Spring 2017, he was the Fulbright Commission’s Distinguished Chair in Social Studies at Masaryk University in Brno,

Czech Republic.

During his 26-year Air Force career, from which he retired with the rank of colonel, Dr. Foerster served in numerous assignments as an intelligence officer and then as a principal political-military policy advisor to senior civilian and military leaders, including the U.S. Ambassador to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, U.S. Ambassador to the Negotiation of the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty, U.S. Ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and the Commander in Chief, U.S. Strategic Command.

Following retirement from the Air Force, Dr. Foerster served for 13 years as President of the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh, receiving national and local awards for establishing the Council as a leader in secondary school and grass roots education on important global issues.  He has continued to volunteer in the field of civic education, serving as president of the Colorado Springs World Affairs Council and currently an Emeritus board member, on the national board and executive committee of the World Affairs Councils of America, as chair of the board of Citizens Project in Colorado Springs, as founding member of the Center for Civic Resilience and Non-Violent Social Change, and as a member of the Colorado Springs Rotary Club.

Dr. Foerster has co-authored two books and written several articles on international politics and security issues.  His most recent research work has focused on the prospects for strategic stability in Europe.  He regularly addresses academic, professional, and civic audiences across the United States and abroad on a wide range of political issues, and has been a frequent guest commentator in print, radio, and television.  He is the recipient of numerous military decorations and awards for teaching, research, and community service, including an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from La Roche College.

 
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Jessica Cox 

Director, Nuclear Policy Directorate
NATO 

Jessica Cox serves as Director, Nuclear Policy Directorate at NATO HQ in Brussels, Belgium.  She provides policy support to the Secretary General and others at NATO HQ on matters related to NATO nuclear deterrence, including in the Secretary General’s role of Chair of the Nuclear Planning Group.  The Nuclear Policy Directorate (NPD) organizes the work of the Nuclear Planning Group, develops and implements NATO nuclear policy, and organizes and leads HQ exercises, policy symposiums, and education and training programs.  Ms. Cox chairs the Nuclear Planning Group Staff Group.

Prior to her NATO assignment, Ms. Cox was a policy analyst in the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD).  She recently completed two years detailed to the National Security Council (NSC) as the Director for Arms Control, where she led the development of U.S. policy on nuclear and conventional arms control treaties as well as issues associated with US-Russia and US-China strategic stability.  As such, she was instrumental in developing a new approach to Russia’s violation of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, managing implementation of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, and restarting bilateral U.S.-Russia Strategic Stability Talks in September 2017.  

 

Prior to joining the NSC, Ms. Cox was Director of Russia Policy and Conventional Arms Control Policy in the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Policy (OSD Policy).  She served previously as DoD’s Lead Negotiator for the Treaty on Open Skies, where she was instrumental in negotiating a new framework for certifying and using digital sensors on Open Skies aircraft.  Since joining OSD Policy, Ms. Cox has served as the Country Director, Pakistan Policy, with a focus on strategic stability, counter-terrorism and Pakistan-India relations; Country Director, Iran, with a focus on Iran’s nuclear and missile developments; and Policy Analyst, Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction, with a focus on countering WMD terrorism.  Ms. Cox came to OSD Policy from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), where she was the Deputy Country Manager, Republic of Georgia for the Biological Threat Reduction Program.    

 

Ms. Cox has been active in both foreign policy and politics, holding such positions as: Client Manager for Grassroots Enterprise, a bi-partisan political consulting firm; Young Professionals Outreach Coordinator, 2004 General Clark for President Campaign; Program Coordinator, International Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS); and Research Assistant, Center for International Strategy, Technology, and Policy (CISTP).  

 

Ms. Cox holds a Juris Doctorate degree from Georgetown University Law Center and a Bachelor’s of Science in International Relations from the Georgia Institute of Technology.  Ms. Cox entered government as a Presidential Management Fellow.

 
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Lieutenant General Scott A. Kindsvater

Deputy Chairman
North Atlantic Treaty Organization Military Committee

Lieutenant General Kindsvater is the 22nd Deputy Chairman of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Military Committee. He assists the Chairman's role as principal adviser to the NATO Secretary General and senior military spokesman of the 30-nation alliance. He also advises the Deputy Secretary General, leads coordination of nuclear, biological and chemical matters and, in the Chairman's absence, directs daily operations and the business of the Military Committee, NATO's highest military authority.

Prior to his current assignment, he was the Deputy Chief of Staff, Operations and Intelligence, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, Casteau, Belgium.

 

Dr. Bryan Wells

Chief Scientist
NATO

As of 1 July 2019, the North Atlantic Council (NAC) appointed Chief Scientist is Dr. Bryan Wells (UK). In this role, he has three major responsibilities. First, he serves as Chair of the NATO Science and Technology Board (STB).

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In this context, he serves as the STB's representative to the Secretary General and the NAC and is responsible to the STB for the effective coordination of NATO's Science and Technology (S&T) program. Second, he serves as the senior scientific advisor to NATO leadership, ensuring that appropriate and timely S&T based advice is provided to NATO senior decision makers. Finally, he leads the Office of the Chief Scientist at NATO Headquarters.

Prior to his appointment as Chief Scientist, Dr. Wells was the UK Ministry of Defence’s Head, of S&T Policy, Strategic Research and International Engagement. His responsibilities included the provision of strategic policy advice on the international and research aspects of the Ministry’s science and technology programme.

Additionally, he has recently completed a three-year term (2016-2018) as Chair of the European Defence Agency’s Research & Technology Steering Board.

Dr Wells joined the UK Ministry of Defence in 1988. He served as Assistant Private Secretary to the Secretary of State for Defence 1989-1992, and has held a range of other posts, including Deputy Director of NATO Policy

1997-1999, and Director of Counter-Proliferation and Arms Control 2002- 2008. During 1999-2002 he was on secondment to the Lord Chancellor’s Department (now the Department of Justice) as Head of

Administrative Justice.

Dr Wells was educated at St Catherine’s College, Oxford (1978-85) and Merton College Oxford (1985-1988). He graduated BA(Hons) in Chemistry in 1982 and was awarded a DPhil in 1985. He conducted three years post-Doctorate research at Oxford University as a Junior Research Fellow at Merton College.

 

Permanent Representative of Canada- NATO

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Ambassador David Angell

David Angell (BA [Political Science], Yale University, 1986; MA [Political Science], University of Toronto, 1987; MPhil [International Relations], University of Cambridge, 1988) served as assistant secretary to the Cabinet, Foreign and Defence Policy, at the Privy Council Office since 2016.

He has also served as high commissioner to Kenya (2012 to 2016); as director general for International Organizations, Human Rights and Democracy (2009 to 2012), for International Organizations (2008 to 2009) and for Africa (2007 to 2008); and as high commissioner to Nigeria (2004 to 2007). 

Mr. Angell was the G8 deputy personal representative (2001 to 2004) and personal representative (2007 to 2012) for Africa and, as such, a principal organizer of the 2002 and 2010 G8 summits at Kananaskis and Muskoka. 

He has served at the United Nations (1996 to 2001), including as alternate representative on the UN Security Council (1999 to 2000), before which he was the advisor to General John de Chastelain on the International Body on the decommissioning of arms (1995) and the Multi-Party Negotiations on Northern Ireland (1996). 

Mr. Angell has also served at the embassy in Washington, D.C. (1991 to 1993). He is a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal (2013).

 

Mark Ritchie

President
Global Minnesota
(Moderator)

Mark Ritchie is president of Global Minnesota, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization devoted to advancing international understanding and engagement.

 

A graduate of the Humphrey School of Public Affairs and Iowa State University, he served as Minnesota’s Secretary of State from 2007 to 2015. Since leaving elected public service, Mark has led the public-private partnership working to bring the 2027 World Expo to Minnesota and he has served on the board of directors for LifeSource, Communicating for America, U.S. Vote Foundation, and Expo USA. Mark also is a national advisory board member of the federal Election Assistance Commission and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Minnesota.

 

Mark is the appointed Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army, representing Minnesota.

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Camille Grand

Assistant Secretary General for Defense Investment 
NATO

Camille Grand is Assistant Secretary General for Defence Investment since 4 October 2016. He was previously Director and CEO of the Fondation pour la recherche stratégique (FRS), the leading French think tank on defence and security (2008-16). In that capacity, he served on several expert groups on the future of NATO (Advisor to the Group of Experts on the Strategic Concept chaired by Madeleine Albright in 2009-10, Member of the Group of Policy Experts for the Wales Summit in 2014). His research and publications focused on defence policy, NATO, nuclear policy, and missile defence.

He was also Deputy Director for Disarmament and Multilateral Affairs in the Directorate for Strategic, Security and Disarmament Affairs of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2006‑08). In that capacity, he was in charge of chemical and biological non-proliferation and conventional arms control, and served as French representative in several international negotiations and senior groups within the EU and NATO (HLTF).

Prior to that, he was Special Assistant for International Affairs and Deputy Diplomatic Adviser to the French Minister of Defence (2002-06), in charge of international defence and armament cooperation, policy planning, and nuclear and missile defence policies. He was also responsible for nuclear policy and non-proliferation in the policy branch of the French MoD (1999-2002), and was an associate fellow at the Institut français des relations internationales (Ifri) (2000‑02).

He also worked with the European Union Institute for Security Studies (EU-ISS) as a visiting fellow (1999-2000), with the Institut des relations internationales et stratégiques as a research fellow and editor of the quarterly journal Relations Internationales et Stratégiques (1994-98), and with Ifri as a research assistant (1992-94).

Camille Grand was also an associate lecturer at the Paris School of International Affairs at Sciences Po Paris (1998-2016). Amongst other past teaching positions, he was a lecturer at the Ecole Nationale d'Administration (ENA, 2006-10) and an associate professor at the French Army Academy, Ecole spéciale militaire de St Cyr-Coëtquidan, (1995-2002).

He was also a member of the Conseil général de l’armement (National Advisory Board on Armament and Technology, chaired by the French Minister of Defence) from 2012, and a member of the United Nations Secretary General’s Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters from 2014.

His publications include several books and monographs and numerous papers in European and American books and journals on current strategic affairs, primarily focused on defence policy, European security, NATO, nuclear policy, missile defence, non-proliferation and disarmament.

He holds graduate degrees in international relations, defence studies, and contemporary history, and is a graduate from the Institut d'études politiques de Paris. He also trained at the Institut diplomatique of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 

Camille Grand is married and father of three sons.  

 

Lieutenant Colonel Christopher P. Mulder

Senior US Air Force fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security

Prior to his fellowship, Lt Col Mulder served as the 80thOperations Group deputy commander at Sheppard AFB, TX, responsible for assisting the Operations Group commander in leading operations for the Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training Program. In addition, Lt Col Mulder instructed and trained new pilots from fourteen nations, including Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands. Lt Col Mulder previously served as the 80th Operations Support squadron commander, leading a diverse squadron of 530 personnel that maintained the airfield and navigation equipment, controlled aircraft, produced weather reports, taught aerospace physiology concepts, and also included all student pilots.

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Lt Col Mulder graduated from the US Air Force Academy in 2001. He instructed in the T-6 as a first assignment instructor pilot and served as a mission commander, evaluator, and instructor in the F-16. He has held various squadron positions at Moody AFB, Osan AB, Shaw AFB, and Spangdahlem AB. During his time as the current operations flight commander, 20th Operational Support Squadron, he was responsible for executing a multi-million dollar flying hour program, managing the Ready Aircrew and SERE programs, and maintaining Shaw AFB’s F-16 simulator complex. As part of the 480th Fighter Squadron, Lt Col Mulder led missions in both Operation Odyssey Dawn and Operation New Dawn in support of national security objectives. He also served as Aide-de-Camp to the United States Air Forces in Europe-Africa commander. He planned and executed more than two hundred strategic events, traveling to twenty-nine countries in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, entailing high-level meetings, academic and think tank round tables, and industry engagements. Prior to moving to Sheppard AFB, TX, he served on the Joint Staff in various roles.

Lt Col Mulder is a command pilot with more than 2,600 hours in the F-16 and T-6, including 270 combat hours.

 
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David Cattler

Assistant Secretary General for
Intelligence and Security

NATO

David Cattler is NATO’s Assistant Secretary General for Intelligence and Security. He took up his post on 2 December 2019. He ensures the NATO intelligence organizations operate as an enterprise to meet the challenging demands of the Alliance. He also is the senior advisor to the Secretary General for intelligence and security matters.

Prior to his appointment as Assistant Secretary General he was a senior national and defense intelligence official of the United States.  He served multiple times as an intelligence enterprise mission manager and led complex efforts across organizational and functional boundaries.  He has significant collection management and analytic experience at the national, joint, and service levels, and has advised the President, civilian agencies, Defense department and military leaders, and operational forces.

He helped form and coordinate national policy as Deputy Assistant to the President for Regional Affairs within the US National Security Council.  He ensured unity of effort, advised national, interagency, and military policy and action, and was a senior advisor to the Director of National Intelligence in multiple roles, including service as the Chairman of the National Intelligence Management Council, National Intelligence Manager for the Near East, and Principal Deputy National Intelligence Officer for Military Issues.  He advised strategic decision-making and supported combat operations within the Department of Defense while directing the Defense Intelligence Agency’s counterterrorism efforts, and serving as the Joint Staff’s Deputy Director for Intelligence.

He began his career as a naval surface warfare officer and served in operations, combat systems, and engineering roles in two Aegis cruisers, USS ANTIETAM and USS CHANCELLORSVILLE, and ashore as a military and civilian officer with the Office of Naval Intelligence.  He joined the Navy staff at the Pentagon in 2003 and served as the Deputy Assistant Director of Naval Intelligence for Intelligence Support and Director of Deep Red. 

He has earned academic degrees from the United States Naval Academy (Bachelor of Science, Political Science, 1993) and Georgetown University (Master of Policy Management, 2008). He also is a graduate of the National Intelligence University, the US Naval War College, and was a Senior Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Seminar XXI: Foreign Politics, International Relations and the National Interest.

 

Permanent Representative of Greece
North Atlantic Council

Ambassador
Spiros Lambridis

Born in Thessaloniki, Greece, May 1957. Born in Thessaloniki, Greece, May 1957, Ambassador Spyros Lambridis studied Economics and Political Science (BA) at the Law School of the University of Athens on European Integration at the University of Reading and earned a Master’s Degree (MA) in International Relations from Boston University. In his Military Service career, he was the Second Lieutenant, Greek Army, 1980-1983 (Reserve Officer).

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Studies

Economics and Political Science (BA) at the Law School of the University of Athens
Studies on European Integration at University of Reading 
Master’s Degree (MA) in International Relations from Boston University

Military Service

Second Lieutenant, Greek Army, 1980-1983 (Reserve Officer)

Diplomatic career

1983-1984:  Diplomatic Academy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
1984-1989:  Directorate of European Political Cooperation, MFA 
1989-1991:  First Secretary, Embassy of Greece in Tel Aviv
1991-1994:  Embassy Counselor, Permanent Representation of Greece to the European Communities
1994: Head of the Council’s Committee for the Accession negotiations with the three Scandinavian countries and Austria.
1994-1997:  Director of the Alternate Minister’s for European Affairs Diplomatic Cabinet, MFA
1997: Diplomatic Liaison of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the bidding Committee for the 2004 Olympic Games.
1997-2000: Consul General in Geneva -Switzerland
2000-2002: Embassy’s Minister Counselor, Liaison Office of Greece to Skopje, fYROM
2002-2004: Diplomatic Advisor of the President of the Organizing Committee of the 2004 Athens Summer Olympic Games
2004: Head of the Global Olympic Torch Relay ‘’ATHENS 2004”
2004-2008: First Political Counselor to the Permanent Representation of Greece to NATO
2008:-2011:  Promoted to Minister Plenipotentiary and to Deputy Permanent Representative,  
Permanent Representation of Greece to NATO
2011-2012: Director of the Ministry’s Directorate for North Atlantic Treaty (NATO) 
2012-2013: Director of the Diplomatic Cabinet of the Minister for Foreign Affairs 
2013-2016: Ambassador of Greece to Israel 

Marital status

Married. Father of two.

Activities

Author of  historical novels, hiking.

Foreign Languages : 

English, French, Italian (fluent). working knowledge of  Spanish and some Hebrew.

 

John W. England

Senior Oil and Gas Client Service Partner 

John England is a senior oil and gas client service partner leading Deloitte’s relationships with some of its largest energy clients globally. He previously served as the U.S. Oil & Gas leader for Deloitte LLP across all businesses, including consulting, risk and financial advisory, audit, and tax services. He has led successful projects and relationships at some of the largest energy companies over his 31-year career.

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Prior to taking over his industry leadership role, John led the energy trading and risk management practice for Deloitte where he helped organizations solve challenges related to business model, risk management, performance measurement, and related systems and processes. He started his career in audit and brings the added perspective of having led the audits of many large energy companies.

 

John is a frequent speaker on energy industry issues, as well as energy trading and risk management having been interviewed by media outlets including the Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, CNBC, BNN, and Bloomberg Radio. He has appeared before boards, audit committees, and industry groups, including the American Petroleum Institute, American Gas Association, Edison Electric Institute, and the National Association of Corporate Directors. 

 

John serves on the National Petroleum Council and served on the Board of Directors for the Southeast Texas chapter of the Alzheimer's Association for 6 years and now co-chairs the Houston Alzheimer’s Walk.  He also serves on the board of Career Spring, a not-for-profit dedicated to helping first generation college students, and the Houston Chapter of the World Affairs Council.

 

A graduate of Stephen F. Austin University where he received a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting, John is a Certified Public Accountant in the state of Texas. 

 

Ambassador
Sarah MacIntosh

UK Permanent Representative
North Atlantic Council

Ms. Sarah MacIntosh CMG was appointed Permanent Representative to the United Kingdom’s Delegation to NATO in February 2017.

Previously she served as Director General, Defence and Intelligence at the Foreign Office from May 2014 to November 2016.

Sarah joined the FCO in 1991. Previous appointments include Director for Defence and International Security (2011-2014); Director for Strategic Finance (2009-2010); Her Majesty’s High Commissioner to Sierra Leone and Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Liberia (2006-2008) and the Strategy Coordinator for the UN Mission in Kosovo (2004-2005).

Sarah has also been posted to the UK Mission to the United Nations at New York; the UK Mission to the IAEA at Vienna and the British Embassy Madrid.

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David van Weel

Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges

David van Weel is NATO’s Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges. He is the Secretary General’s primary advisor on emerging security challenges and their implications for the security of the Alliance and a member of the Secretary General’s senior management team.

The Emerging Security Challenges Division, which he directs and manages, aims to provide a coordinated approach by the Alliance to all new and emerging challenges. These include cyber and hybrid threats, terrorism, as well as emerging and disruptive technologies (such as AI and quantum computing), energy security challenges, including those posed by environmental changes, and data policy. The division also runs the Science for Peace and Security Programme, which promotes dialogue and practical cooperation between NATO and partner nations through scientific research, technological innovation and knowledge exchange.

The Division aims to provide innovative policy solutions for countering and defending the Alliance and Allies against these challenges and to maintain the innovative and technological advantage of the Alliance in conjunction with partners, industry and other multilateral organisations.

Prior to joining NATO, David van Weel was the Foreign Policy and Defense Advisor for the Prime Minister of The Netherlands (2016-2020). This position followed a long career in The Netherlands Ministry of Defence, where he ended as Director for International Affairs and Operations/ Policy Director (2014-2016) after serving as the Chief of Cabinet for the Minister of Defence and the Permanent Secretary (2012-2014) and as the senior policy officer for amongst others operations in Afghanistan and Libya, NATO, nuclear policy and disarmament, special operations and the preparation of the Defence Budget.

David started his career in the Royal Netherlands Navy, where, upon completion of the Naval Academy (1994-1999), he served on different frigates, served in the British Royal Navy as an exchange officer, worked as a Staff Officer for Middle and Eastern European countries in the Defence Staff and ended as a Primary Warfare officer and Navigation Officer.   

David is married to Iris and has two daughters, Felice and Alix.

 

Ambassador
Baiba Braže

Assistant Secretary General
for Public Diplomacy

Ambassador Baiba Braže was appointed Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy in May 2020. She advises the Secretary General on issues within her remit, oversees the coordination of all Strategic Communications activities across all NATO civilian and military bodies and commands, and also directs all public diplomacy activities (except press and media, which are directed by the NATO Spokesperson on behalf of the Secretary General). ASG PDD directs the Public Diplomacy Division (PDD), which plays a key role in conveying the Alliance’s strategic and political messages to opinion formers and to the public in general. PDD works to raise the Alliance’s profile with audiences world-wide and to build support for Alliance operations and policies.

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Baiba Braže was born in Riga, Latvia.  She holds two Masters degrees from the University of Latvia: one in Law (1990) and another in Communication Science (2002).

Ambassador Braže served most recently as Latvia’s Ambassador to the United Kingdom (August 2016-early May 2020), prior to which she was Director General Security Policy and International Organizations (June 2011-January 2016) and Director General of the Communications Directorate (February 2016-July 2016) at the Latvian Foreign Ministry in Riga.

Ambassador Braže previously served as Latvia’s Ambassador to the Netherlands and Permanent Representative to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (July 2003-August 2008), prior to which she was Director of the Europe Department, served as Foreign Policy and National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister in Riga.  She has held numerous other posts since joining the Foreign Ministry in August 1993, both at home (Legal Department, International Organizations Department) and abroad (United Nations, New York).

In addition to Latvian, Ambassador Braže is fluent in English and Russian, and speaks Dutch proficiently.

 

Dr. Markos Kounalakis 

Award-Winning, Nationally-Syndicated Foreign Affairs Columnist, Author, and Scholar
(Moderator)

Wars and revolutions are where Markos cut his teeth as a foreign correspondent. He is president and publisher emeritus of The Washington Monthly and writes a syndicated foreign affairs column for McClatchy newspapers. He is the author of "Spin Wars & Spy Games: Global Media and Intelligence Gathering."

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Dr. Kounalakis is a veteran print and network broadcast journalist and author who covers wars and revolutions, both civil and technological. In the 1980s & 1990s, he reported the overthrow of communism for Newsweek in East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria and the outbreak of ethnic strife and war in Yugoslavia. He was based in Rome, Vienna and ran the magazine’s Prague bureau.

After Newsweek, he worked in the USSR as the NBC Radio and Mutual News Moscow correspondent covering the fall of the Soviet Union as well as the war in Afghanistan.

He has written three books, "Defying Gravity: The Making of Newton," "Beyond Spin: The Power of Strategic Corporate Journalism" and "Hope is a Tattered Flag: Voices of Reason and Change for the Post-Bush Era." 

He lives in San Francisco with his two teenaged boys and his wife, Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis. 

 
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