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Programme Assistant

Management and Operations Support
210513 Requisition #


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 situational awareness, advance planning, well-exercised and executed crisis-response, and outcome-oriented defence and related security cooperation programmes.

Within the Operations Division, the Defence Institution and Capacity Building (DICB) Directorate facilitates political-military decision-making and programme implementation with partner nations to strengthen resilience, promote integrity, transparency, accountability and good governance in the defence and related security sector, and enhance the institutional and defence capabilities of partner nations so that they can better respond to crises at home and abroad. As the focus for NATO defence and related security cooperation initiatives, the Directorate uses an integrated set of planning and programme implementation tools to develop effective and efficient state defence institutions under democratic control that comply with international norms and practices, and to develop forces and capabilities that can operate effectively with NATO forces when appropriate. The Directorate plays a key role in the development and implementation of the NATO “one partner – one plan” concept to ensure coherence of programme management.

The Defence Institution and Capacity Building Directorate is in particular responsible for leading and managing key cooperation programmes with NATO partners, including  Building Integrity (BI), the Defence Education Enhancement Programme (DEEP),  the Professional Development (PDP) Programme, the Military Career Transition (MCT) Programme, Partnership Training and Education Centres, the Defence and related Security Capacity Building (DCB) Initiative, the Comprehensive Assistance Package (CAP) Ukraine, as well as the Planning and Review Process (PARP).

Programme Assistants are key enablers of the Directorate and/each of its programmes. The incumbent will provide administrative support and assistance to the Defence Education Enhancement Programme (DEEP) and the Partnership Training and Education Centers (PTEC), and activities such as visits, seminars and conferences. S/he is responsible for scheduling and coordinating events, assembling and supporting travelling teams of expert advisers, and ensuring all programme spending is properly authorized and documented. S/He is also accountable for efficiently handling a wide range of support duties of an administrative and organisational nature.

The post requires considerable flexibility in assigned tasks and an ability to work calmly in a fast-paced environment under difficult time constraints is essential.



The incumbent must:

  • have a good general education at least to higher secondary level;
  • have at least 4 years' experience of administrative and organizational support duties;
  • have the ability to demonstrate previous experience in at least one of the following areas: project and/or programme administration; organization and implementation of conferences and other (online) events;  
  • have proven experience working with various software packages, in particular the Microsoft Office suite;
  • have knowledge of, and experience in providing financial support;
  • possess good organizational and programme planning, implementation and monitoring skills, as well as skills in coordinating diverse strands of work;
  • have experience in organizing conferences and events;
  • possess excellent drafting and proofreading skills and be able to communicate clearly and logically;
  • possess the following minimum levels of NATO’s official languages (English/French): V (“Advanced”) in one and I (“Beginner”) in the other.


The following would be considered an advantage:

  • a bachelor degree level;
  • experience in working in an International Organisation and/or international environment;
  • experience in the organization and management of multi-year projects;
  • practical working knowledge of an additional language of a NATO member or partner country;
  • knowledge of an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system;


Planning and Execution

Assist with the day-to-day running of the DICB Directorate, including preparations of regular meetings. Provide support services of an administrative and, organizational  nature, including as appropriate financial commitments.  Assist in the organisation and execution of relevant expert visits, conferences and seminars at NATO HQ and elsewhere. This includes both administrative arrangements and financial commitments.

Project Management

Support the planning, implementation and monitoring of the Directorate’s different security cooperation programmes. Ensure the professional administration of projects and programmes, and help to drive them to delivery of outcomes. Support programme managers with finding timely and creative solutions to problems, meeting client and organizational needs. Coordinate and efficiently manage the relevant visits, seminars and conferences, some of which have the structure and complexity of small projects.

Information Management

Answer enquiries and incoming calls. Draft/edit documents, memoranda, cover letters to documents and briefing programmes as necessary. Type and format all kinds of documents, including tables of figures requiring careful presentation, using the standard software packages used by NATO (Word, Excel, PowerPoint). Support committee work, including as committee secretary. Take minutes at meetings as necessary. Oversee the paper flow into and out of the office including retrieving and organising correspondence/documents (including classified information). Maintain an effective follow-up and/or reminder system for pending actions within the Directorate

Knowledge Management

Document the organization’s procedures and key points of contact. Collect, categorise, and track relevant information required for various tasks and projects. Maintain well-structured paper and electronic filing systems. Assist in operation and updating of the available content on the Directorate’s public online presence.

Stakeholder Management

Liaise and coordinate with numerous project partners, both within NATO (Delegations, International Military Staff (IMS), International Staff (IS) Divisions and Independent Offices) and with outside customers. Maintain lists of internal and external contacts. Handle clients’ requests with tact, diplomacy and good judgment. Collaborate with colleagues in similar positions to ensure exchange of information and best practice implementation. Diagnose and find solutions to potential administrative/organizational issues.

Expertise Development

Proactively develop skills in areas such as planning and organisation, new technology, languages and effective communication. Liaise with other Assistants to leverage knowledge. Keep up to date with NATO financial and administrative procedures relating to conferences/seminars and the relevant IT tools.

Organisational Efficiencies

Provide constructive suggestions to improve office procedures. Find ways to be faster, better and more effective in managing information and using office tools. Act as back-up to other Assistants as required.

Financial Management

Ensure that proper financial procedures are followed for the funding of seminars and conferences, follow-up on activities to ensure that financial files are correctly processed, and maintain records of all financial transactions.

Perform any other related duty as assigned.


The incumbent reports to the Defence Education Enhancement Programme (DEEP) Coordinator.  S/he will maintain close working relationships with other staff in the Directorate and the Operations Division, as well as throughout the Organization. The incumbent will also have to deal on a regular basis with members of Delegations and partner missions as well as with officials from other countries and from other international organizations.

Direct reports: N/a

Indirect reports: N/a


The incumbent must demonstrate:

  • Clarity and Accuracy: Checks own work;
  • Customer Service Orientation: Takes personal responsibility for correcting problems;
  • Empathy: Listens actively;
  • Flexibility: Acts with flexibility;
  • Initiative: Is decisive in a time-sensitive situation;
  • Organisational Awareness: Understands the Organization's structure;
  • Teamwork: Expresses positive attitudes and expectations of team or team members.
Contract to be offered to the successful applicant (if non-seconded): Definite duration contract of three years’ duration; possibility of an indefinite duration contract thereafter.
Contract clause applicable:
In accordance with the NATO Civilian Personnel Regulations, the successful candidate will receive a definite duration contract of three years, which may be followed by an indefinite duration 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 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: www.nato.int/recruitment.
Please note that at the time of the interviews, candidates will be asked to provide evidence of their education and professional experience as relevant for this vacancy.
Appointment will be subject to receipt of a security clearance (provided by the national Authorities of the selected candidate) and approval of the candidate’s medical file by the NATO Medical Adviser.
More information about the recruitment process and conditions of employment, can be found at our website (http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/recruit-hq-e.htm).
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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