On Monday 11 July 2022, the NATO Military Committee elected Lieutenant General Max A.L.T. Nielsen to be the new Commandant of the NATO Defense College. Lieutenant General Nielsen has been serving as the Military Representative to NATO and EU since 2019. He will take over from Lieutenant General Olivier Rittimann in Summer 2023.
The NATO Defense College (NDC) has been training military and civilian leader for over 70 years. Its mission is to contribute to the effectiveness and cohesion of the Alliance primarily through senior-level education, on transatlantic security issues, enabled by research on matters relevant to the Alliance, and supported by engagement with Allies, Partners and Non-NATO Entities (NNEs), with a 360 degrees approach to security issues.
The Commandant ensures that NDC fulfils its mission to contribute to the effectiveness and cohesion of the Alliance by developing its role as a major centre of education, study and research on transatlantic issues. The Commandant is responsible to the Military Committee, but his responsibilities and powers authorize him to communicate with NATO agencies, NATO members’ national authorities, academic institutions, such as the PfP Consortium, and individuals as appropriate. He may also liaise with non-NATO national bodies for the purpose of programs approved by the North Atlantic Council, such as the Mediterranean Dialogue.
The Academic Advisory Board, headed by the Chair of the NATO Military Committee Admiral Rob Bauer, advises the Commandant of the NATO Defense College on ways to further improve its activities, links and outreach programmes.