“The spirit of our endeavour is, To strive, to seek, to find and not to yield”

Alessandro Minuto-Rizzo, President

About us

History and Mission

The NATO Defense College Foundation is the only existing think-tank bearing the name of the Alliance.
It was established in Rome in 2011 and it grew out from a common intuition of the President Alessandro Minuto-Rizzo and the NATO Defense College top decision makers who understood the value of a non-profit NGO that could work beyond usual and institutional outreach, training, communication and scientific research activities.

While the tradition of stability and well-being is embodied by the principles of the Washington charter, the triple upheavals of the fall of the Soviet Union, the global economic crisis and the Arab Revolutions required a more focused, agile and innovative approach.

Therefore the NDCF strives at considering relevant issues not just in a descriptive or prescriptive way, but by catching the sense of events and the essential vectors of future developments. In a word: Charting ahead.

The principles stated in the preamble to the Washington Treaty of 1949 are our heritage.

Our mission is to promote the culture of stability and well-being in the North Atlantic area and in NATO partner nations.

Our aim is to meet the highest standards in contributing to public debate and future deliberations on strategic, security and geopolitical issues.

We foster dialogue through education, research and outreach to the challenges that we are confronting.

The Foundation is a unique combination of scientific freedom, private agility and institutional linkage. It builds upon the top level connections and operational experience in Trans-Atlantic outreach towards Middle East, Eastern Europe, Southern Mediterranean and West Asia.

Our scientific research consists of several activities: Strategic Trends, Food for thought, International conference, High-level seminar, advisory panels.

The aim of our activities is to empower for the future and to enable change, not to repeat mantras.

We deal with diversity and complexity in the globalised world. As a result, our work tries to understand and shape the Cooperative Multidimensional Security, as well as developing an insightful security conversation.

The President

Alessandro Minuto-Rizzo is an Italian diplomat who served as Deputy Secretary General of NATO from 2001 to 2007 and as interim Secretary General of NATO from the 17th of December 2003 to the 1st of January 2004. His mandate was mostly carried out in the strategic-political-industrial area, in relations with sensitive countries such as those in the Gulf and the Southern Mediterranean.

Prior to be appointed Deputy Secretary General, he acted as Ambassador of Italy to the Western European Union and to the EU Political and Security Committee (PSC). He is a member of the Scientific Committee of the Italy-USA Foundation and President of the NATO Defense College Foundation.

He is the author of the books: “The road to Kabul” (Il Mulino-Arel, 2009); “A political journey without maps. Diversity and future in the Greater Middle East” (Rubbettino, 2013), and “NATO and the Middle East: The Making of a Partnership” (New Academia Publishing, 2018).

The Honorary President

Lord Robertson of Port Ellen is a British Labour Party politician and served as the 10th Secretary General of NATO from 1999–2004. He acted as Defence Secretary for the United Kingdom from 1997–1999, and was a Member of Parliament for Hamilton and Hamilton South from 1978–1999.

Lord Robertson of Port Ellen has sat under this title in the Lords since 3 February 2000. He was appointed to Her Majesty’s Privy Council in 1997.  In 2004 he was personally appointed by the Queen as one of the sixteen Knights of the Thistle (KT) and awarded the GCMG (Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George).  In 2011 he was appointed Chancellor of that OrderHe was awarded the US Presidential Medal of Freedom, America’s top civilian honour, in 2003, and has been awarded the highest national honours from many countries. 

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