The North Atlantic Council has appointed former Norwegian prime minister Jens Stoltenberg as the next Secretary General of NATO and Chairman of the North Atlantic Council.
He will replace Denmark's Anders Fogh Rasmussen.
Mr. Stoltenberg (55) will assume his functions as Secretary General as from 1 October 2014, when Mr. Fogh Rasmussen steps down after 5 years and 2 months at the helm of the 28-nation defence alliance.
Stoltenberg served as Norway's prime minister twice, for 18 months in 2000-01 and again from 2005 to 2013. On Friday he announced that he will resign as the leader of the Norwegian Labour Party.
While Mr Stoltenberg was Prime Minister, Norway’s defence spending increased steadily, with the result that Norway is today one of the Allies with the highest per capita defence expenditure. Mr Stoltenberg has also been instrumental in transforming the Norwegian armed forces, through a strong focus on deployable high-end capabilities. Under his leadership, the Norwegian Government has contributed Norwegian forces to various NATO operations.
Stoltenberg is currently UN Special Envoy on Climate Change.
The new NATO Chief holds an economics degree from the University of Oslo, and worked in journalism before his political career. He is married with two children.