Stephen J. Mariano, Ph.D.
Greetings Friends, Allied and Partner Colleagues, Anciens, and future NATO Defense College (NDC) Course Members!
I am honored and humbled to assume duties as the NATO Defense College Dean. It is great to be back in a NATO assignment, so thank you for all the support that brought me here relatively quickly and enabled the transition.
In 2019, NATO is celebrating its 70th Anniversary. The College will celebrate its 68th Anniversary and 133rd and 134th Senior Courses, which have continued to build annually on General Eisenhower's original vision of educating Alliance members to deal with the complicated factors threatening NATO's security and defense. Today that effort involves examining traditional issues like territorial defense and arms control, as well as emerging challenges like cyber security and out-of-area instability. We are committed to delivering the best transatlantic security course the world can offer, so for you future and current course members, if we are not measuring up to your expectations, please let us know!
NDC benefits from the strengths and capabilities of a number of stakeholders who deserve mention:
To NATO Nations, thank you for sending us your very best military officers and civilian officials. We promise to return them to you with increased knowledge, new skills, and strengthened relationships. Please do your best to put them to work within the NATO Command Structure or Force Structure and if that is not feasible, at an appropriate position in your National structures.
To Partner Nations, we look forward to not only discussing strategic issues connecting the Alliance with countries and issues in your region, but also to sharing decades of Alliance experience in intellectual interoperability and collective defense.
To colleagues at the NATO Headquarters, SHAPE, ACT and throughout the NATO Command and Force Structure, we look forward to collaborating with you as we fulfill our mutual commitment to Alliance security. Please know we are here as a resource for you — physical as well as intellectual — and that we rely on your sage counsel to ensure courses remain relevant.
To academic partners, Academic Advisory Board, and guest lecturers, we could not do it without you so thank you for your continued support. As we revise the curriculum to meet the changing security environment, we promise to keep you up-to-date.
To Foundation and Anciens, thank you for your continued advice and support; it keeps us focused on the lasting impact that high quality committee discussions and well-designed field studies can have on a person's career. Your onward success is an inspiration to the faculty, staff, and students.
Special thanks to Italy, our wonderful Host Nation, and all that it does to make the college a pearl of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. We know that you undertake many behind-the-scene initiatives to keep the facility in top shape and maintain the highest quality of life standards.
And finally, to the NDC faculty, staff and support team - thanks for bringing the new Dean up to speed so quickly! Please maintain the long view as you continue carrying out the outstanding work you do every day!
Looking forward to seeing you here in Rome or on the leading edge of NATO's strategic thinking!
Thanks again all.