44th meeting of the NATO Defense College Academic Advisory Board
On 10 and 11 June 2014, the 44th meeting of the NDC Academic Advisory Board (AAB) took place.
The chief purpose of the AAB is to advise the Commandant on ways to improve the academic, research and outreach activities of the College; to enhance links with NATO HQ and Allied Command Transformation (ACT); and to ensure that NDC outreach strategies contribute to those of the Alliance as a whole. This year in particular, the AAB’s main objective was to analyse matters arising from the ongoing NDC review. This is largely the result of a perceived change in the academic environment, concerning various specific issues and the College’s support to the objectives of Connected Forces Initiative (CFI).
The Board was composed of distinguished experts: LtGen Mark O. Schissler (USA A), Deputy Chairman of the NATO Military Committee and Chairman of the Board; LtGen Arne Bård Dalhaug (NOR A), NDC Commandant; Vice Admiral Ignacio Horcada Rubio (ESP, SACTREPEUR); MGen Gordon B. DAVIS, Jr. (USA A), Assistant Chief of Staff Operations, SHAPE; Dr Rama MANI (FRA/IND C), Senior Research Associate at the Centre for International Studies at the University of Oxford and Councillor of the World Future Council; Professor Dr Carlo MASALA (DEU C), Dean of the Fakultät für Staats- und Sozialwissenschaften of the University of the German Armed Forces in Munich; Professor Theresa SABONIS-HELF (USA C), US National War College; MGen Vitalijus VAIKŠNORAS (LTU A). Participants from the NDC were: Dr Daria DANIELS SKODNIK, Dean (SVN C); BrigGen Salvatore CARTA (ITA A), Director of Management; BrigGen Gerd BISCHOF (DEU F), Director Academic Planning and Policy, and AAB Executive Secretary; BrigGen Patrick DESJARDINS (FRA F), Director Academic Operations; Dr Jeffrey LARSEN (USA C), Director Research Division; Col Giuseppe MORABITO (ITA A), Director Middle East Faculty; Mr Vincenzo DI STEFANO (ITA C), Chief Budget and Finance Branch; Col Kees MARSELIS (NLD F), MA to the Commandant; Col Kent SOEBBING (USA A), HAPB; Ms Karin SCHILLINGER (NLD C), AAB Executive Assistant.
Participants in attendance were: MGen Janusz BOJARSKI (POL A), POL MILREP, scheduled to take over as NDC CMDT with this summer’s change of command; Cdr Jose HENRIQUES (POR N), IMS NATO; Col Brian A. DUDAS (USA F), MA to DCMC; and Maj Matthew L. COLLINS (GBR A), ADC to DCMC.
A number of different issues were discussed during the meeting, including the Annual Report, the Conference of Commandants and the Kyiv Week. The Board also considered the activities of the NDC’s Research Division and the NATO Regional Cooperation Course.
The Chairman, LtGen Mark O. Schissler, was also involved in the ongoing Third Senior Executive Regional Conference, where he gave a talk on NATO-led operations in a wide-ranging geopolitical context.
MajGen Gordon B. DAVIS, Assistant Chief of Staff Operations (SHAPE), participated in the AAB proceedings via videoconference.
The Academic Advisory Board plays a fundamental role in support of the NDC’s commitments: it reviews present and future academic programmes, appraises College activities, and ensures that the educational process keeps abreast of the challenges facing the Alliance today and in the future.