The NATO-wide Executive Development Programme (NEDP) aims to build and develop a network of talented international civilians across the Alliance to enhance their knowledge of NATO, the challenges NATO faces, its identity, and core values, as well as give insight into a rapidly changing world. The NEDP also helps participants to better understand their leadership abilities, personal styles of leadership and strengths, and, importantly, recognize areas for self-improvement.
In 2020, one of the JALLC’s Research Analysts, Stefan Olaru, successfully applied to the NEDP and began his learning journey with 23 other NEDP participants from all over NATO. This journey consisted of five learning modules led by the Programme’s Academic provider HULT Ashridge Executive Education with essential insights provided by leadership and experts from NATO HQ, SHAPE, and HQ Supreme Allied Commander Transformation. An important part of the NEDP are the analysis projects that require participants to propose solutions to problems that have been identified by NATO entities who act as project sponsors.
Stefan was a member of the team working on the project sponsored by SHAPE on “Building Integrity in Operations: a Toolkit for NATO.” This project required the team to collect a significant amount of data and analyse it to draw conclusions and make recommendations. Finally, the team wrote a report on the work conducted, ultimately presenting their findings to a distinguished audience of NATO colleagues and leadership. The final report provided significant findings and was published by SHAPE here.
Given this iteration of the NEDP took place during the COVID-19 pandemic, the course was conducted entirely online (as opposed to regular NEDP programmes which have a mix of remote and residential modules). However, in order to fully achieve the NEDP objectives, a final but very exciting graduation session was organized at NATO HQ on 27 October 2022 where most of the NEDP12 members met in person, shared valuable reflections on the NEDP experience, and heard insights on NATO today and NATO 2030 from NATO leadership, i.e. Deputy Secretary General H.E Mircea Geona and NATO Spokesperson Ms Oana Lungescu among others.