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NATO Secretary General
The Rt. Hon. Lord Robertson of Port Ellen1999 - 2003
The Right Honourable Lord Robertson of Port
Ellen has been the 10th Secretary General of NATO and Chairman of the
North Atlantic Council since October 1999. He was Defence Secretary of
the United Kingdom from 1997-1999 and Member of Parliament for Hamilton
and Hamilton South from 1978-1999.
He was a full time official of the General, Municipal and Boilermakers' Union (GMB) responsible for the Scottish Whisky industry from 1968-1978. He was first elected to the House of Commons in 1978, and reelected five times.
He was appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Secretary of State for Social Services in 1979. After the 1979 General Election, he was appointed an Opposition Spokesman, first on Scottish Affairs, then on Defence, and on Foreign Affairs from 1982 to 1993. He became Chief Spokesman on Europe in 1983. He served as the principal Opposition Spokesman on Scotland in the Shadow Cabinet from 1993-1997.
After the 1997 General Election, Prime Minister Blair appointed him Defence
Secretary of the United Kingdom, a position he held until his departure
in October 1999. In August 1999 he was selected to be the tenth Secretary
General of NATO in succession to Dr Javier Solana. On 24 August he received
a life peerage and took the title Lord Robertson of Port Ellen.
He was awarded the Grand Cross of the German Order of Merit by the Federal German President in 1991 and the Grand Cross of the Order of the Star of Romania in 2000, and was named joint Parliamentarian of the Year in 1993 for his role during the Maastricht Treaty ratification. He is Honorary Regimental Colonel of the London Scottish (Volunteers). He has been awarded Honorary Doctorates by the Universities of Dundee and Bradford, by Cranfield University (Royal Military College of Science), Baku State University, Azerbaijan, and the Romanian National School of Political and Administrative Studies, Bucharest. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (honFRSE), a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA) and an Elder Brother of Trinity House.
He was appointed a member of Her Majesty's Privy Council in May 1997.
He is married to Sandra, and has three children. His hobbies include
photography, golf and reading.