David van Weel
Assistant Secretary General for Innovation, Hybrid and Cyber
David van Weel is NATO’s Assistant Secretary General for Innovation, Hybrid, and Cyber. In this capacity, he is the Secretary General’s primary advisor on maintaining NATO’s innovative edge, and on all issues relating to technological challenges, Cyber defence and Hybrid threats and their far-reaching implications for Alliance security. He is also the Secretary General’s Liaison Officer for the Defence Innovation Accelerator for the North Atlantic (DIANA) and acts as NATO’s observer to the board of the NATO Innovation Fund (NIF).
The Innovation, Hybrid, and Cyber Division also focuses on emerging security challenge such as risks to energy security, the security impacts of climate change, and securing critical undersea infrastructure. The team also places a strong focus on fostering and protecting emerging and disruptive technologies such as artificial intelligence, quantum computing, and biotechnology to ensure that the Alliance maintains its technological edge. The division also manages NATO’s Science for Peace and Security Programme, which fosters dialogue and practical cooperation between NATO and partner nations through scientific research, as well as several programmatic funds that focus on technological innovation.
Prior to his tenure at NATO, David van Weel was the Foreign Policy and Defence Advisor to the Prime Minister of The Netherlands (2016 - 2020). This appointment followed a long career at the Netherlands Ministry of Defence, which had culminated in his role as Director for International Affairs and Operations/Policy Director (2014 - 2016), after serving as Chief of Cabinet for the Minister of Defence and the Permanent Secretary from (2012 - 2014). He also worked as a senior policy officer for operations in Afghanistan and Libya, and coordinated policy on NATO, nuclear policy and disarmament, special operations, as well as the preparation of the Dutch defence budget.
David started his career with the Royal Netherlands Navy, where after graduating from the Naval Academy (1994-1999) he served on a number of different frigates, including with the British Royal Navy as an exchange officer. He also worked as a Staff Officer for Middle and Eastern European countries in the Defence Staff and ended his term at the Navy as a Primarily Warfare Officer and Navigation Officer.
David van Weel is married and has three daughters.