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2003 - 2007
John Colston joined the NATO International Staff as Assistant Secretary General for Defence Policy and Planning in September 2003. From 2000 to 2003 he had served as the Command Secretary to the UK Commander-in-Chief Fleet in Northwood and Portsmouth, responsible for Planning, Policy and Resourcing of the Operational Command of the Royal Navy. From 1996 to 2000, he served on secondment to the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office as Defence Counsellor to the UK Delegation to NATO/WEU, during preparations for the Washington Summit and the Kosovo Campaign.
John Colston joined the UK Ministry of Defence in 1976. His previous appointments have included the Head of the UK MOD’s Central Resources and Programmes Division (1993-1996); Director of Finance for the UK Trident Project (1990-1993); Assistant Private Secretary to the Secretary of State for Defence (1988-1990); Policy Team Leader on UK Relations with NATO and the WEU (1987-1998); Senior Administrative Officer in the Soveriegn Base Areas Administration, Cyprus (1984-1987); and Assistant Director, Nuclear Policy from 1982-1984.
Earlier appointments included support to Defence Ministers; Force Planning in support of NATO and Industrial Relations in the UK in the MOD.
John Colston was born in Reading, England and educated in Bristol and at Oxford University, where he took a degree in English. His wife (Eileen) is a teacher; they have three children.