NATO’s North Atlantic Council has officially selected Mark Rutte – prime minister of the Netherlands – as the successor to its long-serving secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg.

Confirmed on 26 June, the appointment will lead to Rutte assuming the alliance’s top post on 1 October.

Mark Rutte

Source: Dutch government

Rutte will assume his new position at NATO on 1 October

Stoltenberg will depart having held the secretary general position for 10 years, including being the alliance’s figurehead during its collective response since Russian forces invaded Ukraine in February 2022.

NATO’s current senior official was previously the prime minister of Norway. His tenure has included NATO reaching record levels of military investment, with its most recent forecast indicating that 23 of its 32 member states will meet or exceed its target of spending at least 2% of their gross domestic product on defence this year.

Aged 57, Rutte has been Dutch Prime Minister since 2010. The nation is part of a European coalition – also including Belgium, Denmark and Norway – which has pledged to supply Kyiv with surplus Lockheed Martin F-16 fighters from later this year.

Rutte Stoltenberg

Mark Rutte (left) with current NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg

Alliance partners are currently preparing to participate in the annual NATO Summit, taking place in Washington DC from 9-11 July.