Email: michael(at)jobsinict(dot)com

Challenge Manager – G20 – (230282) – London, United Kingdom – London, UK – NATO

Website NATO Defence Innovation Accelerator for the North Atlantic (DIANA)

Position Title: Challenge Manager
Grade: NATO Grade G20
Job ID: 230282
Contract Type: Full-time
Duty Station: London, United Kingdom
Application Deadline: 16-Apr-2023
Salary: 7,946.99Pound Sterling (GBP) Monthly

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The Defence Innovation Accelerator for the North Atlantic (DIANA) is NATO’s newest body. From across the Alliance, DIANA will bring together innovators and operational end users to foster a transatlantic ecosystem supporting dual-use ground-breaking innovation in deep technologies.
DIANA is now in the process of standing up, with the aim to reach initial operational capability in 2023 and full operational capability in 2025. Once established, DIANA will leverage a network of dozens of Allied Test Centres and Accelerator Sites to fulfil its mission.
DIANA is an independent NATO body comprised of an Allied Board of Directors and a management team – the DIANA Executive (DX). Operating out of regional offices in Europe and in North America, the DX will carry out DIANA’s mission: accelerating deep tech, dual-use solutions to critical transatlantic challenges in defence and security. The DX will use Challenge Programs in line with a strategic direction as the primary vehicle to accomplish this mission.
DIANA’s Challenge Programs will combine the vision and inspiration of the Challenge Manager with the external insights and engagement from across the Alliance’s innovation ecosystems and the NATO Enterprise. DIANA will maintain a close working relationship with various Allied and NATO bodies, especially the Science and Technology Organisation, Allied Command Transformation, the Conference of National Armaments Directors, and others. Moreover, it will seek to establish industrial, academic, and international partnerships for the development and commercialization of technology.
The Challenge Manager should join as an experienced professional from academic labs, government R&D, or the corporate sector and be ready to immediately leverage their deep technical knowledge and professional networks to drive the creation of new programs. They will work with R&D communities and stakeholders to establish the rigorous and ambitious program goals (including detailed technical milestones and other program activities) needed to manage a portfolio of sophisticated R&D projects.
The Challenge Manager ensures that DIANA is flexible, diverse and ready to meet future operational challenges. In a multinational environment, they encourage harmonious labour-management relations, improves organisational effectiveness and resolve workplace conflicts.

Key challenges facing the successful candidate include:
1. Conduct and implement DIANA‘s Challenge Programs in collaboration with DIANA affiliated Acceleration Sites and Test Centers;
2. Coordinate with stakeholders across the NATO enterprise and member nations to develop the biannual Strategic Direction document that is used to inform the design of DIANA’s Challenge Programs;
3. Develop, refine, and update Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for DIANA’s Challenge Program(s), based on lessons learned from the pilot year (2023) and each ensuing year;
4. Lead the selection and coordination of Evaluation Panels for each years’ Challenge program solicitations;
As required, the incumbent may be designated to contribute to the following efforts:
• Provide cross-functional support to the other strands of work of DIANA including, among other things, expert and technical advice on the legal framework and agreements with DIANA-affiliated Accelerator sites and Test Centres, the development of the rules and procedures of the Rapid Adoption Service, as well as DIANA’s other policies and procedures, and speak at public and private sector events as part of program-specific and DIANA-general outreach .


The incumbent must:
• Possess an advanced university degree from an institute of recognized standing or equivalent qualification, in a science or engineering field;
• Have at least 8 years’ experience in technology development, innovation and other related fields;
• Have at least 4 years experience in innovation ecosystems, including engagement with private sector entrepreneurs, commercial and academic emerging and disruptive technology (EDT) innovators;
• Be familiar with academic laboratories, research and development (R&D), technology transfer, and tech-to-market;
• Experience working and negotiating with experts from other fields, including across other functions and with military operational experts;
• Be experienced in project management;
• Possess the following minimum level of the English language: V (“Advanced”).

The following would be considered an advantage:
• Experience in a leadership position;
• Project Management Certification;
• Experience drafting Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs);
• Experience with or in accelerators/incubators with a deep tech focus;
• Experience working in a multilateral environment or an environment with a variety of stakeholders from multi-cultural backgrounds;
• Be conversant with the Alliance’s political and decision-making processes;
• Knowledge of NATO institutional framework, policies and procedures;


Policy Development
Develop, refine, and update Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for DIANA’s Challenge Program(s), based on lessons learned from the pilot year (2023) and each ensuing year. Ensure successful development of DIANA Strategic Direction in the formation of Challenge Programs SOPs. Applies best practices from industry and uses technological knowledge and creativity to determine how a policy will affect a functional area and contribute to wider policy development.

Project Management
Conduct and implement DIANA‘s Challenge Programs and collaborate with DIANA affiliated Acceleration Sites and Test Centers. Ensures that project/programme deliverables are attainable and oversee and guide their progress. Identify risks and undertake contingency planning. Make critical go/no-go decisions throughout a project lifetime.

Financial Management
Ensures that expenditure of the allocated grants to innovators is in line with DIANA’s objectives and commensurate with the project deliverables in collaboration with the DX Financial Team.

Representation of the Organization
Represents DIANA externally at workshops, conferences and at any other event. Speaks at public and private sector events as part of program-specific and DIANA-general outreach. Lead the selection and coordination of Evaluation Panels for each years’ Challenge program solicitations.

Stakeholder Management
Ensures the network of stakeholder relationships functions effectively. Prepares contingency plans for the effective management of issues that may arise. Leverages professional network to promote Challenge Programs. Coordinates with stakeholders across the NATO enterprise and member nations to develop the biannual Strategic Direction document that is used to inform the design of DIANA’s Challenge Program


The incumbent is responsible to the Senior Challenge Manager and to the Managing Director of DIANA. They work in close relationship with DIANA-affiliated test centres and accelerator sites to implement DIANA Challenge Programmmes and with the other Challenge Managers in their team and with the innovators in their programmes. They will exercise some operational authority in their Challenge Programs and on behalf of DX.


Achievement: Creates own measures of excellence and improves performance.
Analytical Thinking: Sees multiple relationships.
Change Leadership: Expresses vision for change.
Impact and Influence: Uses indirect influence.
Initiative: Is decisive in a time-sensitive situation.
Organizational Awareness: Understands organisational politics.
Teamwork: Solicits inputs and encourages others.


The successful applicant will be employed for an initial period of 3 years, subject to budgetary approval, with the possibility for a one-year extension.


Please note that we can only accept applications from nationals of NATO member countries.

Applications must be submitted using e-recruitment system, as applicable:
• For NATO civilian staff members only: please apply via the internal recruitment portal (for more information, please contact your local Civilian HR Manager);
• For all other applications:

Selection of candidates for NATO posts is based upon the merit principle.
Please also note that at the time of the interviews, candidates will be asked to provide evidence of their education and professional experience as relevant for this vacancy.
Appointment will be subject to receipt of a security clearance (provided by the national Authorities of the selected candidate) and approval of the candidate’s medical file by the NATO Medical Adviser.
More information about the recruitment process and conditions of employment, can be found at our website (


NATO is committed to diversity and inclusion, and strives to provide equal access to employment, advancement and retention, independent of gender, age, nationality, ethnic origin, religion or belief, cultural background, sexual orientation, and disability. NATO welcomes applications of nationals from all member Nations, and strongly encourages women to apply.

Building Integrity is a key element of NATO’s core tasks. As an employer, NATO values commitment to the principles of integrity, transparency and accountability in accordance with international norms and practices established for the defence and related security sector. Selected candidates are expected to be role models of integrity, and to promote good governance through ongoing efforts in their work.

Due to the broad interest in NATO and the large number of potential candidates, telephone or e-mail enquiries cannot be dealt with.

Applicants who are not successful in this competition may be offered an appointment to another post of a similar nature, albeit at the same or a lower grade, provided they meet the necessary requirements.

The nature of this position may require the staff member at times to be called upon to travel for work and/or to work outside normal office hours.

The organization offers several work-life policies including Teleworking and Flexible Working arrangements (Flexitime) subject to business requirements.

Please note that the International Staff at DIANA Headquarters in London, UK is a non-smoking environment.
For information about the NATO Single Salary Scale (Grading, Allowances, etc.) please visit the NATO website. Detailed data is available under the Salary and Benefits tab.

For more information on DIANA, please visit our website.

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  • Useful information about Grades and Salaries in NATO you will find them here.
  • About general information working for NATO, Member States, What is offered, Regulation, Contract policy, NATO salaries and benefits and all other opportunities following the NATO official link here.

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Email: michael(at)jobsinict(dot)com