First Woman to be Appointed Deputy Head of NATO

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( — June 28, 2016) —Rose Gottemoeller, the new Deputy Secretary General of NATO, will replace Ambassador Alexander Vershbow from the US, who took up his position in February 2012.

Alexander Vershbow will retire in the autumn after a distinguished career, said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, and added that his commitment and contribution to NATO has been indispensable at a time of unprecedented security challenges.

Stoltenberg also said that Rose Gottemoeller will bring to NATO a wealth of experience in international security policy in areas such as arms control and relations with Russia, as she also served as the Director of the Carnegie Moscow Center.

Gottemoeller is the second-highest ranking civilian official of NATO. Secretary General Stoltenberg has said that the appointment of the first woman to the post of deputy secretary general is a milestone for NATO.

Rose Gottemoeller is currently serving as US Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security, advising US Secretary of State John Kerry on arms control, non-proliferation and political-military affairs.

According to the Defense News, Congressional republicans were against this choice, while Congressional Democrats backed the nomination. However, the decision on the appointment belonged to NATO, not the US officials. Ms Gottemoeller will take up her post on October 1, 2016.

Another women to also make history recently as the first woman to lead a U.S. military combatant command is Lori Robinson. President Obama nominated her in March and the Senate approved in April this year.

Lori Robinson will lead the U.S. Northern Command (NORTHCOM), which heads homeland defense efforts for the Pentagon and coordinates defense support of civil authorities, as well as the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), which conducts aerospace warning, aerospace control, and maritime warning in the defense of North America.

Last year the U.S. military opened up all combat roles to women. That was a historic step to breaking gender barriers in the armed forces.