Brussels Forum Session: The Road to Vilnius

Jens Stoltenberg has served as NATO Secretary General since 2014. As a former prime minister of Norway and UN special envoy, he has been a strong supporter of greater global and transatlantic cooperation.  

Under Stoltenberg’s leadership, NATO has responded to a more challenging security environment by implementing the largest reinforcement of its collective defense since the Cold War, increasing the readiness of its forces, and deploying combat troops in the eastern part of the alliance. He believes in pursuing credible deterrence and defense while maintaining dialogue with Russia. He has also advocated for increased defense spending, better burden-sharing within the alliance, and a greater focus on innovation.  

Prior to joining NATO, Stoltenberg was the UN special envoy on climate change from 2013 to 2014. He has also chaired UN high-level panels on climate financing and the coherence of development, humanitarian assistance, and environmental policies. 

As prime minister of Norway, Stoltenberg increased defense spending and transformed the Norwegian armed forces with new high-end capabilities and investments. He also signed an agreement with Russia on establishing maritime borders in the Barents and polar seas, ending a 30-year dispute. 

Stoltenberg holds a postgraduate degree in economics from the University of Oslo. After graduating in 1987, he held a research post at the National Statistical Institute of Norway before embarking on a career in Norwegian politics.