NATO’s southern flank: security around the Mediterranean Sea

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The Sam Nunn School of International Affairs Distinguished Professor Robert Bell is participating in an International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) webinar on security around the Mediterranean. 

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Following Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014, among other provocative actions, NATO’s gaze has been steadily focused on its eastern flank. However, NATO’s southern flank nations have called for greater recognition of the increasing risks to the Mediterranean basin and their national interests. The subsequent emphasis on these Mediterranean issues are reflected in a variety of actions and policies affecting the littoral nations of the Mediterranean Sea, whether allies, partners or non-members. The panel will discuss the current situation in the Mediterranean and anticipated threats to stability. 


Robert Bell
Nunn School Distinguished Professor of the Practice 
CEO, National Security Counsel, LLC;
Former Senior Civilian Representative in Europe of the Secretary of Defense (2010-2017)

Dr Chloe Berger 
Faculty Adviser and Researcher, NATO Defense College

Rear Admiral Giorgio Lazio
Maritime Commander, Italian Navy


E.J. Herold
Executive Director, 
International Institute for Strategic Studies - Americas


Robert Bell is CEO of National Security Counsel, a Limited Liability Corporation consulting firm. Previously, Bell served as the Senior Civilian Representative of the Secretary of Defense in Europe and the Defense Advisor to the U.S. Ambassador to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization from 2010 until 2017. Prior to this, Bell was the Senior Vice President of Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) from 2004-2010, where he chaired SAIC’s European Executive Committee, and served as Managing Director of SAIC’s subsidiaries in Belgium and France.  In January 2010, he was selected to chair the NATO Industrial Advisory Group. Bell served as NATO Assistant Secretary General for Defense Investment from 1999-2003. From 1993-1999, Bell worked at the White House National Security Council (NSC) as a Special Assistant to President Clinton for National Security Affairs and as the NSC Senior Director for Defense Policy and Arms Control.  In 1997, he was assigned additional responsibilities as the NSC Counselor. From 1981-1993, Bell served on the Senate Committees on Foreign Relations and Armed Services, and from 1969-1975, he was an Air Force officer in the air traffic control and communications field.

Dr Chloe Berger is Faculty Adviser and Researcher at the NATO Defense College (NDC). Before joining NDC, Chloe Berger held different positions in French educational institutions, public and private, in Syria and Egypt. She worked as a consultant for risks analysis and strategic monitoring on Middle-Eastern issues (Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, and Palestine). Her research work focuses mainly on security, political and socio-economic issues in the MENA region and their implications for NATO; security issues related to MENA non-state actors and hybrid warfare; innovation and defence in the MENA region.

Rear Admiral Giorgio Lazio is the Italian Navy Maritime Commander in Northern Italy and Sardinia, based in La Spezia. He is also Vice President of the "Tender To Nave Italia Foundation" and Ministry of Defense representative in the Ligurian District of Maritime Technologies Board. Prior to this position, Rear Admiral Lazio served as Chief of Staff of the NATO Maritime Command (HQ MARCOM) from 2013-2016, and as Head of the Military Policy Office in the Cabinet of the Minister of Defence from 2012-2013. Rear Admiral Lazio has held numerous positions ashore at the Italian Defence General Staff 3rd Department (Plans & Policy), as Principal Military Assistant to the Chairman of the NATO Military Committee – Brussels from 2008-2011 and held the Naval Policy Office of the Italian Navy Staff from 2001-2006. He has assumed Command of the aircraft carrier Giuseppe Garibaldi (2006-2007) and Command first of the anti-submarine warfare frigate Scirocco (1999-2001). Rear Admiral Lazio earned, with honours, a BS in Maritime & Naval Sciences and a MA in International Strategic-Military Studies. He has been awarded several awards and decorations. 

E.J. Herold is Executive Director of IISS-Americas. E.J. comes to the IISS with broad experience from diplomatic, military, and industry roles. His duties include promoting the research and consulting programs of the Institute, as well as building IISS relationships and activities throughout the Americas. E.J. served six and a half years as Deputy Assistant Secretary-General for Defense Investment at NATO following five years with IBM in Brussels and a full career in the US Army as an Artillery Officer and Foreign-Area Officer for Europe, retiring as a Colonel. A graduate of the US Military Academy at West Point, he holds master’s degrees in foreign service (Georgetown University) and strategic studies (US Air Force Air War College) as well as equivalent degrees from the French Joint Staff (CID) and Armaments (CHEAr) War Colleges in Paris.


  • Workflow Status:Published
  • Created By:jpalacios9
  • Created:10/01/2020
  • Modified By:jpalacios9
  • Modified:10/08/2020