The Science and Technology Board (STB)

NATO's Science and Technology Board MeetingThe Science & Technology Board (STB) constitutes the highest authority within the Science and Technology Organization (STO), and is the policy body tasked by the North Atlantic Council (NAC) through the Conference of National Armaments Directors (CNAD) and Military Committee (MC) to carry out the mission of the STO.

It operates under the following provisions:

  • The composition of the S&T Board will consist of up to three members from each NATO member state, who may be chosen from government, industry, or academia, appointed by national governments. Each nation will have one vote. Decisions shall be by consensus.
  • The Chairman of the S&T Board will be NATO Chief Scientist. The Chairman shall derive his authority from the S&T Board. He will account to the S&T Board for all actions which he may take in accordance with this Charter and the decisions taken by the S&T Board. The Chairman will be assisted by two Co-Vice-Chairmen appointed from the International Staff (IS) and International Military Staff (IMS) on recommendation of the CNAD and the (MC), in consultation with the Secretary General.

The STB fulfils the following strategic roles:


Leadership of the STO is exercised by a single authority, the Chief Scientist, in three roles:

a) Chairperson of the STB;

b) Senior scientific advisor to NATO leadership;

c) Head of the Office of the Chief Scientist.

Dr Thomas Killion, NATO Chief Scientist

Office of the Chief ScientistAs of 1 October 2016, the North Atlantic Council (NAC) appointed Chief Scientist is Dr Thomas Killion (USA). In this role, he has three major responsibilities. First, he serves as Chair of the NATO S&T Board (STB). In this role, he serves as the STB's representative to the Secretary General and the NAC and is responsible to the STB for the effective coordination of NATO's S&T program. Second, he serves as the senior scientific advisor to NATO leadership, ensuring that appropriate and timely S&T based advice is provided to NATO senior decision makers. Finally, he leads the Office of the Chief Scientist at NATO Headquarters.

Prior to his appointment as Chief Scientist, Dr. Killion was the Director of Technology at the Office of Naval Research within the U.S. Navy, where he was responsible for policy, planning, resourcing and execution management for a substantial portion of the Department of the Navy (DoN) S&T budget, including the Future Naval Capabilities (FNCs), Innovative Naval Prototypes (INPs), DoN Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR), and DoN Manufacturing Technology programs.

Prior to ONR, he served as the Director of the Biometrics Identity Management Agency (BIMA) from 2010 to 2012, executing the Secretary of the Army’s Executive Agent responsibilities for Department of Defense (DoD) Biometrics. He led DoD activities to program, coordinate, integrate and synchronize biometrics technologies and capabilities, and operated and maintained the DoD authoritative biometrics database.

From 2004 to 2010, Dr. Killion served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Research and Technology [DAS(R&T)]/Chief Scientist. In this position, he was responsible for developing an S&T strategy responsive to Army needs, from the near-term (<5 years) stretching out through the far-term (>20 years). He was also the principal scientific advisor to both the Secretary of the Army and the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology. In support of major acquisition programs, Dr. Killion was responsible for providing independent assessments on the readiness of critical technologies for weapon systems programs approaching key program decision points, both to Army leadership and to DoD decision makers.

Dr. Killion was initially selected for Senior Executive Service in 2002, initially serving as the Director for Personnel Technologies in the Office of the Army Deputy Chief of Staff, G-1, and then as the Director of Technology in the Office of the DAS(R&T).

Dr. Killion earned dual Bachelor of Arts degrees in Psychology and English from St. Mary’s College, Winona, Minnesota, in 1974. He received his Master of Science degree and PhD in Experimental Psychology from the University of Oregon in 1977 and 1978, respectively. He was awarded the Meritorious Executive Presidential Rank Award in 2006 and the Army Exceptional Civilian Service Award in 2010.

Office of the Chief Scientist (Brussels)The Office of the Chief Scientist

The Office of the Chief Scientist (OCS), located at NAT HQ in Brussels, supports the NATO Chief Scientist in his/her role as the Chairperson of the Science and Technology Board (STB) and the Senior Scientific Adviser to NATO Senior Leadership. The different functions of the Office are depicted in the figure below: