The Science and Technology Board (STB)
The 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 Bryan Wells, NATO Chief Scientist
As of 1 July 2019, the North Atlantic Council (NAC) appointed Chief Scientist is
Dr. Bryan Wells (UK). In this role, he has three major responsibilities. First,
he serves as Chair of the NATO Science and Technology Board (STB). In this
context, 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
Science and Technology (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. Wells was the UK Ministry of
Defence’s Head, of S&T Policy, Strategic Research and International Engagement.
His responsibilities included the provision of strategic policy advice on the
international and research aspects of the Ministry’s science and technology
Additionally, he has recently completed a three-year term (2016-2018) as Chair
of the European Defence Agency’s Research & Technology Steering Board.
Dr Wells joined the UK Ministry of Defence in 1988. He served as Assistant
Private Secretary to the Secretary of State for Defence 1989-1992, and has held
a range of other posts, including Deputy Director of NATO Policy 1997-1999, and
Director of Counter-Proliferation and Arms Control 2002-2008. During 1999-2002
he was on secondment to the Lord Chancellor’s Department (now the Department of
Justice) as Head of Administrative Justice.
Dr Wells was educated at St Catherine’s College, Oxford (1978-85) and Merton
College Oxford (1985-1988). He graduated BA(Hons) in Chemistry in 1982 and was
awarded a DPhil in 1985. He conducted three years post-Doctorate research at
Oxford University as a Junior Research Fellow at Merton College.
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: