The EDA Steering Board today appointed Jiří Šedivý, former Czech Defence Minister, as new EDA Chief Executive upon recommendation of the Head of the European Defence Agency Josep Borrell. He will take office in April 2020.
Jiří Šedivý has extensive experience in the defence domain, having served as Defence Minister of the Czech Republic (2006-2007), Deputy Defence Minister (2010-2012), NATO Assistant Secretary General for Defence Policy and Planning (2007-2010) and Permanent Representative of the Czech Republic to NATO (2012-2019). He also was Deputy Minister for European Affairs of the Czech Republic (2007). On 1 September 2019 (and until today), Mr Šedivý was appointed by the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs as special representative for resilience and new threats.
“Jiří Šedivý’s ministerial and diplomatic experience as well as his deep practical knowledge of the European and transatlantic security and defence realm make him the ideal candidate to lead the European Defence Agency in the coming years. We need a strong and supportive European Defence Agency to ensure coherence and focus on agreed joint priorities in the implementation of our defence initiatives. I am certain Jiří Šedivý will provide this leadership”, Josep Borrell said.
Mr Šedivý has a distinguished academic background. He is a graduate of Charles University, Prague, where he earned a PhD in Political Science, and of King’s College, London, where he earned an MA in War Studies. From 2004 to 2006 he was Professor of Security Studies at the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies, lecturing on such topics as defence sector transformation, civil-military relations and national strategy making.
Between 1999 and 2004, he was Director of the Institute of International Relations in Prague, Assistant Professor of International Relations at Charles University, Prague, and Professor of European Security at New York University, Prague Centre. As an expert, he played an important role in the Czech Republic’s accession to NATO. It was during this period that he also served as external adviser to President Václav Havel.