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Appointment of Nick Witney and Hilmar Linnenkamp

Javier Solana, EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy, announced today the appointment of Nick Witney as Chief Executive of the European Defence Agency and Hilmar Linnenkamp as deputy Chief Executive. The decision follows the unanimous endorsement by the Agency's Steering Board (Defence Ministers of participating Member States) of a proposal by High Representative Solana, who is the Head of the Agency.

High Representative Solana made the following comments:

"I am delighted by the decision to appoint Nick Witney and Hilmar Linnenkamp to these key posts. They have done an outstanding job in the Agency Establishment Team in laying the Agency's foundations. A big job awaits the Agency. The need to bolster Europe's military capabilities to match our aspirations is more urgent than ever. And so, too, the need for us to respond better to the needs of our defence industries. Given the right support from Member States, this Agency can make a huge difference. The appointment of its Chief Executive and deputy - the Steering Board's first decision - is a good start."

In conformity with the Council Joint Action establishing the Agency, the appointments are for three years. The Chief Executive acts under the authority of the Head of the Agency and in accordance with the decisions of the Steering Board. He is the head of the Agency's staff and is responsible in particular for ensuring the implementation of the Agency's work programme, preparing the Agency's draft annual budget to be submitted to the Steering Board and implementing that budget, as well as for the day-to-day administration of the Agency.

Nick Witney

Nick Witney was the leader of the Agency Establishment Team created last January. Dr. Linnenkamp was a member of that team.

Nick Witney joined the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office on leaving Corpus Christi College, Oxford (where he read Classics). After a spell on the Anglo-Soviet desk in London, he spent four years in the Middle East, the first two as an Arabic language student in Beirut and Amman, and subsequently in the British Embassy in Baghdad. He then spent four years as Private Secretary to the British Ambassador in Washington DC. Returning to London he worked on the Common Agricultural Policy in the European Community Department, before taking a secondment to the Ministry of Defence.

After a spell working on overseas defence policy in Africa and the Far East, he transferred to the Army Plans and Budgeting Division. From there he was promoted to be Director of Operations in the Saudi Armed Forces Office, responsible for the Al Yamamah defence sales to Saudi Arabia programme. In 1990, he became Director of Nuclear Policy and Security, and after three years was rewarded with a year’s sabbatical at RAND, in Santa Monica, California. Returning in 1994, he spent the next two years running the privatisation of the Ministry of Defence’s married quarters housing stock. Between 1996 and 1998 he was the UK MOD’s Director General, Management and Organisation, with a substantial involvement in the Strategic Defence Review.

In 1998 he was appointed Assistant Under-Secretary (Systems), a post which converted the following year into Director-General, Equipment, within the UK MOD’s new Equipment Capability Customer organisation (a product of the Smart Procurement initiative). His responsibilities included the Ministry’s forward Equipment Plan, and defence industrial policy.

In 2002 he became the UK MOD's Director-General, International Security Policy: particular policy responsibilities included NATO, the EU, and Missile Defence. On 1 February 2004 he was seconded to the General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union, to head the Team working on the establishment of a European Defence Agency. Interests include rugby football, sailing and modern fiction.


Dr. Hilmar Linnenkamp

Born 1944 in Koblenz, Germany.

1944 Born in Koblenz, Germany   Studied Economics, Sociology and Political Sciences at Bonn University 1967 M.A. in Economics 1971 Ph.D. in Sociology   Professional Experience 2001– MoD, Directorate General of Armaments, International Affairs 2000–2001 MoD, Policy Planning Staff 1999–2000 Director, Secretariat of the Commission on the Future of the Bundeswehr 1991–1999 Director, Department of Social Sciences Federal Armed Forces Command and General Staff Director, Department of Social Sciences Federal Armed Forces Command and General Staff 1995–1996 NATO Defence College, Rome 1988–1991 Lecturer for Conflict Research/International Relations, ibidem 1977–1987 MoD, Policy Planning Staff 1983–1984 Resident Fellow, Institute for East-West Security Studies, New York, N.Y. 1969–1977 MoD, Army Staff, Planning Division 1967–1969 Assistant Professor, University of Bonn