Jānis Garisons is the State Secretary of the Ministry of Defense of Latvia since August 2015 (No. 2 in the Ministry of Defense). In this capacity Mr. Garisons has overseen rapid defense budget and capabilities increase, to prepare the country for the challenges it faces. In his previous position, as the Undersecretary of State – Policy Director in Latvia’s Ministry of Defense, he was an architect and organizer of Latvia’s defense policy, defense planning and international operations’ policy, both nationally as well as representing Latvia within the NATO, the EU, and other international forums. He joined the Ministry of Defense after a distinguished career at the Latvia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where he served as the Director of the Security Policy Department. In his 9 years in foreign service, he was also dealing with arms control issues, Russia and CIS, and was posted as the First Secretary at the Embassy of Latvia in Oslo, Norway. In 2014 he received an MA in Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College. Earlier he received an MA in History from the University of Latvia. In 2007 he has received a State Award.