CEPA Forum 2017
Jānis Sārts
Director, NATO Strategic Communications Center of Excellence

Jānis Sārts began his career in the Ministry of Defense after graduating from the Faculty of History at the University of Latvia in 1994. Within three years, he was promoted as a director of the Defense Policy Department, where he was in charge of development and implementation of Latvia’s annual national plans for membership to NATO.

From 2002 – 2007, J.Sārts headed the Defense Section of Latvia’s Delegation to NATO and EU in Brussels. During that time, he was also a Special Advisor to Georgia on defense reforms and NATO integration plans. 

He has been a State Secretary of the Ministry of Defense, Latvia for seven years (2008 – 2015), having led the defense reforms during crisis period, developing a new state defense concept, and encouraging regional defense cooperation within NATO and the EU.

From 2012 to 2015 J.Sārts was heading the Latvian Government’s efforts to increase its security and defense in cyberspace. During this period, he was a Chair of the National Cyber Security Board, a body that is responsible for formulating and overseeing the implementation of Latvia’s cyber security policy. In addition, J.Sārts was responsible for overseeing the work of the National Information Technology Security Incident Response Institution – CERT.LV.

In July 2015 he was appointed as Director of the NATO Strategic Communications Center of Excellence, based in Riga. The Center is operating as a hub for research and testing ideas and approaches. Currently the work is done on such topics as: early signals of hybrid warfare, Russia’s and DAESH information campaigns, new trends in social media, strategic communications in administration, and other.