Director, NATO StratCom COE
Since July 2015, Jānis Sārts serves as Director of the NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence, based in Riga. The Centre is a multinational, cross-sector organisation, which provides comprehensive analysis, advice and practical support to the Alliance and allied nations.
As a recognised expert in strategic communications and emerging technologies Jānis Sārts has presented his views to Parliaments of the Federal Republic of Germany, France and Spain. In 2017, he testified before the Senate of the United States on Russia’s disinformation aims and practices. He is a regular speaker at the international conferences on the subjects of disinformation, social media impact and national security aspects of emerging technologies.
Jānis Sārts began his career in the Ministry of Defence in 1994. Over a 20 year career, he has served as Policy Director, Head of the Defence Section of Latvia’s Delegation to NATO and EU and Special Advisor to Georgia on defence reforms and NATO integration plans.
Before taking up his position at the Centre of Excellence, he was State Secretary of the Ministry of Defence, Latvia for seven years (2008 – 2015). During this period, his responsibilities included oversight of defence reform, introduction of new capability development programmes as well as raising management efficiency across armed forces structures.
From 2012 to 2015 J.Sārts was Chair of the National Cyber Security Board. He was responsible for formulating and overseeing the implementation of Latvia’s cybersecurity policy, as well as increasing Latvia’s resilience against cyber-attacks during its EU Council Presidency in 2015.
Jānis Sārts holds a degree in History from the University of Latvia, has graduated from the NATO Defence College and has interned at the Swedish Defense Research Agency. He has received numerous state awards for his contribution to defence reforms, fostering Latvia’s membership to NATO and hosting the NATO Summit in Riga.
He has also contributed to a number of publications: Valker K. and Kupce I. (Eds.) “Nordic-Baltic-American Cooperation: Shaping the US-European Agenda” (Center for Transatlantic Relations SAIS, 2012); “Securing Digital Natives” in “Freedom, Security, Privacy. The Future of Childhood in the Digital World” (5Rights Foundation, 2020) and “Disinformation as a Threat to National Security”, in: Jayakumar S., Ang B., Anwar N.D. (Eds.) “Disinformation and Fake News” (Palgrave Macmillan, Singapore, 2020).
Foreign Interference in the Heart of Europe – conversation with Mr.Jan Havranek, Deputy Minister for Defence Policy and Strategy, Ministry of Defence and Armed Forces, Czech Republic and Director of NATO StratCom CoE Mr. Jānis Sārts