Susanne Michaelis

Susanne Michaelis

Former Science Communication Manager, NATO’s Emerging Challenges Division

Dr Susanne Michaelis born in Germany, studied molecular biology and obtained her PhD in human genetics. Following completion of her research she joined the European Commission in 1995 as manager of one of the life science topics. 

In 1996, Susanne took up a position at NATO Headquarters in Brussels, where she worked for NATO’s Science for Peace and Security (SPS) Programme, Public Diplomacy and Emerging Security Challenges. 

Throughout her career, she initiated and managed cooperative projects on scientific priorities in NATO, with a special focus on Ukraine. Additionally, she developed strategies and concepts on emerging topics, bringing to NATO extended expert networks, increased information sharing and new partnerships.

Following extensive negotiation, she succeeded in 2004 to include NATO as a partner in the Environment and Security Initiative (ENVSEC) Initiative, under which six international organizations coordinate their environmental security activities in partner nations.

During 2007 she developed a strategy to improve the communication on NATO’s Science Programme which was implemented through NATO press releases, news stories, exhibitions and video clips. 

These included a series of interviews with GMACCC members at the NATO workshop on energy and environmental risks facing the Alliance (September 2012)

She held the newly created position of Science Communication Manager until joining NATO’s Emerging Challenges Division in August 2010 until retiring in 2019.

She was instrumental in bringing together an extensive stakeholder network to advance energy efficiency in the military. The initiative which combines research & development, awareness raising, and policy making became known as the ‘NATO Smart Energy Initiative’.

She developed the NATO-hosted Internet platform “LibGuide Smart Energy” and launched the Smart Energy Team (SENT), a group of experts supported by NATO’s Science for Peace and Security (SPS) Programme

A highlight of the Smart Energy Initiative was a multinational Smart Energy camp that Susanne set-up with support by Allied nations in the Capable Logistician exercises (2013, 215, 2016 and 2019).

Her publications include:

How NATO is making progress in energy efficiency for military forces, Eyvor Institut, Brussels, 27 February 2018

Over the past years, enhancing the energy efficiency of military forces become an increasingly prominent part of NATO’s agenda. The issue has found its way into Summit Declarations, with NATO Heads of State and Government stating their determination to “work towards significantly improving the energy efficiency of our military forces”.

Improving Security and Stabilisation Through Environmental Protection: NATO’s role in facilitating the discussion, Brussels, 2017

Ahead of the annual Military Engineering conference (London, UK, 27th February - 1st March 2018), Defence IQ sat down with Dr. Susanne Michaelis, Officer at the Emerging Security Challenges Division at NATO, to discuss the importance and challenges associated with environmental protection and security.

Making progress in energy efficiency for NATO forces, in The European − Security and Defence Union, No. 28, Bonn, Edition 2 / 2017, pp. 56-57 - co-authored by Lukas Trakimavičius

The planning of “smart energy” micro grids will become part of NATO training courses