NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen will step down from his tenure as head of the alliance on Sept. 30, 2014, according to a NATO press release.
Rasmussen took office as NATO’s 12th secretary general on Aug. 1, 2009. He led an alliance that had already spread its influence and operations beyond the borders of Europe, most notably with the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), and now with a wider role in combating the militant Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). A restive Russia and other security challenges closer to home, however, have meant that under his leadership NATO has also become more relevant than ever to the safety and security of alliance and Partnership for Peace members.
Rasmussen will say has farewells at NATO Headquarters Friday, Sept. 26.
He will meet with his closest collaborators and members of the International Staff, civilian and military, and will lay a wreath at the memorial for soldiers who have fallen in NATO-led operations. Before departing NATO HQ he will attend a farewell meeting of the North Atlantic Council.
His successor as NATO secretary general is Jens Stoltenberg, the former prime minister of Norway. Stoltenberg will take office on Oct. 1, 2014.