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Head of the NATO Representation to Ukraine Karen McTear visited Ostroh Academy

December 13, 2023

On December 13, a meeting was held between the students, academic staff of Ostroh Academy and Head of NATO Representation to Ukraine Karen McTear.

The Rector of Ostroh Academy, Doctor of Psychology, Professor Ihor Pasichnyk delivered an opening speech:

«I sincerely welcome you within the walls of Ostroh Academy. There is a tendency that some famous people visit us at the end of the year and it makes these days very special. Today there is a unique meeting with a special guest - Karen McTear, who is a legend. She has been doing a lot for Ukraine, especially now».

Head of NATO Representation to Ukraine Karen McTear noted:

«I am very glad to be here today and to have the opportunity to see so many smart students who are the future of Ukraine. Ostroh Academy has produced many talents and leaders who are currently leading the nation and the Armed Forces of Ukraine, in particular fighting against the enemy. Thank you for joining our discussion about NATO. I would also like to thank the Rector and the meeting organizers for giving me such an opportunity to visit Ostroh. This is quite important for a full understanding of Ukraine».

Ms McTear had a conversation with the students and conducted a lecture on topic «An introduction to NATO and way ahead for Ukraine».

«I believe and hope that Ukraine will become the 33rd member of NATO. Ukrainians are an incredible nation. However, it is important to understand that full membership in NATO requires the unanimity of all its members and all the conditions must be met. Certainly you have already proven that you deserve to be a member of the Alliance and I hope it will happen as soon as possible. For now, it is significant to focus on assisting Ukraine to win the war and become a stronger country. You have made great progress compared to previous years. But a lot of work still should be done and I am sure that we will succeed and we will all achieve it. Remember that you are not alone. NATO is with you. Your safety is our safety. Your values are our values. The future of Ukraine in Euro-Atlantic integration. We support you on the way to this goal. Glory to Ukraine!»,

emphasized Karen McTear

During the event, a question-and-answer discussion took place. The speaker and the audience conversed about the foundational principles of work and primary goals in the position of Head of NATO, work experience during the war, the results of the work of the representative office, etc.

«We had the opportunity to observe a good combination of excellent oratorical abilities and high intelligence. At the same time, each of us will come to the conclusion that, in order to fulfill your potential, it is necessary to have a goal and achieve this goal. We hope that the next meeting with Ms McTear will take place in peaceful Ukraine»,

added Ihor Pasichnyk.

Anna Lavreniuk, a 4th-year student of the Educational and Scientific Institute of Linguistics, Maria Vakoliuk, a 4th-year student of the Educational and Scientific Institute of Law named after I. Malynovskyi, and Yuriy Shtokaliuk, a 3rd-year student of the Educational and Scientific Institute of Social and Humanitarian Management, shared their impressions of the meeting.

«Today's meeting has been really interesting and inspiring. Hearing about the structure and goals of NATO from Head of NATO Representation to Ukraine is one of the many opportunities that Ostroh Academy once again has given us. I believe that such meetings with truly legendary personalities should be held in the future, because face-to-face communication with them motivates us to work on yourself and improve in order to work for the benefit of Ukraine in the future»,

said Anna Lavreniuk.

«Meeting with Karen McTear is an incredible opportunity for the students! It was intersting to hear about Ukraine's prospects in NATO and the ways to join the Alliance. Yes, there is a lot of work to be done, but Karen's aspiration and faith in Ukraine as a potential NATO member cannot leave any conscious Ukrainian indifferent»,

added Mariia Vakoliuk.

«I have had the honor of talking to Ms McTear today. After the lecture, I once again made sure that we are not alone in this war. "Your safety is our safety!" as Ms McTear said.It is also a big pleasure that people of such a high rank come to Ostroh Academy and communicate openly with students. It contributes to certainty of our democracy and openness to the world»,

summed up Yuriy Shtokaliuk.


Biographical note about Karen McTear:

Karen McTear was born in London on October 21, 1963 and grew up in Devon, England. She joined the Royal Navy in 1985, was appointed as a Training Management Officer in 1986 and completed her contract with the Royal Navy in September 2021. In December 2021, she assumed the position of Head of the NATO Representation to Ukraine.

Her defence and security experience focuses on military diplomacy, relationship building, stakeholder management, strategy and policy development that drive organizational transformations and changes.

Current career highlights:

  • Head of the Royal Navy Strategic Studies Centre (March 2020 – September 2021). Led a small team responsible for the creation of the Strategic Studies Centre for the Royal Navy, as well as the creation of an internal talent management scheme;
  • Deputy Director for Аdvanced Training of three types of military activity at the Defense Academy, the UK Ministry of Defence (October 2017 - October 2019). Developed and delivered an intermediate-level flagship course of the Ministry of Defence (approximately 270 students). She was responsible for all aspects of policy, programming and finance compliance, workforce management, public relations and advocacy, organizational transformation;
  • British Defense Attaché in Ukraine (August 2014 – June 2017). As a senior representative of the UK Ministry of Defense in Ukraine, she covered the policy of the UK Ministry of Defense in Ukraine, in particular the development of the potential of the Armed Forces of Ukraine;
  • Advisor on strategic and political issues to the NATO Supreme Allied Commander Transformation (SACT), USA (October 2011 - June 2013). Developed advice and held briefings to ensure the impact and unity of the NATO network;
  • Senior Military Training Advisor, Defence Technical Training Change Programme (DTTCP) (October 2009 – October 2011). The project included a major training transformation program to reduce the duration of defence technical training courses through innovative use of blended learning and technology-based learning solutions within performance, cost and time parameters;
  • NATO Mission in Baghdad, Iraq (April 2008 - November 2008). Economic Adviser to the Deputy Commander General of Multi-National Corps in Iraq;
  • Resource Management and Planning of the Royal Navy Training Business Unit (September 2005 – March 2008);
  • Assistant to the Naval Attaché, Moscow (April 2002 - July 2005).

In 2006, she was awarded the Order of the British Empire MBE.