The “NATO SPS Senior Leadership Roundtable – Information Related Hybrid Threats in South East Europe,” funded and supported by NATO-SPS Science and Security Program grant G3561 and the U.S. Office of Naval Research / Department of Defense grant N00014-17-1-2664, took place on 06-12 October 2019 in Ohrid. The goal of the event was to build partnerships in one of the most sensitive areas – resilience, especially in the area of information threats. The Project Director from NATO Member State (USA) is Prof / Dr. Itamara Lochard, the NATO-invitee Co-Director from Republic of Northern Macedonia is Prof / Dr. Metodija Dojcinovski from Military Academy, and the Co-Director from the Parntership for Peace country Bosnia and Herzegovina Dean / Prof / Dr. Nežhad Korajlić from the Faculty of Security and Criminal Sciences at the University of Sarajevo.
Approximately 70 government, civilian, and military representatives from 20 NATO and PfP member states, NATO entities, academia, and think tanks took part. This included: Albania, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Estonia, Greece, Germany, Italy, Montenegro, NATO, North Macedonia, Serbia, Slovenia, the United States, KFOR, Ukraine, United Kingdom, NATO StratCom Center of Excellence, NATO HUMINT Center of Excellence, NATO SHAPE, ICDS / RKK, and NATO HQ. In addition to the co-director from North Macedonia, other Military Academy members also served as part of the organizational committee: Dean / Prof / Dr. Orce Popovski and Lieutenant Colonel Nikola Kletnikov, MSc.
The roundtable was opened by the North Macedonian Minister of Information Society Damjan Manchevski. The keynote speaker was Mark Laity, Director of Communications at NATO Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE). Brigadier General (US – Marines) Shawn Harris of NATO-Kosovo Force (KFOR) also attended.
The following entities from North Macedonia also attended: Ministry of Defense, Army Staff, Ministry of Interior, Directorate for Security of Classified Information, Directorate for Protection and Rescue, Crisis Management Center, the Cabinet of the President of the Republic of North Macedonia and professors from the Military Academy “General Mihailo Apostolski” – Skopje, the Faculty of Security of the University St. Kliment Ohridski – Bitola, and the Faculty of Philosophy of the University St. Cyril and Methodius – Skopje.
The closing of the roundtable was by Prof / Dr. Linton Wells II, former Assistant Secretary of Defense for Network Information and Integration (ASD/NII) and Chief Information Officer responsible for the entire U.S. cyber budget, and the North Macedonian Vice Minister of Defense, Dr Bekim Maksuti.