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Isabel Alexandra Ribeiro Gomes Ferreira Nunes van Nieuwburg

Curriculum Vitae

 On the 31 March 2022 was appointed (Acting) Director of the National Defense Institute.

She holds a PhD in Political Science from the University of Twente and a post-doctorate in International Relations from the University of Groningen (The Netherlands). She has a Master degree in Strategy from the Instituto Superior de Ciências Sociais e Políticas, Universidade Técnica de Lisboa and a degree in History from the Faculty of Arts of Lisbon. She is a researcher at the External Relations Observatory of the Universidade Autónoma de Lisboa.

She was Deputy Director of the National Defense Institute between September 2006 and September 2008.

Between 2002-2005 she was a research fellow of the Foundation for Science and Technology with the research project “Multilevel Role Prescriptions - Portugal, NATO and the Common Foreign Security Policy” leading to her PhD and between 2008-2011 with the project “Operationalization and Implementation of Common Security and Defense Policy CSDP) - Connecting Competences and Power” in a post-doctoral framework. She was a research fellow at the Department of International Relations and International Organization of the University of Groningen (The Netherlands) between 2009 and 2011. Between 1999-2001 she was a NATO fellow, under the NATO-EAPC Individual Fellowship, with the research project “The Transatlantic Link and the European Defense and Security Identity in the Mediterranean Context”.

In 1994, she received the National Defense Prize for the best research work (master thesis) on the title “Outlining a Portuguese Diplomatic Strategy - Portugal in the Second World War”.

She was auditor of the National Defense Course at the National Defense Institute between 1995-1996

Since 2011, she has been Head of the Center for Studies and Research (CEI) of the National Defense Institute and advisor to that same institute, with areas of expertise in European foreign, security and defense, foreign policy of small states and theories of International Relations.

She represents the National Defense Institute at the Executive Academic Committee and is the director of the Course “Civilian Aspects of Crisis Management” within the framework of the European College of Security and Defense. 

At the National Defense Institute, she has been directing the National Defense Course since 2012.

Between November 1996 and September 2006, she served as Head of Division of the Research Department of the National Defense Institute.

Between 1991 and 1996, she worked at the Department of International Relations - Division of Multilateral Relations, of the General Directorate of National Defense Policy, Ministry of Defence.

In 1989, she joined the Ministry of Defense where she worked as an advisor for international relations at the Secretary of State for National Defense Cabinet of the XI Constitutional Government.

Her latest publications include (2021) “European Union: Strategic Compass”; (2021) “Prospects for Euro-Atlantic cooperation”; (2018) “European Defense Cooperation”; (2017) “The British Referendum and European Security and Defense” (2017) “Comprehensive Approach in Crisis management: A literature review” and (2016) “International regimes as an analytical tool”.

On December 18, 2018, she received the 1st class National Defense Medal awarded by the Minister of Defense.