On June 21, 2016 the Atlantic Council hosted a private session with James J. Townsend, Jr., Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for European and NATO Policy at the US Department of Defense. DASD Townsend debriefed the latest NATO Defense Ministerial meeting held on June 14-15, just weeks ahead of the NATO Summit in Warsaw. The event gathered senior experts, former officials, and policymakers to discuss the key deliberations and decisions of the meeting, including those concerning the Alliance’s emergent “enhanced forward presence” in Central Europe, the NATO-Ukraine relationship, and NATO’s role in addressing the challenges along its southern frontier.

In his current capacity, DASD Townsend is responsible for managing the day-to-day defense relationship between the United States, NATO, the EU and the nations of Europe.