Northern, Western Europe Desk Officer Lead, DIT Defence & Security Organisation

UK Government - Department for International Trade
  • Location
    (Remote) London, United Kingdom
  • Sector
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Apply by
  • Posted
    Jun 23

Position description

The Department for International Trade, Defence and Security Organisation (DIT DSO), leads across Government, on the promotion of defence and security exports. The organisation is composed of around 100 staff, including civil servants, military representatives, and industry secondees.

You will be joining the network at an exciting time, in a demanding and busy role with a high degree of autonomy and personal responsibility. The European market in defence, security & cyber is now facing one of its most challenging but exciting times. A post Covid-19 economic injection is required coupled with the opportunities presented to the UK after the transition period. Now is the time to join this exciting and dynamic market which you can help shape. 

The Eurasia Team covers the high value Northern, Western and Eastern European, Central and South Asian markets. This role will cover North West Europe and NATO. The region is complex with significant land, maritime and air opportunities where DSO is required to work in partnership with industry and other government departments to deliver high profile export campaigns. As well as direct exports, the region has several cross - European ventures which requires collaborative partnerships with neighboring countries. This is alongside a growing security and cyber sector market, with some large-scale opportunities. Our goal is to provide the Government support for industry, making critical difference to the success of campaigns. 

This high-profile role offers a unique perspective between industry, government, and international customers. It also offers excellent opportunities for development in the areas of collaborating and partnering, project management, and customer liaison. 

Working Pattern 
This is a full-time role with the option for flexible home working where possible. 

Home Working during COVID-19 
During the Coronavirus period the successful applicant will be able to start working remotely from home. As restrictions lift they may be expected to attend work in person in line with Government advice.


Key Accountabilities 
As the desk lead you will be responsible for working with your DSO counterparts overseas in the British Embassies to, initiate, develop and execute the defence and security High Value Campaigns for Northern Western Europe and NATO. This will involve campaign strategy development, programme planning and cross Government stakeholder management to represent DSO interests. You will be required to deliver quality written outputs to tight deadlines and have the ability to think strategically. 

The regions are priority markets for DSO and are important across government in terms of relationship management. Your role and responsibilities will provide you with an insight into UK industry and privileged access to sensitive commercial negotiations. You will also be required to ensure that defence and security exports are taken into consideration in wider foreign policy decision making. 

You will represent DIT DSO at exhibitions and trade missions, overseas and in the UK. You will be required to have strong communication skills and will prepare briefs and submissions for Ministers and senior officials on a regular basis, sometimes at short notice. There will be opportunities for overseas travel in this Post. 


• Making Effective Decisions: Developing options and approaches to deal with problems identified by stakeholders by outlining costs, benefits, risks and potential responses. 

• Changing and Improving: Leading on programme management for North Western Europe and NATO, ensuring value for money and best use of resources. There is considerable latitude for innovation and generating new commercial opportunities. 

• Working Together: Developing and managing stakeholder relationships, including industry, key advisers, Whitehall, and foreign customers/embassies, by recognising individual interests and objectives, and adjusting accordingly. 

• Communicating and Influencing: Ability to communicate quality advice in an accessible and succinct manner to senior management and Ministers, standing your ground when needed. 

Essential and Preferred Experience 
It is essential that the post holder is a self-starter, comfortable with developing a network of close contacts in industry and across Whitehall. The candidate will need to be able to communicate confidently with senior stakeholders both on paper and orally and be able to manage tensions between departments and stakeholders with different goals and approaches. Ideally, the candidate will also have experience and interest in defence, security and cyber, backed by an understanding of international affairs. Strong written, analytical and communication skills are vital, with the ability to look beyond surface detail and asses the strategic implications for our work. As there are multiple campaigns ongoing at any given time, the post holder will ideally be able to manage these campaigns simultaneously. 

Working across several markets that can take years for results can often be frustrating. You will need to be resilient, credible and results-oriented, with the ability to find creative solutions to complex problems. You will also need a sense of humour to manage the challenges that this exciting and varied job will throw at you. 

However, it offers a good work-life balance and there are plenty of opportunities for development. Previous holders of the role have had the opportunity to job share and to travel to a range of different markets. Many previous incumbents have utilised the role as a springboard for promotion in Trade or elsewhere across government and industry.


We'll assess you against these behaviours during the selection process:

  • Making Effective Decisions
  • Changing and Improving
  • Working Together
  • Communicating and Influencing

We only ask for evidence of these behaviours on your application form:

  • Making Effective Decisions
  • Changing and Improving

Application instructions

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