The Senior Civilian Representative carries forward the Alliance's political-military objectives in Afghanistan, representing the
political leadership of the Alliance in Kabul officially and publicly. He liaises with the Afghan Government, civil society, representatives of the international community and neighbouring countries.
Ambassador Stefano Pontecorvo of Italy assumed duties as the NATO Senior Civilian Representative in Afghanistan on June 1, 2020.
Ambassador Stefano Pontecorvo is the former Italian Ambassador to Pakistan, where he served until February 9, 2020. In this capacity, he closely followed Pakistan's involvement in regional politics, with a particular focus on Afghanistan and Pakistan's role in recent developments.
From January 2013 to October 2015, Amb. Pontecorvo served as Diplomatic Advisor to the Italian Defence Minister, serving under Minister Giampaolo di Paola; Minister Mario Mauro and Minister Roberta Pinotti. In this capacity, Ambassador Pontecorvo closely followed events in Afghanistan due to the large military contingent Italy has in the country, and the Italian role as Framework Nation in the region of Herat, travelling often to Herat and Kabul.
He also served as Deputy Head of Mission in the Italian Embassy in London (2010–2012), as Deputy Director General for Sub Saharan Africa in the Italian MFA (2009-2010) and as Deputy Head of Mission in the Italian Embassy in Moscow (2007-2009).
From 2005 to 2007 Ambassador Pontecorvo was Chief of Staff of the State Secretary for Europe, Senator Roberto Antonione, and Chief of Staff of Vice Minister for Africa and Development Cooperation, Hon.le Patrizia Sentinelli.
He also held the position of Head of the Financial Division of the Directorate General for Development Cooperation (2004-2005).
In his earlier career, he held various positions in Brussels, in the then-EU Council General Secretariat (1997-1999) as Head of the Balkans Desk in CFSP, then attached to the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe as Head of the Table responsible for Stability and Security in the Balkans (1999-2001) and was finally posted to the Italian Permanent Delegation to the EU, where he served as RELEX Counselor and Deputy PSC Representative from 2001 to 2004.
Ambassador Pontecorvo served as political counselor at the Permanent Delegation of Italy to NATO from 1992 to 1995 and subsequently (1996-1997) as PA to the Secretary General of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Boris Biancheri.
His first posting abroad was as second secretary in the Italian Embassy in Moscow (1988-1992), whereas in Rome he has served, at the beginning of his career, at the Directorate General for Personnel (1985-1986) and on the NATO Desk of the Directorate General for Polical Affairs of the Italian MFA (1986-1988).
Ambassador Pontecorvo is appointed "Commendatore" of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic (OMRI).
Ambassador Pontecorvo replaced Ambassador Nicholas Kay of United Kingdom, who had been in the post since March 2019.