Oana Lungescu, principal Spokesperson for the North Atlantic Alliance (NATO) between 2010 and 2023, was appointed a Distinguished Fellow at RUSI for an initial period of three years. Oana joins RUSI’s network of Associate, Senior and Distinguished Fellows who provide a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Institute.
Oana Lungescu is the longest serving NATO Spokesperson, the first woman and the first journalist to hold this post. She has directed alliance communications during the most turbulent period in a generation, providing strategic advice to two Secretaries General, Jens Stoltenberg and Anders Fogh Rasmussen.
Her work included coordinating NATO’s 24/7 media operations, as well as planning and directing the media aspects of all NATO events, summits and ministerial meetings. In 2022, media coverage of NATO reached an estimated 5.5 billion people in over 100 countries. As the official responsible for all public messaging and chief speechwriter for the NATO Secretary General and Deputy Secretary General, she played a critical role in NATO’s approach to Russia and China, the accession of Finland and Sweden, and operations from the Western Balkans to Afghanistan. She also pioneered at NATO the concept of “pre-bunking” disinformation in the run-up to Russia’s full-fledged invasion of Ukraine.
Oana is also the first NATO Spokesperson who came from behind the Iron Curtain. A German national born in Romania, she started working at the BBC’s Romanian Service in London, becoming European affairs correspondent in Brussels in 1997, where she covered almost every EU and NATO summit. Between 2009-2010, she reported on European affairs from Berlin. She presented several BBC documentary series, including “State Secrets,” about secret police archives and finding her own Romanian secret police files. She also travelled to South America, reporting on the aftermath of the military dictatorships in Chile and Argentina.
Prior to her award as a Distinguished Fellow at RUSI, NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg awarded Oana the NATO Meritorious Service Medal, reflecting her significant contribution to the alliance’s decisive decade of transformation. Her work has also previously been recognised by Politico, which in 2016 named her as one of the most influential women in Brussels.
Drawing on her career and experience, Oana will bring unique insights to the Institute’s work, while helping shape debates on critical issues, including transatlantic relations, NATO’s future, and countering disinformation.