Oana Lungescu is the longest serving NATO Spokesperson (2010-2023), and the first woman and first journalist to hold the post. She directed alliance communications during the most turbulent period in a generation, providing strategic advice to two Secretaries General – Jens Stoltenberg and Anders Fogh Rasmussen. As the official responsible for NATO’s public messaging and chief speechwriter, 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 and Libya. She coordinated NATO’s 24/7 media operations, directed all media aspects of NATO summits, and engaged with media around the world. She was awarded a NATO Meritorious Service Medal in 2023.
She joined NATO after working for 25 years at the BBC World Service, where she covered EU and NATO affairs for radio, television and online in several languages. A German national, she was born in Romania under communism and joined the BBC’s Romanian Service in 1985. As European affairs correspondent in Brussels and Berlin, she reported widely across the continent, focusing on EU and NATO enlargement, the economic crisis and migration.
In 1999, she travelled to Chile and Argentina on an Onassis Bursary to report on the aftermath of military dictatorships. In 2010, she received a jury’s commendation in the UACES-Thompson Reuters Reporting Europe awards for her documentary series ‘State Secrets’, about secret police archives and finding her own Securitate files. She contributed to ‘More From Our Own Correspondent’ (2009), ‘Child of Europe: An Anthology of New East European Poetry (1991), and is featured in ‘Women Leading the Way in Brussels’ (2017). In 2016, Politico named Ms Lungescu one of the most influential women in Brussels. She is a breast cancer survivor.