Current Interns


Mr. Patrick “Paddy” Considine (34, USA) began his CCOE internship at the Concepts, Interoperability and Capability (CIC) Branch in March 2017. There he will be supporting the syndicate Development and Planning of the Community of Interest (COI) conference to be held in Riga, Latvia in mid-May. Additionally, he will be using this opportunity to gain a better understanding of the role of CIMIC in development contexts to support his thesis paper project.

“Paddy” is currently in the second (and final) year of his postgraduate program at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland. There he is studying a Masters in Development Practice (MDP) program, which is part of a network of 31 similar postgraduate programs worldwide. The MDP program, created by special economic advisor to the Uited Nations (UN), Jeffrey Sachs, provides students an interdisciplinary approach to sustainable development and the challenges inherent to the UN Sustainable Development Agenda 2030. Prior to moving to Dublin, he lived and worked in Germany for almost nine years within the US Army.

Additionally, “Paddy” has a “second life” – as a Major in the United States Army Reserves. As a reservist, he has been a Civil Affairs officer (US version of CIMIC) for almost seven years. Prior to joining the Reserves, he was a full-time Soldier in the Infantry for five years. His undergraduate program was at the US Military Academy in West Point, New York. “Paddy” has spent almost 16 months total working in Afghanistan and has Civil Affairs experience supporting various exercises and training events across Europe and Tanzania.

In his off-time, he loves to travel – having visited 45 countries across 5 continents. As the “sole American” at the CCOE, “Paddy” understands the need to be an ambassador for his country and takes this responsibility seriously. Originally from the great state of Oklahoma, he was taught at an early age to never turn down a potential new friend or life experience. Therefore, he is extremely excited to be at the CCOE!

“Paddy” – thanks for being here!

All the way from Baku

Ms. Lala Mustafazade (29, Baku, Azerbaijan) began her CCOE internship at the Concepts, Inter-Operability and Capability (CIC) Branch in February 2017. She will research the role, the responsibilities and the challenges faced by NATO CIMIC in response to natural disasters. Together with the branch staff, she will develop doctrinal products elaborating on the required NATO CIMIC contribution for disaster management.

Ms. Mustafazade studied at the University of Leiden, where she obtained a Master’s Degree in ‘Crisis and Security Management’ in 2016. She wrote her thesis on the humanitarian response to natural disasters by comparing the disaster responses to the Haitian and Nepalese earthquakes. She obtained her bachelor degree in “Regional Studies” from the Western University in Azerbaijan.

Lala has prior hands-on experience in the field of crisis and disaster management. Before joining CCOE, she worked at the Ministry of Emergency Situations of the Republic of Azerbaijan. In that role she developed strategies to strengthen the co-operation between the Ministry and the various international organizations, while working on international projects, aimed to enhance the national capacity for disaster preparedness and risk reduction.

She attended various programs and seminars on civil security, civil emergency planning and disaster risk reduction at the NATO School in Oberammergau (Civil Emergency Planning Course), the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies (Seminar on Transatlantic Civil Security), and at the European Union Eastern Partnership Program (England, PPRD course).

“It is not our abilities that show what we truly are. It is our choices.” (J. K. Rowling)

Ms. Andrada Balan (Romania, 29) commenced with her internship at the Training & Education (T&E) Branch of the CCOE in February 2017. In that role, she will particularly support the development of the ongoing e-learning program, with focus on our new NATO CIMIC Strategic Planning Course (NCSPC). In addition, she will be active in the transfer of knowledge from the ACO (Allied Command Operations) Civil-Military Cooperation Functional Planning Guide into interactive and engaging learning experience for students.

Before joining the CCOE, Andrada entertained traineeships at Europol in The Hague (2016), and the European Commission in Brussels (2014). At Europol, she successfully handled the corporate stakeholder management and cross-departmental cooperation in the Governance Department within the Office of the Director. At the European Commission, she supported the work of the Directorate General for Communication, organizing information visits (i.e. tailored short conferences) for medium to high level groups of members of national parliaments, civil servants, journalists and students from the EU and worldwide.

She is a strong believer in the power of information and communication when used correctly and smartly, by putting effective communication at the core of all personal and business interactions and cooperation.

Having worked for a year for international consulting power house Accenture, she became accustomed to the importance of a client-oriented business culture, establishing trust beyond just contacts as the basis of lasting relationships with all stakeholders.

A dedicated historian by training, she later specialized in International Relations (IR), focusing on foreign policy, security and defence, and diplomatic-military cooperation. In latter fields, she holds a Master’s Degree in this field from the University of Bucharest (2011) and a second one in Diplomacy and IR from the Diplomatic School of Madrid (part of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs), in 2012.

In her free time she reads about Spanish & Latin American contemporary history and confesses to be a social media and music “addict”.


Ms. GIORGIA GRECHI (23, Italy) launched her CCOE internship within the Lessons Learned and Development Branch (LL/Dev) in October 2016. Her main tasks will be the preparation, execution and evaluation of the Lessons Learned workshop for tactical CIMIC units. This will be done in close cooperation with the Multinational CIMIC Group. She will also support the development of a Lessons Learned module in the NATO CIMIC Higher Command Course and in the selection of a suitable case study.

Giorgia  graduated in “International Studies and European Institutions” at the University of Milan, just as current CCOE intern Monica de Astis, who is working in the Public Affairs department of the CCOE.  Currently, she is a Master’s student in International Cooperation and Development at the “Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore” in Milan. During her academic career she developed a strong interest in various related subjects: international law, human rights, international relations and post-conflict and emergency management.

Before joining the CCOE, Giorgia engaged in varied opportunities to develop her professional credentials. In 2013, she worked as an intern in “Law and Human Rights” in Cordoba (ARG), where she conducted research for her thesis on the violation of human rights during the last military dictatorship in Argentina. In October 2015 she attend the “Functional Specialist Course” at the Multinational CIMIC Group in Motta di Livenza (ITA). Finally, in the summer of 2016 she worked in Haiti, in a neighborhood on the outskirts of the capitol Port-Au-Prince, on issues in “Cooperation and Development”.

Civil-Military Cooperation Centre of Excellence

Ms MONICA DE ASTIS (23 years, Italy) has started an internship within the Public Affairs Office. Her main focus will be the general improvement of CCOE’s current website, the focal information point where CIMIC interested civilians and Militaries can meet and inform about CCOE and Civil-Military Cooperation. She will also support the Public Affairs Office in the organization of events and in other tasks.

Graduated in ‘International Studies and European Institutions’ in December 2014 at the University of Milan, with a thesis about the role of Europol against organized crime, Monica gained an internship at EUROPOL (European Law Enforcement Agency – The Hague) some months later. She worked for half a year in the Office of the Director focusing her attention on stakeholder management and cross-departmental cooperation.

In 2011 Monica started to collaborate with a local newspaper in Milan and, by working constantly on her articles, she became journalist. Besides current news, culture, local politics and economics she writes about anti-mafia and organized crime as well, both for her blog ‘Nomos&Caos’ and for specialized online magazines.

During her university career in Milan she studied ‘Sociology of Organized Crime’, subject of her final thesis and directly linked to her social activism: Monica is indeed part of the Italian anti-mafia movement, organizing and taking part to activities aimed at increasing public awareness of organized crime’s impact on society.