James J. Townsend Jr. is Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for European and NATO Policy, responsible for managing the day-to-day defense relationship between the United States, NATO, the EU and the nations of Europe. Before taking up his current position, Mr. Townsend was a Vice President of the Atlantic Council of the United States and Director of the Council’s Program on International Security. Mr. Townsend joined the Atlantic Council after a distinguished career at the Pentagon and at NATO. In the 1990s, he was the Principal Director of European and NATO Policy (2003-2006), the Director of NATO Policy (2002-2003) and the Director of the Defense Plans Division at the US Mission to NATO in Brussels, Belgium (1998-2002). Before beginning his tour at NATO, Mr. Townsend served for eight years (1990-1998) as Deputy Director of European Policy. From 1990 – 1994, Mr. Townsend was the Country Director for Northern Europe. Prior to his service on the European Policy staff, Mr. Townsend worked in the Defense Security Cooperation Agency as a Country Director for European security assistance and as the assistant to the DSCA Comptroller.