Since January 2004 Mark Laity has been Special Adviser on Strategic Communications to NATO's Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR), as well as a Senior Research Fellow in the Centre for Defence Studies at King's College London.
His latest jobs followed nearly four years as Deputy Spokesman and Personal Adviser to the then Secretary General of NATO, Lord Robertson of Port Ellen. In that time he was involved in many roles in both the policy and media fields. From May 2000 until April 2001 he spent almost a year as acting NATO spokesman. In May 2001 he was sent by the Secretary General to the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*. Initially, he worked as an adviser to President Trajkovski - a mark of the close personal co-operation and friendship between the Secretary General and the President.
Then in September, as the deployment of Task Force Harvest raised NATO's media profile, he became the civilian spokesman for the highly successful Operation Essential Harvest - making him a familiar face to many. He was also media adviser to Major General Gunnar Lange, the operational commander and Senior Military Representative. He remained spokesman for the handover to Task Force Fox, before returning to his normal duties in Brussels, where he has oversight of NATO's media operations in the Balkans, which have given him the opportunity to make several further visits to Skopje. Mark Laity joined NATO after 11 years as the BBC's Defence Correspondent from 1989, covering all aspects of British and international defence, including extensive experience of frontline reporting, notably in the Balkans. He covered most major conflicts of the nineties, but particularly the break-up of Yugoslavia. Between 1992 and 1998 he regularly reported from the frontline in Bosnia and Croatia, during much of the worst of the fighting. He also reported from Albania and Kosovo.
In 1999 he covered the air campaign from Nato HQ in Brussels, before reporting from Kosovo itself after KFOR entered. During this time he became a familiar face worldwide on BBC television. He had fulfilled a similar role with his reports and analysis during the Gulf war in 1990-91, when he was based in Saudi Arabia throughout the conflict, and became an ever-present voice on BBC radio. Mark was born in Truro, Cornwall, and has a BA (hons) and MA from the University of York. He is also a Senior Associate Research Fellow at the Centre for Defence Studies, at King's College, London. He is now a regular speaker to a range of international groups on military and media issues. Aged 47, and married, he is a keen sailor and part-owner of a 1907 Edwardian river yacht. Other interests include military, aviation and maritime history.
*Turkey recognizes the Republic of Macedonia with its constitutional name.