CEPA Forum 2018
István Szabó
State Secretary of Defense, Hungary 

His professional career began in 1983 as a Shift Commander for HDF Command and Control Regiment, right after he graduated as a military engineer from the Military Engineering College, Kaliningrad. To enhance his career, he attended General Staff Course at Zrínyi Miklós Military Academy in Budapest in 2002-2003, and the Senior Military Leadership Course (ICAF) at the National Defense University in Washington, D.C. in 2004 – 2005. In 2010, he completed the NATO Intelligence Course at the NATO School in Oberammergau, and in 2017 the Generals, Flag Officers and Ambassadors Course at the NDC in Rome.

In years 1999 - 2001, he worked as Chief Engineer at the NATO SFOR Headquarter in Sarajevo. Then between 2003 – 2006, he served as a Deputy Commander for the HDF 37. II. Rákóczi Ferenc Engineer Brigade, and as Acting Commander between 2006 - 2007. 

In years 2007 – 2009, he served as Chief of Operations Branch at the NATO Joint Force Command in Naples, Italy, then as Engineer Branch Chief between 2009 – 2011. In 2011 – 2012, he was the Deputy Chief of Staff at HDF Joint Force Command as a Brigadier General. 

He became Commander of Medical Centre of the Hungarian Defence Forces in 2014 and has been promoted to Major General.

From 2017 to 2018 he served as Deputy Chief of Defense for Coordination, when he was promoted to Lieutenant General. 

Currently he serves as State Secretary for Defense at the State Secretariat for Defense Affairs of the Ministry of Defense in Hungary.

For his service, he has been rewarded with the Peacekeeping Service Medal in 2011, the Service Medal for Home Defense (golden with wreath) in 2015, the Officer Dross of the Hungarian Order of Merit in 2016 and the Service Medal Migration Crisis in 2017, amongst many others.

He speaks English and Russian. He is married with two children.