Hank Ort is the Director of NATO's Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation in La Spezia, Italy. He was appointed in November 2013 following his retirement from the Royal Netherlands Navy after a distinguished career spanning 38 years.
He commanded the Multi-Purpose Frigate HNLMS Van Nes and the submarines HNLMS Tonijn and HNLMS Tijgerhaai. From 2002 to 2004 he commanded the Landing Platform Dock (LPD) HNLMS Rotterdam. During this period, the ship deployed successfully as the amphibious support platform for the initial deployment of the United Nations Mission to Liberia. He also commanded the Netherlands Maritime Force with its expeditionary littoral capability. One of the highlights of this tour was his command of the International Combined Task Force 150 in the Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean as part of Operation Enduring Freedom.
His major staff tours include three years in the Netherlands Ministry of Defence as Principle Director, Information and Organisation. In this capacity he served as the first Chief Information Officer (CIO) to sit on the general Defence Board and was chair of the Defence Information Board.
In his last military position, Admiral Ort functioned as Chief of Staff of NATO's Maritime Command Northwood. At a time of profound changes in NATO's Command Structure he provided the continuity and drive critical to the successful transition to one maritime headquarters at the helm of the Alliance Maritime Enterprise.
Hank Ort is a graduate of the Royal Netherlands Naval College, completing a final Control Engineering Module at Delft University of Technology (1980). He is a graduate of the RN Submarine Command Course in 1989 (SMCC 3/89) and the Defence Staff Course of 1992, followed by a postgraduate course Business Administration at Leiden University.
Admiral Ort combines vast maritime experience gained in successive operational and administrative posts, with a genuine affinity for science and technology, and regularly participates as reviewer in the Netherlands Ministry of the Interior's Gateway Reviews.