István Szabó

State Secretary, Ministry of Defense, Hungary

István Szabó is the State Secretary at the Ministry of Defense of Hungary. He attended the Kaliningrad Military Engineering-Technical College where he received his diploma as a military engineer of fortification construction in 1983. Mr. István Szabó completed the Military Science Course at the Zrínyi Miklós Military Academy in 1995 where he also accomplished a STANAG English language course. Between 2002 and 2003, he attended the General Staff Course in Hungary and in 2004 he graduated from the Senior Military Leadership Course (ICAF – nowadays the Eisenhower School) at the U.S. National Defense University (Washington D.C.). Mr. István Szabó completed the NATO Engineering Staff Officer Course in 1995, the NATO Peace Support Operations Course in 2008, the NATO Intelligence Course in 2010 in the NATO School, Oberammergau, and attended the Generals, Flag Officers and Ambassadors Course in the NATO Defense College, Rome in 2017.


He began his military career as a shift commander in the rank of First Lieutenant. In the years that followed, he held the positions of Head of Department, Chief, and Commander of various military units. From 1999 to 2001, he served as Chief Engineer at NATO SFOR HQ in Sarajevo. Between 2007 and 2009, he was the Chief of Operations Branch and from 2009 to 2011 he served as the Chief of the Engineer Branch at the NATO Joint Force Command in Naples. He also served as the Deputy Chief of Staff at the Hungarian Defense Forces Joint Force Command then between 2012-2017 as the Commander of the HDF Medical Center. Afterwards, in 2017-2018 he was the Deputy Chief of Defense for Coordination. In 2018, following his promotion to Lieutenant General, he was appointed State Secretary for Defense.


During his career, he received numerous medals, including the Officer Cross of the Hungarian Order of Merit in 2016.


Mr. Szabó speaks English and Russian.

© 2020 by the Center for European Policy Analysis