the State Secretary leading the Ministry of Defence
Based on the decision of the Government of the Republic of Croatia, State Secretary Zdravko Jakop of the Defence Ministry was authorised to head the Ministry of Defence starting on 11 November, 2023, until the appointment of a new defence minister.
Zdravko Jakop was born in 1967 in Višnjica, where he finished elementary school. He completed his secondary education at Maribor’s Technical School Centre. After graduating from the University of Zagreb’s Faculty of Transport and Traffic Sciences, he obtained a master’s degree in traffic engineering.
In 2011, he received his Master’s Degree in Political Science from the University of Zagreb, Faculty of Political Science, with a thesis on International Relations and Security. Mr. Jakop graduated from the Ban Josip Jelačić War College at the Croatian Defence Academy and completed the NATO Defense College in Rome, the highest level of training organised by NATO for senior officers.
On 31 October, 1991, he joined the ZNG’s 1st Brigade and actively participated in defending the sovereignty of the Republic of Croatia. He was a member of that brigade until February 12, 1993, when he transferred to the 7th Guards Brigade. His injuries in 1993 earned him the status of a Croatian war invalid.
He was awarded the Order of the Croatian Cross, the Order of the Croatian Trefoil, the Order of the Croatian Interlace, the Homeland War Memorial Medal, and the Homeland Gratitude Memorial Medal.
By the decision of the President of the Republic of Croatia in 2009, Mr. Jakop was promoted to the rank of Brigadier General.
Brigadier General Zdravko Jakop served as the Republic of Croatia’s Assistant Minister in the MoD since February 2016. During a closed-door part of the session held on 24 November, 2016, the Government of the Republic of Croatia decided to remove him from that role and simultaneously appoint him as State Secretary.