Brussels: NATO has appointed the highest-ranking woman in its history, naming US Under Secretary of State Rose Gottemoeller as its next deputy secretary-general. The alliance's Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg on Monday said that Gottemoeller will bring to NATO a wealth of experience in international security policy, and in areas such as arms control and relations with Russia. The deputysecretary-general is the alliance's second highest-ranking civilian official. Stoltenberg said Gottemoeller will be the first woman to hold the job, and called it a milestone in NATO. Gottemoeller now advises Secretary of State John Kerry on arms control, non-proliferation and disarmament, NATO said. She succeeds Alexander Vershbow, a former US ambassador to Moscow who has been NATO's No.2 since February 2012. NATO said Gottemoeller will take up her new position on October 1.