Born in 1944, Admiral Giampaolo Di Paola graduated from the Italian Naval Academy in 1966.
He served in his naval carrier on board submarines frigates and aircraft carriers commanding all three types of units.
With the rank of Rear Admiral (lower half) in 1994 he was assigned to the Defence Staff in the Ministry of Defence where he became Chief of the Directorate of Defence Policy.
From 1998 to 2001, with the rank of Rear Admiral, he assumed the position of Chief of the Cabinet Office of the Ministry of Defence. On the 1st of January 1999 he was promoted Vice Admiral.
In March 2001 he was appointed Secretary General of Defence / National Armaments Director.
He was promoted Admiral on 10 March 2004 on becoming Chief of Defence, position held until February 2008
On 27 June 2008, he became Chairman of the NATO Military Committee, Nato top senior military Post that he held until 16 Nov 2011.
On 18 Nov 2011 he was appointed Minister of Defence of Italy under Government Monti, position that he held until 26 April 2013. Under his tenet the Italian Parliament approved the Law of reform and reorganization of the Italian Military.
Admiral Di Paola holds a degree in Strategic and Military Sciences and an “ad honorem” Master degree in Sciences.