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Assistant Director-General, Economic and Social Development Department (ES); Coordinator for Economic and Social Development

Summary of Duties and Functions

The Economic and Social Development Department (ES) of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) aspires to be a global centre of excellence in providing policy relevant information and analysis in support of the achievement of FAO’s Strategic Objectives of ending hunger and rural poverty, while making agriculture and food systems inclusive and sustainable, and rural livelihoods resilient. The Department analyses trends and policy issues related to food and agriculture, and keeps member countries and the global community up to date about the latest economic and social developments related to food and agriculture and their policy implications. It leads the Organization’s work on food and agriculture trade and markets, food systems, agricultural and rural development policies, food security, nutrition, social protection, gender and women’s empowerment, equity, rural employment, rural organizations, statistics, governance and policy support. The Department’s analytical work informs the Organization’s policy support to Member Countries to achieve its Strategic Objectives, provide relevant global public goods and fulfill other mandated corporate responsibilities. The Department supports FAO’s role as the foremost authoritative source of standards and methods as well as of timely and reliable data and statistics on hunger, nutrition, food and agriculture. It is responsible for monitoring global progress and prospects for eliminating hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition, producing a number of FAO flagship publications, serving as secretariat for the Committee on Commodity Problems and the G20 Agricultural Market Information System (AMIS), and advising on governance challenges faced by the Organization.
As head of the Department, the ADG provides intellectual leadership and strategic guidance to ensure full delivery on all results within its mandate at headquarters and at decentralized levels. As part of FAO’s senior management team, the ADG helps to ensure the coherence and quality of FAO policies, messages and work across organizational units as well as consistency with corporate goals and programmes. He/she sets an example for a positive, innovative and productive work culture within the Department and the Organization. The ADG serves on corporate teams to advance the Organization’s objectives, and facilitates strategic partnerships with external organizations. More specifically, the ADG:

  • Assists and advises the Director-General on all matters of policy or other subjects related to the Department’s mandate;
  • Serves as the Organization’s Chief Economist and Social Scientist, providing advice to the Organization and its governing bodies, and ensuring that the Organization’s major undertakings are sound from an economic and social perspective;
  • Ensures timely and adequate collection, analysis and dissemination of information, and the development of policies, strategies and guidelines in the Department’s areas of competence and responsibility;
  • Exercises overall management responsibility for all Department activities, programmes and sources of funds;
  • Provides quality assurance, ensures delivery of results and formulates the Department’s programme of work and budget proposals for the Director-General’s consideration;
  • Coordinates planning and implementation of the Department’s budget and human resources in line with the Organization’s Strategic Framework, results framework and programme of work,
  • Participates in and supports implementation of the corporate resource mobilization strategy;
  • Coordinates Departmental inputs to FAO’s Governing Bodies’ sessions, and monitors the responses by the Department to decisions and recommendations in its areas of competence and responsibility;
  • Serves as spokesperson for the Organization, as appropriate, at policy, technical and inter-agency meetings in the Department’s and Organization’s fields of activity.

General Requirements

  • Advanced university degree in economics or related social sciences (PhD or equivalent preferred)
  • At least 15 years of increasingly responsible professional experience in the economic and social analysis of development issues, including field experience on issues relevant to the post.
  • Demonstrated intellectual and strategic leadership of relevant subject areas, and a proven publication record, including in peer-reviewed outlets.
  • Demonstrated mastery of results-based management approaches and of managing programmes and budgets to achieve and track progress towards high impact results that respond to client needs.
  • Strong track record in managing, motivating, mentoring and communicating with staff through large, complex, cross-disciplinary, multicultural teams and stakeholders in an international setting.
  • Excellent communication and representational skills.
  • Working knowledge of English, French or Spanish, and at least limited knowledge of one of the other official languages of the Organization.

Leadership Competencies

Results focus: Takes accountability for the delivery of agreed results in service of FAO’s strategic framework - Leading, engaging and empowering others: Coordinates, directs, facilitates and recognizes team efforts; creates an enabling environment and assists others to realize and develop their potential - Communication: Encourages and contributes to clear and open communication - Partnering and Advocating: Promotes ideas and develops partnerships to advance the Organization’s work - Knowledge sharing and continuous improvement: Continually seeks to improve the knowledge, skills and work processes of oneself and others - Strategic thinking: Makes informed and coherent decisions aligned with broader goals and strategies.
Please note that all candidates should adhere to FAO values of Commitment to FAO, Respect for all and Integrity and Transparency.


FAO adheres to the UN common system of salaries, allowances and benefits. General information regarding salaries and allowances can be found at the International Civil Service Commission Web site:

How to Apply

To apply, visit the iRecruitment website at and complete the on-line application. Only applications received through iRecruitment will be considered.
Vacancies will be removed from iRecruitment at 23:59 Central European Time (CET) on the deadline for applications date. We encourage applicants to submit the application well before the deadline date.
If you need help, or have queries, please contact:

Assistant Director-General, Economic and Social Development Department (ES); Coordinator for Economic and Social Development