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Chief Economist and Social Scientist, Assistant Dir. General


Posted 8 years ago


The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations or FAO have selected CARRHURE to help recruit an Assistant Director-General to head The Economic and Social Development Department (ES) and to serve as the Organization’s Chief Economist and Social Scientist, providing advice to the Organization and its governing bodies. The purpose of the role is to provide intellectual leadership and strategic guidance to ensure full delivery of all results within its mandate at the headquarters and at its decentralized levels. We seek a result-focused, strategic leader and advocate who will inspire, engage, empower and mobilize the FAO team to achieve breakthrough results.

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, provides relevant global public goods and fulfills 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 part of FAO’s senior management team, the ADG helps to ensure the coherence and quality of FAO policies, messages and works across organizational units and ensures consistency with its 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.


Position responsibilities include


  • 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 interagency meetings in the Department’s and Organization’s fields of activity.


Candidate Profile


The successful candidate should have a strong track record in managing, motivating, mentoring and communicating with staff through large, complex, cross-disciplinary, multicultural teams and stakeholders in an international setting.


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
  • Experience in academic institutions and in international settings, preferably, in IFIs, including the regions, particularly in Latin America, Asia, Africa or Near East
  • Exposure to UN Organizations.




  • Working knowledge of English, French or Spanish, and at least limited knowledge of one of the other official languages of the Organization.




  • Demonstrates intellectual and strategic leadership in relevant subject areas, and has a proven publication record in peer-reviewed outlets.
  • Demonstrates 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.
  • Excellent communication and representational skills.


Personal Characteristics


  • Result-focused and has the ability to take accountability for the delivery of agreed results in service of FAO’s strategic framework.
  • Can lead, engage and empower others with coordination, direction, facilitation and recognition while assisting and helping them realize and develop their own potential.
  • A communicator who encourages and contributes to clear and open communication.
  • Has the ability to promote ideas and develop partnerships to advance the organization’s work and continually seeks to improve his and others’ knowledge, skills and work processes.
  • A strategic thinker who makes informed and coherent decisions aligned with broader goals and strategies.

Job Features

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