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Deputy Director, Office of Innovation


  • Organization: FAO - Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
  • Location: Rome
  • Grade: Senior Executive level - D-1, Director - Internationally recruited position
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Innovations for Sustainable Development
    • Managerial positions
  • Closing Date: Closed

• FAO is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality, background and culture
• Qualified female applicants, qualified nationals of non-and under-represented Members and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply
• Everyone who works for FAO is required to adhere to the highest standards of integrity and professional conduct, and to uphold FAO's values
• FAO, as a Specialized Agency of the United Nations, has a zero-tolerance policy for conduct that is incompatible with its status, objectives and mandate, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination
• All selected candidates will undergo rigorous reference and background checks
• All applications will be treated with the strictest confidentiality
• FAO staff are subject to the authority of the Director-General, who may assign them to any of the activities or offices of the Organization.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) contributes to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda through the FAO Strategic Framework by supporting the transformation to MORE efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable agri-food systems, for better production, better nutrition, a better environment, and a better life, leaving no one behind.

Organizational Setting

The Office of Innovation (OIN) is an important instrument within FAO to provide strategic direction and help drive and coordinate innovation across the work of the Organization, i.e. to consolidate and strengthen FAO's innovative spirit, including the innovation of approaches and cooperation models. OIN supports the Programme's Priority Areas, ensuring that FAO mainstreams innovation in its programmes, facilitates cross-collaboration between the various FAO units, and aids in forging and reinforcing transformative partnerships.

The position is located in the Office of Innovation (OIN) at FAO headquarters in Rome, Italy.

Reporting Lines

The Deputy Director reports to the Director of the Office of Innovation (OIN).

Summary of Duties and Functions

Under the overall guidance of the Director of the Office of Innovation (OIN), theDeputy Director will support the management responsibility for the Division, including strategic vision, advice, planning, and implementation of the Division’s programme of work as well as the efficient management of its human and financial resources.In particular, he/she will\:

  • Assist the Director in preparing the work programme of OIN, determining priorities, and allocating resources for the completion of outputs and their timely delivery.
  • Support the scaling up of innovative work across the Organization, including mechanisms to promote and incentivize innovations, supporting the implementation of the Science and Innovation Strategy.
  • Provide leadership in upscaling FAO’s innovation and acceleration programme.
  • Oversee the planning, management, and coordination of selected OIN workstreams.
  • Provide strategic advice and direction for developing and implementing OIN’s Communication Strategy to effectively communicate OIN’s work within and outside the Organization.
  • Co-ordinate and oversee the preparation of reports for presentation to FAO Governing Bodies in particular on budget/programme performance or on programmatic/ substantive issues, as appropriate.
  • Foster effective dissemination and promotion of FAO Innovations, lessons learned, and learnings, enhancing OIN’s visibility and demonstrating the impact of its work.
  • Support effective internal communication within OIN and promote knowledge sharing, intra-office cooperation, and learning.
  • Collaborate with innovation centres of other relevant international organizations and with FAO’s innovation teams at headquarters and Decentralized Offices.
  • Promote the application of innovative approaches in programme and project management and resource mobilization efforts.
  • Contribute to strengthening partnerships and engage with the public and private sectors, civil society, academia, and research centres.
  • Contribute to supporting FAO’s corporate resource mobilization strategy.
  • Lead, coordinate and/or participate in Organization-wide working groups or committees.
  • Represent OIN and/or participate in international, regional or national meetings and provide programmatic/substantive expertise on issues or hold programmatic/substantive and organizational discussions with representatives of other institutions.
  • Contribute to the efficient and effective management of OIN’s financial and human resources.
  • Manage day-to-day matters when the OIN Director is absent and, in this capacity and as needed, liaise with relevant stakeholders.
  • Perform other duties as required.


Minimum Requirements

  • Advanced University degree in economics, business administration, social sciences, political sciences, or entrepreneurship, and innovation or other related fields.
  • Minimum twelve years (12) of relevant experience in innovation management within the public or private sector;
  • Ability to lead and work effectively with a diverse team of people of different national and cultural backgrounds in an international setting;
  • Demonstrated experience in leading innovation, modernization, and digitalization of processes, instruments, and systems;
  • Demonstrated management and strategic leadership skills;
  • Proven analytical abilities and excellent writing skills as demonstrated in past work products (analytical reports, quantitative analysis, operative models, and/or published papers);
  • Demonstrated knowledge and experience in the field of Agriculture and Food Systems;
  • Demonstrated experience in resource mobilization, including coordinating project proposals for funding and interacting with donors and funding agencies;
  • Working knowledge (proficient – level C) of English and limited knowledge (intermediate – level B) of another FAO official language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish).

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 reserves the right not to make an appointment.
• Appointment will be subject to certification that the candidate is medically fit for appointment, accreditation, any residency or visa requirements, and security clearances.
A competitive compensation and benefits package is offered. For information on UN salaries, allowances and benefits,
Other benefits, subject to eligibility, include\:
-Dependency allowances
-Rental subsidy
-Education grant for children
-Home leave travel
-30 working days of annual leave per year
-Pension fund entitlements under the UN Joint Staff Pension Fund
-International health insurance; optional life insurance
-Disability protection
FAO encourages a positive workplace culture to increase inclusivity and diversity within its workforce. FAO applies
measures in which all staff members contribute equally and in full to the work and development of the Organization.
This includes\:
-elements of family-friendly policies
-flexible working arrangements
-standards of conduct.
• To apply, visit the recruitment website at Jobs at FAO and complete your online profile. We strongly recommend that your profile is accurate, complete and includes your employment records, academic qualifications, and language skills
• Candidates are requested to attach a letter of motivation to the online profile
• Once your profile is completed, please apply, and submit your application
• Please note that FAO only considers higher educational qualifications obtained from an institution accredited/recognized in the World Higher Education Database (WHED), a list updated by the International Association of Universities (IAU) / United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The list can be accessed at http\://
• Candidates may be requested to provide performance assessments and authorization to conduct verification checks of past and present work, character, education, military and police records to ascertain any and all information which may be pertinent to the employment qualifications
• Incomplete applications will not be considered
• Personal information provided on your application may be shared within FAO and with other companies acting on FAO’s behalf to provide employment support services such as pre-screening of applications, assessment tests, background checks and other related services. You will be asked to provide your consent before submitting your application. You may withdraw consent at any time, by withdrawing your application, in such case FAO will no longer be able to consider your application
• Only applications received through the FAO recruitment portal will be considered
• Your application will be screened based on the information provided in your online profile
• We encourage applicants to submit the application well before the deadline date.

Selection for this position will follow a transparent and very competitive process which may entail different steps, including submission of written test/essay, different stages of interviews (with managers and high-level panel), and a presentation on a given topic relevant to the role.

If you need help or have queries, please create a one-time registration with FAO’s client support team for further assistance\: https\://


This vacancy is now closed.
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