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Chair of the FAO Publications Board

Home Based - May require travel (Home Based)

  • Organization: FAO - Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
  • Location: Home Based - May require travel (Home Based)
  • Grade: Consultant - Contractors Agreement - Consultancy
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Communication and Public Information
    • Scientist and Researcher
    • Agriculture and Forestry
  • Closing Date: 2021-10-20

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IMPORTANT NOTICE: Please note that Closure Date and Time displayed above are based on date and time settings of your personal device

  • 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 member nations, and person 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 our values. FAO has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and FAO, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority, and discrimination
  • All selected candidates, therefore, will undergo rigorous reference and background checks
  • All applications will be treated with the strictest confidentiality
  • The incumbent may be re-assigned to different activities and/or duty stations depending on the evolving needs of the Organization

Organizational Setting

Quality technical publications and knowledge products are fundamental to support the 2030 Agenda through 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.

In this context, FAO is scaling up its efforts to harness and increase the impact of its knowledge and expertise, building on its comparative advantage, to address the complex and interconnected challenges facing agriculture and food systems.

In the framework of FAO’s mandate, FAO is setting up a new publishing governance mechanism, based on (1) an Organization-wide Publications Board to set the strategic vision and direction of FAO’s publishing programme, and to oversee and coordinate the publication plans; and (2) Editorial Committees to evaluate publication proposals, manage peer reviews and report to the Publications Board.

The Publications Board, comprising members from across the Organization, is supported by a Secretary who is the Chief of the Publications Branch (OCCP) in the Office of Communications. OCCP is responsible for the production, quality control and dissemination of FAO’s publications and knowledge products.

Reporting lines

The Chair of the FAO Publications Board reports to the Deputy Director-General with responsibility for the Office of Communications.

Technical focus

Publications governance, strategic leadership

Tasks and responsibilities

  • Lead the Publications Board and ensure that it fulfils its functions outlined in its terms of reference, in particular:
    • Strategically review FAO flagships and other key high-profile publications;
    • Review the annual publication plans (and quarterly updates if needed) of the Editorial Committees in light of programme priorities, corporate communication strategy, the strategic focus on innovation and digitalization, and FAO’s intent to rethink and strengthen science communication, bearing in mind the importance of relevance and accessibility for Members, partners and other stakeholders;
    • Based on yearly reports submitted by Editorial Committees, review selected publications to determine return on investment based on budget and publications metrics.
    • Conduct periodic evaluations of the quality and relevance of publications at the Board’s discretion, e.g. on a thematic basis or for especially high-profile, cross-cutting, or sensitive publications;
    • Based on available publishing metrics and lessons learned from the Editorial Committees reporting mentioned above, conduct an annual review of the direction, relevance, effectiveness and fitness for purpose of FAO’s publishing programme as a whole;
    • Review the Terms of Reference for any one-time or project-specific Editorial Committee that may be convened.
  • Chair four full Publications Board meetings each year, and other ad hoc meetings as needed.
  • Oversee the review of the corporate publications plan, and other periodic evaluations as may be mandated by the Publications Board.
  • Oversee an annual review of FAO’s publications programme, including an impact assessment of Publishing at FAO and a performance review of the Board itself.
  • Liaise with and guide the Secretary of the Board and working groups on specific start-up tasks, including the creation and review of guidelines and the establishment of new thematic editorial committees, as well as any other tasks/monitoring to be carried out between Board meetings.
  • Guide and review the preparation of the annual report of the Board.


Minimum Requirements

  • University degree in a field related to the work of the Organization. A PhD is considered a strong asset.
  • At least 12 years of extensive professional experience and management/strategic leadership of a high level.
  • Demonstrated knowledge and at least 10 years of experience in the field of food security, agriculture, rural development or agri-food systems.
  • Working knowledge of English (for PSA.SBS) and limited knowledge of Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish (for COF.REG).

FAO Core Competencies

  • Results Focus
  • Teamwork
  • Communication
  • Building Effective Relationships
  • Knowledge Sharing and Continuous Improvement

Technical/Functional Skills

  • Well-acquainted with FAO’s work as an Organization and as a publisher.
  • Excellent communication and facilitation skills, and demonstrated senior management and leadership track records.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of scientific and mission-driven publishing.
  • Knowledge of the impact of digital transformation on the publishing sector.
  • Experience in publishing and in serving as a board member.
  • Demonstrated experience leading and working effectively with a diverse team of people of different national and cultural backgrounds in an international setting.
  • Should the candidate have any conflict of interest or potential conflict of interest that may affect the objectivity or perceived objectivity of the Publications Board, this must be indicated in the application.

Please note that all candidates should adhere to FAO Values of Commitment to FAO, Respect for All and Integrity and Transparency

We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.

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