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Deputy Director, Plant Production and Protection Division (NSP)

Rome (Italy)

  • Organization: FAO - Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
  • Location: Rome (Italy)
  • Grade: D-1, Director - Internationally recruited position - Senior Executive level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Agriculture and Forestry
    • Managerial positions
  • Closing Date: 2021-11-15

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•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 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 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.

Organizational Setting

FAO’s Plant Production and Protection Division (NSP) contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Agenda 2030, in particular the eradication of hunger, malnutrition and poverty, while preserving natural resources and the environment for current and future generations. It is a key actor in the implementation of the Organization’s Strategic Framework 2022-31, which supports its Members to meet the targets of Agenda 2030. To reach these objectives, agri-food systems must become sustainable, and underpinned by the principles of Better production, Better nutrition, a Better environment and a Better life, leaving no one behind.

In this regard, NSP’s work enables the transition to MORE efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable crop production systems through the optimization of productivity, nutritional qualities and profitability and the minimization of their environmental footprint. This requires the validation and dissemination of appropriate crop production practices, the development and harmonization of policies, and the strengthening of the institutional and human capacities for their implementation.

The thematic foci of NSP’s core activities are plant genetic resources and seeds management; crop production systems and management; plant pest monitoring and management; and pesticide risk reduction and management; and technology innovation and transformation.

This position is located in the Office of the Director, NSP.

Reporting Lines

The Deputy Director reports to the Director, NSP.

Summary of Duties and Functions

The Deputy Director will assist with the day-to-day management of the Division. He/she will support the Director in providing strategic, managerial and scientific leadership for the work of the Division and facilitate the implementation of corporate and sectoral activities. In particular, the incumbent will:

  • Support the Director in the results-based management of the Division’s human and financial resources including through strategic visioning, planning and quality assurance in order to ensure the implementation of the Division’s approved work plan in line with FAO’s Strategic Framework;
  • Empower the Teams of the Division through the timely provision of administrative and financial support and quality scientific leadership;
  • Provide advice and oversight for priority setting and the preparation, implementation and monitoring of agreed work plans of the Teams of the Division, in line with FAO’s Strategic Framework, Medium Term Plan (MTP) and Programme of Work and Budget (PWB) delivery mechanisms and implementation modalities;
  • Promote, with focus on impact at country level, the mainstreaming of cross-sectoral and multidisciplinary approaches to scale up results in order to deliver context-specific solutions to small-scale farmers;
  • Coordinate and promote communication and collaboration within and across Divisional Teams and foster a work environment conducive to efficient results-based work in order to enable the Division to deliver comprehensive solutions;
  • Contribute to the development of strategies to position FAO as a centre of excellence to promote technology and crop industry from production to value chain development and transformation, to support the transition to MORE efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable crop production and protection systems through the optimization of outputs and the minimization of negative impacts;
  • Enable a motivated and effective workforce by ensuring the recruitment of highly qualified and motivated staff and by mentoring and coaching staff and supporting their capacity development, including by implementing effective approaches for performance management;
  • Ensure effective linkages between the Division and other FAO units at headquarters as well as Regional, Subregional and Country Offices and foster synergistic partnerships through inter-agency and inter-institutional collaboration;
  • Advocate and promote the work of the Division and build partnerships with FAO Members, United Nations specialized agencies and other global, regional and national bodies, and lead the Division’s resource mobilization efforts;
  • Represent the Organization in international fora and in internal and external meetings, addressing issues relevant to crop production and protection, as necessary, and serve as Officer-in-Charge, when required, in the absence of the Director.

Additional information on the work plan can be found at the NSP Division’s website:

Minimum Requirements
  • Advanced University degree in disciplines relevant to crop production and systems. Additional qualifications in broader agricultural sciences, seed sciences, agriculture value chain/economics and/or PhD in crop science or production disciplines would be an asset;
  • At least twelve years of relevant professional experience in planning, organizing and coordinating interdisciplinary work programmes related to agricultural development, crop production or agricultural value chains;
  • Sound understanding of agricultural policies, agriculture research, development and extension systems, agriculture value chains and economics;
  • Demonstrated ability to lead resource mobilization for the implementation of agricultural development programmes;
  • Experience in providing budgetary oversight for programme delivery;
  • Analytical skills and ability to synthesize and express ideas and concepts clearly and concisely, both orally and in writing;
  • Demonstrated technical and managerial leadership and supervisory skills and a strong sense of responsibility;
  • Ability to work in a multi-cultural team and establish harmonious and effective working relationships both within and outside of the Organization;
  • Working knowledge of English and a limited knowledge of one of the other FAO official languages (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish).

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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