Leaders for food security: visions of FAO Director General

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is a key leader and actor in mobilising action for SDG2 and as such the election for its next Director-General (DG), due to take place in June, is of great importance for those working on this goal. Chatham House will host a series of events to promote transparency throughout the FAO’s election process and stimulate public debate. The first of these events will take place on the 12th of April in Rome. 


FAO logoThe Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
is a specialized agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat hunger. Its goal is to achieve food security for all and make sure that people have regular access to enough high-quality food to lead active, healthy lives. With over 194 member states, FAO works in more than 130 countries worldwide.


Chatham House, in partnership with the Italian Institute for International Political Studies (ISPI), will organize two candidate fora that will open the FAO election process up to a wider global audience and all those interested in the FAO’s future policies and its role in the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2 and other SDGs.

The fora present an important opportunity for candidates to lay out their vision for the future of the FAO, highlight its key role within the international institutional architecture and the personal qualities they could offer in carrying this vision. Candidates will then be asked a series of questions from moderators, from members of the audience and/or questions solicited from twitter.

The first forum will take place on 12th of April 2019 in Rome to facilitate attendance by Rome-based agencies in food and agriculture as well as other stakeholders including academia, civil society and, importantly, the media. The second is intended to be held in London at Chatham House prior to the FAO Conference in June.  

A similar process was proven successful in the election for Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2016/17.  

Chatham House will publish a report after the election reviewing the election process at the FAO, including the value of the public fora. It will also consider whether there are elements in other election processes in UN agencies, not just the WHO, from which lessons can be learned relevant to the FAO.   

Register your interest in joining the first forum on April 12th in Rome.

How to engage: 

  • Register for the event or watch the webcast here. 
  • Who are the candidates for FAO Director General? Read their biographies here. 
  • Submit questions for the candidates using #FAOelection on twitter. 

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