FAO gets New Boss
by Femi Peters TAV
Succeeding Senegal’s Jacques Diouf on 26 June 2011 in Rome was José Graziano da Silva of Brazil who was elected Director-General of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
Graziano da Silva, who is 61, received a total of 92 votes out of 180 votes cast, winning over former Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Ángel Moratinos Cuyaubé, who received 88 votes. There were no abstentions.
The election took place on the second day of the biennial 191 member nation Conference of FAO, which also will vote on the Organization’s budget for 2012-2013.
As Brazil’s Extraordinary Minister of Food Security and Fight Against Hunger he was responsible for implementing the country’s highly-successful “Zero Hunger” (“Fome Zero”) programme, in whose design he also played a leading role. The programme helped lift 24 million people out of extreme poverty in five years and to reduce undernourishment in Brazil by 25 percent.
Since 2006, he has served as FAO Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for Latin America and the Caribbean.
Graziano da Silva was born on 17 November 1949. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Agronomy and a Master’s Degree in Rural Economics and Sociology from the University of São Paulo as well as a Ph.D. in Economic Sciences from the State University of Campinas. In addition, he has two post-Doctorate degrees in Latin American Studies (University College of London) and Environmental Studies (University of California, Santa Cruz). Brazilian and Italian by nationality, he is married and has two children and two grandchildren. He speaks English, Spanish, and Portuguese.
Graziano da Silva is FAO’s eighth Director-General since the Organization was founded in Quebec City, Canada on October 16, 1945. The term of the new Director-General, who will succeed Senegal’s Jacques Diouf, will start on 1 January 2012 and run through 31 July 2015.