event 19 oct. 2020

Vacancy // Director, Land and Water Division at FAO

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Rome, Italy, is currently looking for a Director, who is responsbile for the sustainable management of the Nexus sectors land and water resources.



Job Type: Staff Position

Type of Requisition: Senior-level

Grade Level: D-2

Location: Rome/ Italy

Duration: Fixed term: two year with possibility of extension

Application Deadline: Ongoing, ASAP

Application: Jobs at FAO

Organizational Setting

The Land and Water Division (NSL) aims at enhancing agricultural productivity and advancing the sustainable use of land and water resources through improved management, development and conservation of natural resources. It addresses the challenges member countries face in ensuring productive and efficient use of land and water resources in order to meet present and future needs for agricultural products, and ensuring the long-term sustainability of these resources in both quantity and quality terms. It promotes the equitable access to these natural resources with a view to enhancing productivity, supporting livelihoods and resilience, and providing ecosystem services. The Division provides assistance to member countries in developing policies, programmes, best practices and tools in the fields of irrigation and drainage, soil and water conservation, drought mitigation, flood prevention, water governance, natural resource access, and supports the overall achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Reporting Lines

The Director, Land and Water Division (NSL) works under the policy guidance and the general supervision of a Deputy Director- General.

Summary of Duties and Functions

The Director, Land and Water Division, NSL Director is responsible for the effective planning, development and implementation of FAO’s programme and policies in the field of sustainable management, use and conservation of natural resources, in particular on land, soils and water resources for food and agriculture. Specifically, the Director will:

  • Advise the Deputy Director-General and, as necessary, other divisions/offices at headquarters and Decentralized Offices on policies in the fields of sustainable land, soils and water management, water development and irrigation.
  • Provide leadership and vision for the Organization’s programme on land, soils and water, strategies and technologies for sustainable development, natural resources management, and applied development of scientific and technical excellence to promote sustainable agriculture.
  • Exercise overall management responsibility, including planning for the Division’s programme of work, ensuring quality control, progress monitoring and reporting, promoting coherence between of FAO policies related to land, soils and water resources in countries and regions; harmonizing with other FAO programmes, ensuring the technical quality of the normative and operational work and ensuring cost-effective use of financial and human resources, within the framework of the FAO Strategic Framework and the Medium Term Plan, as per results-based management.
  • Provide direction, supervision and guidance to staff, maintaining a motivated workforce and fostering a work environment conducive to efficient and effective results-based teamwork, including by ensuring the recruitment of highly qualified staff.
  • Ensure sound technical expertise on land, soils and water resources development and management, including international policy and frameworks and act as focal point for the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).
  • Promote the use of geographic information systems and remote sensing for the assessment and monitoring of land, soils and water resources, in close collaboration with the FAO Geospatial Hub.
  • Develop programmes and projects for external funding and identify, build and maintain partnerships.
  • Leverage and promote innovation, science and technology in the land, soil and water sectors, in cooperation with public, private, academia and civil society and in coordination with FAO’s Chief Scientist.
  • Lead the liaison and coordination with, and supply information and support to FAO Members, UN and specialized agencies, other global, regional, and national bodies including civil society, and the various segments of the Organization on land, soils and water development and management.
  • Represent the Organization in high-level meetings and other relevant events dealing with the Division’s mandate of activities and advocate FAO’s policy position with respect to the areas under his/her mandate and communicate its messages.
  • Oversee and deal with the management of risk in the division, ensuring that any significant control weaknesses are addressed or escalated.
  • Perform other related duties as required.

Minimum Requirements

  • Advanced university degree (Masters or PhD) in land, soils or water resources management, natural resources, environmental sciences, agriculture or related fields.
  • Proven intellectual, managerial and technical leadership of a high order in the relevant subject areas.
  • At least fifteen years of experience in sustainable management of natural resources, integrated land use, policy advice in land, soils and water matters and intergovernmental consultations.
  • Proven experience in programme and project development, leading successful resources mobilization and partnerships.
  • Working knowledge of English and limited knowledge of another FAO official language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish).
  • Ability to lead and work effectively with a diverse team of people of different national and cultural backgrounds in an international setting.

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 adheres to the UN common system of salaries, allowances and benefits. General information regarding salaries and allowances can be found at the International Civil Service Commission Web site: http://www.un.org/Depts/OHRM/salaries_allowances/salary.htm

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