Deputy Director, Land and Water Division

United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)

Rome, Italy 🇮🇹

Job Posting: 27/Feb/2024
Closure Date: 27/Mar/2024, 12:59:00 AM
Organizational Unit: Land and Water Division (NSL)
Job Type: Staff position
Type of Requisition: Senior-level
Grade Level: D-1
Primary Location: Italy-Rome
Duration: Fixed term: two years with possibility of extension
Post Number: 0072575
CCOG Code: 1R01

• 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 persons 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.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) contributes to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda through the FAO Strategic Framework by supporting the transformation to MORE efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable agrifood systems, for better productionbetter nutritiona better environment, and a better life, leaving no one behind.

Organizational Setting

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) contributes to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda through the FAO Strategic Framework by supporting the transformation to MORE efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable agrifood systems, for better production, better nutrition, a better environment and a better life, leaving no one behind.

The Land and Water Division (NSL) of FAO foresees a future whereby governments, development partners, civil societies, academic institutions, and the private sector and farmers, all work together to ensure that land, soil, and water resources are wisely used, conserved, and restored for sustainable and resilient agrifood systems that support food security, nutrition, and human wellbeing. NSL provides policy guidance, technical and financial assistance to Members in developing policies, programmes, best practices, and management tools for ensuring productive and efficient use of land, soil and water resources to meet present and future demands for agricultural products, while ensuring the long-term sustainability of these resources. It promotes equitable access to and sustainable management of these natural resources with a view to enhancing productivity, livelihoods, equity, health and ecosystem services.

Under the new FAO Conceptual Framework for integrated land and water resources management, NSL will work towards a core set of five integrated and strategic objectives and action areas that have been elaborated to cut across the thematic areas of land, water, soils, and geospatial areas of work of the Division: (1) Good governance; (2) Wise use and restoration; (3) Mitigation and resilience; (4) Integrated solutions; (5) Data, digitalization, technology and innovation.

The position is located in the Land and Water Division (NSL) at FAO headquarters in Rome, Italy.

Reporting Lines

The Deputy Director reports to the Director, NSL.

Summary of Duties and Functions

Under the overall guidance of the Director, Land and Water Division (NSL), the Deputy Director will assist with the day-to-day management of the Division. She/he will support the Director in providing strategic, managerial and technical leadership for the work of the Division and to facilitate the management of corporate, divisional and inter-divisional activities. In particular, the incumbent will:

  • Support the Director in the overall management responsibility including planning for the Division’s programme of work, ensuring quality control, progress monitoring and reporting, promoting coherence between FAO works on 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;
  • Handle day-to-day matters in the absence of the Director;
  • Represent NSL on behalf of the Director internally and externally, as needed;
  • Coordinate and advise technical teams in the preparation, implementation, monitoring and reporting of work plans within the FAO Strategic Framework; stimulate and guide discussion of substantive matters in relevant teams of the Division;
  • Promote innovation, science and technology, in particular geographic information systems and remote sensing, in the land, soil and water sectors, in cooperation with public, private, academia and civil society;
  • Ensure effective collaboration with other divisions, centres, other units of the FAO headquarters, and decentralized offices, on technical and managerial issues related to land, soil and water;
  • Support the liaison, communication and coordination with FAO Members, UN agencies, other global, regional, and national bodies including civil society; identify and analyse opportunities for enhancing support to FAO Members in the areas of work of the Division;
  • Develop programmes and projects, develop strategic partnerships and mobilize extra-budgetary resources for delivering the strategic objectives pertinent to the Division;
  • Enable a highly motivated and effective work force through effective recruiting, mentoring and coaching, supporting staff’s career development and capacity development, and managing performance;
  • Perform other related duties as required.


 Minimum Requirements

  • Advanced university degree in land, soils or water resources management, natural resources, environmental sciences, agriculture or related fields; a PhD in land, soil or water resources management is highly desirable.
  • Minimum twelve years of postgraduate professional experience in natural resources management with focus on land, soil or water;
  • Proven experience in programme and project development for land, soil or water management, leading successful resources mobilization and partnerships;
  • Proven management competency and leadership in leading effectively a diverse team of people of different national and cultural backgrounds in an international setting;
  • Proven competency in working with multi-stakeholders, mobilizing partnership and resources for works in land, soil and water resources;
  • Working knowledge (proficient – level C) of English and a limited knowledge (intermediate – level B) of  another FAO official language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish).

Leadership CompetenciesResults 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.GENERAL INFORMATION• FAO reserves the right not to make an appointment.• Appointment will be subject to certification that the candidate is medically fit for appointment, accreditation, any residency or visa requirements, and security clearances. CONDITIONS OF SERVICEA competitive compensation and benefits package is offered. For information on UN salaries, allowances and benefits,click on the following link: benefits, subject to eligibility, include:- Dependency allowances- Rental subsidy- Education grant for children- Home leave travel- 30 working days of annual leave per year- Pension fund entitlements under the UN Joint Staff Pension Fund- International health insurance; optional life insurance- Disability protectionFAO encourages a positive workplace culture to increase inclusivity and diversity within its workforce. FAO appliesmeasures in which all staff members contribute equally and in full to the work and development of the Organization. This includes:- elements of family-friendly policies- flexible working arrangements- standards of conduct. 


• To apply, visit the recruitment website at Jobs at FAO and complete your online profile. We strongly recommend that your profile is accurate, complete and includes your employment records, academic qualifications, and language skills
• Candidates are requested to attach a letter of motivation to the online profile
• Once your profile is completed, please apply, and submit your application
• Please note that FAO only considers higher educational qualifications obtained from an institution accredited/recognized in the World Higher Education Database (WHED), a list updated by the International Association of Universities (IAU) / United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The list can be accessed at
• Candidates may be requested to provide performance assessments and authorization to conduct verification checks of past and present work, character, education, military and police records to ascertain any and all information which may be pertinent to the employment qualifications
• Incomplete applications will not be considered
• Personal information provided on your application may be shared within FAO and with other companies acting on FAO’s behalf to provide employment support services such as pre-screening of applications, assessment tests, background checks and other related services. You will be asked to provide your consent before submitting your application. You may withdraw consent at any time, by withdrawing your application, in such case FAO will no longer be able to consider your application
• Only applications received through the FAO recruitment portal will be considered
• Your application will be screened based on the information provided in your online profile
• We encourage applicants to submit the application well before the deadline date.

Selection for this position will follow a transparent and very competitive process which may entail different steps, including submission of written test/essay, different stages of interviews (with managers and high-level panel), and a presentation on a given topic relevant to the role.

 If you need help or have queries, please create a one-time registration with FAO’s client support team for further assistance:






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