FAO names new director-general

by World Grain Staff
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ROME, ITALY — José Graziano da Silva of Brazil was recently elected director-general of the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Graziano da Silva 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. Graziano da Silva will succeed Senegal’s Jacques Diouf.

The election took place June 26, the second day of the biennial 191 member nation Conference of the FAO. He is the FAO’s eighth director-general since the organization was founded in 1945. The term of the new director-general starts on Jan. 1, 2012, and runs through July 31, 2015.

Graziano da Silva most recently was Brazil’s extraordinary minister of food security and fight against hunger where he was responsible for implementing the country’s “Zero Hunger” program. The program helped lift 24 million people out of extreme poverty in five years and reduced undernourishment in Brazil by 25%.

Since 2006, he has been assistant director-general at the FAO and regional representative for Latin America and the Caribbean.

Graziano da Silva received 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.
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