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Jacques Diouf in 2008
Jacques Diouf (born 1 August 1938) is a Senegalesemarker diplomat with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. He has served as Director-General of FAO since replacing Edouard Saouma of Lebanonmarker in January 1994.


Diouf attended primary and secondary school in his native Saint-Louis, Senegal. He then traveled to Francemarker, where he earned a bachelor of science in Agriculture from the Ecole nationale d'agriculture, Grignon-Paris Institut National Agronomique Paris-Grignon, a Master of Science in Tropical Agronomy from the Ecole nationale d'application d'agronomie tropicale, Nogent-Paris (France), Doctor of Philosophy in Social Sciences of the Rural Sector from the (Agricultural Economics) from the Faculté de droit et de sciences économiques, Panthéon - Sorbonnemarker, Paris.


Beginning in 1963 at the age of 25 , Diouf was the Director of the European Office and the Agricultural Program of the Marketing Board (Paris/Dakar. Leaving that position in 1964, Diouf became the Director of the African Groundnut Council based in Nigeriamarker from 1965 to 1971. From 1971 to 1977 Diouf was the Executive Secretary of the newly created West Africa Rice Development Association (WARDA) (now Africa Rice Center). Leaving WARDA in 1978, Diouf became the Secretary of State for Science and Technology of the government of Senegal under both Léopold Sédar Senghor and his successor Abdou Diouf until 1983. In that year he became a member of the parliament of Senegal and the Senegambian Confederation. In Senegal, he was chairman of the foreign relations committee. From 1985-1990, Diouf became the Secretary-General of the Central Bank for West African States, which is based in Dakar. From 1991-1993, he was the Senegalese ambassador to the United Nations.

On 8 November 1993, Diouf was elected Director-General of FAO and in January 1994 began his first six-year term. Diouf has been re-elected twice and currently is serving his third six-year term which began in January 2006.

Other functions

During his career, Dr Diouf has also held other positions of responsibility, including:

  • Representative of Africa to the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research, Washington, D.C. (USA)
  • Member of the Board of International Agricultural Centres: ICRAF, Nairobi (Kenya), ISNAR, The Hague (Netherlands), IITA, Lagos (Nigeria), as well as the International Institute of Scientific Research for African Development, Adiopodoum√© (C√īte d'Ivoire)and the International Foundation for Science, Stockholm (Sweden)
  • Member of the Council of the Islamic Foundation for Science and Technology for Development, Jeddah (Saudi Arabia)
  • Member of the Advisory Committee on Medical Research and the Committee on Transfer of Technology. Member of the Expert Advisory Panel on Public Health Administration and Medical Research, World Health Organization, Geneva Switzerland)
  • Member of the Council of African Advisers of the World Bank, Washington, D.C. (USA)
  • Adviser to the International Conservation Financing Project of the World Resources Institute, Washington, D.C. (USA)
  • Member of the Board of the United Nations University‚Äôs World Institute for Development Economics Research, Helsinki (Finland)
  • Member of the Executive Board of the African Capacity Building Foundation, Harare Zimbabwe)
  • Chairman of the Board of the African Regional Centre for Technology (ARCT), Dakar Senegal), the Industrial Company for the Uses of Solar Energy, Dakar (Senegal) and the Board of the Foundation for Development of Science and Technology, Dakar (Senegal)

Honors and Criticism

Diouf has received multiple honors from governments around the world, including the Légion d'honneur in Francemarker as well as numerous governments across Africa and Latin America.

In May 2006, a British newspaper published the resignation letter of Louise Fresco, an Assistant Director General of FAO. In her letter, the widely respected Dr Fresco criticised Mr. Dioufs management style: "I am sad that you have isolated yourself so much from most senior managers. Combined with a lack of transparency in decision making, you have stimulated a culture of silence, rumors and even fear." Furthermore she stated that "the Organisation has been unable to adapt to a new era", that "our contribution and reputation have declined steadily" and "its leadership has not proposed bold options to overcome this crisis".

Interfaith activities

In 2009, he took part in a special synod for Africa organized by the Catholic Church in Rome, even though Diouf is a Muslim. The synod discussed several pastoral issues that are not directly related to religion, and which involve cooperation between the Catholic Church and the United Nations, such as food security, the status of African health care, and attempts to solve conflicts and achieve peace on the continent.

Sources and notes

  1. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Dr. Jacques Diouf curriculum vitae (
  2. Resignation letter of Louise Fresco, ADG, FAO, Guardian Unlimited, 14 May, 2006, [1]
  3. La Croix article

External links

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