Senior Economist

FAO, Rome, Italy

Skill Required:, Research and Analysis
Preferred Experience: 
Above 10 Years
Closing Date for Applications: 
27th October, 2020

Job Description

Organizational Setting

The Markets and Trade Division monitors and analyses trends in international, regional and national agricultural commodity markets, collecting and disseminating comprehensive market and policy information concerning the major traded commodities and those important to food security. It also undertakes forward-looking outlook studies, covering both the short- and medium-term. The Division analyses issues that affect global food and agricultural trade, including policy analysis of trade measures and agreements, and provides technical support and capacity development to member countries in all these areas. Through its Global Information and Early Warning Service, the Division is also responsible for FAO's early warnings on food shortfalls and food security problems. The Division houses the secretariats of the Committee on Commodity Problems (CCP), the Intergovernmental Commodity Groups (IGGs), and the G20 Agricultural Market Information System (AMIS).

The position is located in the Markets and Trade Division (EST)

Reporting Lines

The Senior Economist reports to the Division Director.

Technical Focus

The Senior Economist will lead the work of the Markets and Trade Division on trade and related issues. The work focuses on support Members on trade policy and trade agreements by providing information, analysis and evidence-based policy recommendations; supporting capacity development; and facilitating policy dialogue on food and agricultural trade issues.

Key Results

Leadership and conceptual thinking for the development and implementation of comprehensive technical, statistical and/or analytical frameworks to support the programme of work and related products, projects and services in accordance with the FAO Strategic Framework.

Key Functions

  • Plans, manages, or leads highly specialized or multi-disciplinary teams, leads, coordinates, and/or participates on Organization-wide, cross-divisional committees, project teams, and working groups, and/or provides technical leadership/secretariat services on technical networks and/or international technical policy and standard setting bodies.
  • Analyses global and country specific requirements as well as agricultural, economic, social, environmental factors to provide critical input into the FAO Strategic Framework, Programme of Work as well as Detailed Work Plans and the supporting budgets and/or resourcing strategies.
  • Implements and monitors work programmes involving the conception and development of comprehensive statistical and/or analytical frameworks including early warning, medium and long term plans and strategies, leading edge tools, methods, systems and databases, critical indicators, and/or policy models, etc.
  • Oversees and reviews data collection, validation, analysis and reporting activities to support the development of technical standards, international instruments, innovation, FAO flagship publications/yearbooks, and/or on-going programme development as well as technical and/or policy advisory services.
  • Provides technical and policy advice to Member Countries and technical support to decentralized offices in the development and implementation of their programmes of work.
  • Plans, organizes and participates in capacity development activities involving the provision of advice, technical assistance projects, training workshops, seminars, and meetings as well as oversees the development of related materials, on-line tools and information kits.
  • Represents the Organization at international/inter-governmental meetings and conferences, advocates strategic partnerships, best practices, and increased policy dialogue and develops and negotiates effective working relationships/consensus and agreements with international and national partners.
  • Leads and/or participates in resource mobilization activities in accordance with the Corporate strategy.

Specific Functions

  • Leads, plans and coordinates the work of the Division on trade and related emerging issues and manages the human and financial resources of the Trade team, including the supervision and implementation of the team's programme of work.
  • Leads the development of technical and normative products, namely economic analyses and related evidence-based policy guidance.
  • Prepares and leads the preparation of studies and reports on agricultural trade, market developments and emerging issues, and ensures quality contributions to FAO's publications and reports on related issues.
  • Provides country-level support in the formulation of trade policies and strategies and backstopping missions to projects.
  • Prepares and leads the preparation of notes, speeches and statements for senior management on specific topics related to agricultural trade, commodity markets, food security, and related policy issues.
  • Advises and develops new initiatives and projects in global food and agricultural trade and policies, and contributes to raising voluntary financial contributions.
  • Advises on development of new methods and tools for improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the work.
  • Raises the visibility of the Division's work, including through participation in relevant meetings and conferences.
  • Develops and implements strategic partnerships and promote collaborative work, including joint reports and publications, in the area of agricultural trade and related issues.
  • Performs other tasks and duties as required.

Minimum Requirements

  • Advanced university degree in economics, agricultural economics or a related field.
  • Ten years of relevant experience in the economic analysis of agricultural commodity markets and trade policies and in the provision of policy support.
  • Working knowledge of English and limited knowledge of another FAO official language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish).


  • Results Focus.
  • Leading, Engaging and Empowering Others.
  • Communication.
  • Partnering and Advocating.
  • Knowledge Sharing and Continuous Improvement.
  • Strategic Thinking.

Technical/Functional Skills

  • Work experience in more than one location or area of work, particularly in field positions is essential.
  • Extent and relevance of experience in supporting countries in the design of trade policies and the formulation and implementation of agricultural trade agreements including at managerial level.
  • Extent and relevance of experience in the analysis of agricultural trade, trade policies and commodity markets, and in preparing policy studies and reports.
  • Demonstrated ability to handle large data sets, strong quantitative skills to analyse trade data.
  • Extent and relevance of experience in capacity development activities and in organizing international meetings, seminars and workshops.
  • Extent of knowledge of relevant methods and tools in the area of agricultural trade, trade data and policies.
  • Established ability to develop project proposals and mobilize financial resources.


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