Jacques Diouf has been director-general of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) since 1994. A native of Senegal, he holds a doctor of philosophy in social sciences of the rural sector from the Sorbonne University, Paris. He speaks Wolof, French, English and Spanish.
Prior to becoming head of FAO, Dr Diouf was Ambassador, Senegalese Permanent Mission to the United Nations, New York; Special Adviser to the Governor, Central Bank for West African States, Dakar, Senegal; Secretary-General of the Central Bank for West African States, Dakar; Adviser to the President and Regional Director of the International Development Research Centre, Ottawa, Canada and Member of Parliament, Senegal.
Among his many decorations, Dr Diouf received, in 2007, the Commanderĺs Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary; in 2006, the Grand Cross of the Order pro Merito Melitensi (Order of Malta) and the Grand Cross of the National Order of the Southern Cross (Brazil); in 2005, the Order of Independence First Class (Jordan), the Commander of the National Order of Mali, the Hilal I Award (Pakistan) and the Grand Master of the National Order (Madagascar); and in 2004, the Order of the Golden Heart, Rank of Grand Cross (Philippines), the Order of Ulises Rojas (Guatemala), the Order of Vasco N˙˝ez de Balboa (Panama) and the Congressional Medal of Achievement (Philippines).