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Qu Dongyu
Director-General, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

Qu Dongyu, who took office on 1 August 2019 as Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), has spent his life working on how to make sure the world is fed. Born in 1963 to a rice-growing family in China’s Hunan Province, Qu studied horticultural science at Hunan Agricultural University and then plant breeding and genetics at the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences. He later added environmental science to his knowledge portfolio while earning a PhD at Wageningen University, in the Netherlands. He then progressed through a range of national and international activities, engaged simultaneously in science and management, all during a time when China’s reform and opening-up process led the country to dramatically reduce poverty and hunger. His vision is founded on the belief that freedom from hunger is a basic human right, and that in the 21st century we have the capability to eradicate chronic food insecurity. While challenges loom, Qu’s cardinal principle is that “problems can also be the source of progress”. Before coming to FAO, Qu served as China’s Vice Minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, where one of his achievements was to promote inclusive and innovative development and make sure information and communication technologies (ICT) were available in rural areas so that more than 400 million farmers could use their smartphones as a new farming tool. That vision has been consistent across a professional career that includes periods in central and local government, in and leading research institutes, and as a human resources leader at the China Three Gorges Project Development Corporation, a $40 billion investment project. Qu has for 30 years been involved in international exchanges and orchestrated major events including the World Potato Congress, the International Rice Congress and the International Conference on Plant Protection, and participated in multilateral initiatives such as the World Trade Organization and the G20 as well as numerous bilateral initiatives involving Asia, Africa and Latin America. He has also directly helped design flagship South-South Cooperation projects with FAO and the World Bank. His motto is “Simple life, but not simple work”. More information Website – www.fao.org Twitter – @FAODG Facebook – UNFAO LinkedIn – company/fao


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