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New FAO Director-General, José Graziano da Silva begins work officially

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José Graziano da Silva - FAO Director-General

José Graziano da Silva has formally taken the helm of affairs at the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) as the new Director-General, says the UN agency in a statement January 1, 2012.

Born November 17, 1949 Mr José Graziano da Silva who was elected in June 2011 by FAO Member countries, succeeds Jacques Diouf of Senegal, who held the post from 1994 to 2011.

Graziano da Silva is the eighth person to head the FAO and his term runs from January 2012 through July 31, 2015, the statement said.

Brazilian and Italian by nationality, Graziano da Silva holds 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. In addition, he has two post-Doctorate degrees in Latin American Studies (University College of London) and Environmental Studies, University of California, Santa Cruz, according to the FAO.

The new Director-General is said to be pushing for a renewed focus on food security, offering to scale up FAO support available to low-income and food deficit countries — especially those facing protracted crises.

Graziano da Silva will hold his first press conference as Director-General on January 3, 2012, the FAO noted.

By Ekow Quandzie

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