Jacques Diouf, former director-general of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), died August 17, 2019. He was 81.

Diouf, of Senegal, began his first term at the helm of FAO in January 1994 and held the position until December 2011.

In a statement, the FAO called Diouf “an untiring advocate in the fight against poverty, hunger and malnutrition.”

“On behalf of the FAO family I wish to share our condolences to the family of Jacques Diouf who gave considerable time, passion and expertise to the cause of eradicating hunger around the world,” said Qu Dongyu, current FAO director-general, who took office on August 1.

Diouf’s efforts towards ending hunger and boosting food security and sustainable agriculture will continue to be remembered through the FAO Jacques Diouf Award. The prize biennially recognizes the best contribution to global food security.


In 2014 Diouf was made FAO Special Envoy for the Sahel and the Horn of Africa.

Prior to his tenure with the FAO, Diouf held numerous other leadership positions with agricultural organizations and agencies. He served as the director of the European Office and the Agricultural Program of the Marketing Board (Paris/Dakar), director of the African Groundnut Council based in Nigeria, the executive secretary of the West Africa Rice Development Association (WARDA), Secretary of State for Science and Technology of the government of Senegal, a member of the National Assembly of Senegal and the Senegambian Confederation, according to Wikipedia.

He also served as Senegal’s chairman of the National Assembly's Foreign Relations Committee, secretary-general of the Central Bank for West African States, which is based in Dakar. Subsequently, and was Senegal's permanent representative to the United Nations from 1991 to 1993.

José Graziano da Silva of Brazil succeeded Diouf as the FAO secretary-general. He held that position until Dongyu took office.