ROME, FEBRUARY 12 – Member states of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) are about to appoint the Fund’s new President. Three women are among the list of eight nominated candidates to inherit who collectively represent Indonesia, Mexico, Italy, Morocco, Togo, Turkey, Dominican Republic and Switzerland. The current President of IFAD is Dr Kanayo F. Nwanze, whose second term ends on 31 March 2017.
The appointment will take place during IFAD’s 40th Governing Council meeting held at the organization’s Rome headquarters on February 14 and 15. The President is IFAD’s most senior position with responsibility for leading the organization, which is both a United Nations specialized agency and International Financial Institution.
Paolo De Castro is Italy’s official candidate. He is currently Professor of Agricultural Economics and Policy at the University of Bologna. Prior to this, he served three times as Italy’s Minister of Agriculture and was special advisor to the president of the European Commission. He has been a member of the European Parliament since 2009, chairing the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development for five years.
The other candidates are:
Bambang P.S. Brodjonegoro (nominated by Indonesia)
He is currently Indonesia’s Minister of National Development Planning and was previously the Minister of Finance. He has been recognised by the President of Indonesia for his significant contributions to the nation. He has held numerous academic positions, including Dean of the Faculty of Economics at the University of Indonesia.
María Eugenia Casar Pérez (nominated by Mexico)
Most recently she served as the Executive Director of the Mexican Agency for International Cooperation and Development (AMEXCID). Previously she held the position of Assistant Secretary General, Controller, managing the strategic planning and budgeting of the United Nations Secretariat in New York. Other past positions include Chief Financial Officer at the World Food Programme and National Treasurer of Mexico.
Ismahane Elouafi (nominated by Morocco)
She is currently Director General of the International Centre for Biosaline Agriculture – an international research centre which promotes innovative ways to develop agriculture in saline and marginal areas. She has been ranked amongst the 20 most influential women in science in the Islamic world (CEO Middle East Magazine) and has been awarded the National Reward Medal by His Majesty Mohamed VI, King of Morocco.
Gilbert Fossoun Houngbo (nominated by Togo)
He was Prime Minister of Togo from 2008 to 2012. Since 2013, he has served as Deputy Director General of the International Labour Organization where he has been responsible for external programmes and partnerships. A Chartered Professional Accountant, he has extensive experience in financial management. His candidacy was unanimously endorsed by the governments of the African Union.
Rasit Pertev (nominated by Turkey)
Since 2013, he has served as Secretary of IFAD, acting as the bridge between member states and management. Prior to this, he held government and diplomatic posts including Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Energy in North Cyprus and Chief Negotiator for the UN Peace Talks in Cyprus. His candidacy was endorsed by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.
Josefina Stubbs (nominated by the Dominican Republic)
Since 2014, she has held the position of Associate-Vice President, Knowledge and Strategy Department at IFAD, where she led the design of a new impact measuring framework for improved aid effectiveness. Previously she was IFAD’s Director of the Latin America and Caribbean Division. She has also held leadership positions at Oxfam International and the World Bank.
Pio Wennubst (nominated by Switzerland)
Since 2014, he has served as the Vice-Director General of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). Prior to that, he was the Head of Development and Humanitarian Affairs in the Swiss Representation to the United Nations in New York, as well as SDC’s Head of Global Programme Food Security and Country Director of Tanzania and Madagascar.
Member states of IFAD will vote for the new President by secret ballot. In each round of voting, the candidate with the lowest number of votes will be eliminated. The President will be appointed with a two-thirds majority of the total number of votes.
More information on the voting process can be found here. (@OnuItalia)