Laurent Thomas is Deputy Director-General at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). He is responsible for FAO’s operations and the management of its business practices to achieve the highest level of efficiency possible within the Organization.
In this role he supervises the activities of the Office of Support to Decentralized Offices, the Organization’s Corporate Services Department, the Information Technology Division, the Human Resources Division, FAO’s Investment Centre, and the Division for Conference, Council, and Protocol Affairs. He also oversees FAO’s emergency and resilience work. Prior to this position, he was Assistant Director-General leading FAO’s Technical Cooperation and Programme Management Department. In this role, he was responsible for overseeing the Senior Directors’ team in charge of Strategic Programme Leadership; programming investment in food security, agriculture and rural development; preparing for and responding to food and agriculture threats and crisis; mobilizing resources including through South-South cooperation partnerships; and administrating FAO’s Technical Cooperation Programme.
He is an agro-economist by training and has over 35 years of experience in development and humanitarian assistance issues. Throughout his career, he has worked on the challenges of food and agriculture systems transformation. Before joining FAO headquarters, he worked for over a decade in developing countries on farming systems research and agriculture extension.
With FAO for more than 28 years, he has held positions of increasing managerial responsibility in technical advisory services, investment programming, oversight of the Organization’s Decentralized Offices’ network and the management of programmes to help contribute to eliminating hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition; make agriculture forestry and fisheries more productive and sustainable; reduce rural poverty; enable inclusive and efficient agricultural and food systems; and increase the resilience of livelihoods to disasters.