Dr. QU Dongyu assumed office as the Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations on August 1, 2019.
Born in 1963 to a rice-growing family in China’s Hunan Province, Dr. 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.
Before coming to FAO, Dr. 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.
Prior to his portfolio as Vice Minister, Dr. Qu served as Vice Governor for several years in China’s north-west, Ningxia, where he accomplished a number of significant projects aiming to lift millions of local residents out of poverty, and he was recognized as a big contributor to China’s anti-poverty project in that part of country.
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.
Recognized for scientific innovation as a famous scholar, Dr. Qu has for 30 years been involved in international cooperation 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 led the design of flagship South-South Cooperation projects with FAO and the World Bank.