FAO.org

Home > Employment at FAO > Opportunities for young talents > Associate Professional Officers
Employment at FAO

Associate Professional Officers Programme

What is APO Programme?

The APO Programme offers a structured learning experience to young graduates as well as exposure to international cooperation activities in a highly specialized and challenging environment. 

FAO’s APO Programme is one of the oldest and largest within the United Nations system.  It started in 1954 and now gives nationals from different countries experience in the field of international cooperation, contributing to FAO’s mission of building a world without hunger.  

Associate Professional Officers are young people selected and sponsored by their own government  to work for FAO.  The government pays the APO's salary and benefits usually for a period of two to three years.  Some resource partners also support APOs from developing countries to ensure that there is a diversity of nationalities in the Programme.

Through a Programme of structured on-the-job learning,  APOs apply their technical specialization under the supervision of a senior FAO staff member.   This relationship is particularly useful for receiving career guidance and for ensuring that the APO contributes to the Organization's objectives.  Furthermore, APOs undertake duty travel in order to have a first-hand experience of FAO field work.  They also participate in seminars and workshops as well as training programmes within and outside the Organization. 

The APO Programme is funded under Trust Fund arrangements between FAO and resource partners. 

To formalize the partnership, a framework agreement must be concluded between FAO and the sponsoring government/institution.

Why sponsor an APO?

By funding an APO, resource partners invest in the skills of a junior professional, grooming them  for a future in international development.  Many former APOs go on to make significant contributions to their own countries as well as to the developing world. By supporting an APO, partners invest in FAO programmes. As APOs complete their assignment and advance in their career, they extend the reach of resource partners' investment beyond FAO.

Vacancies and how to apply

As most of resource partners carry out the pre-selection of candidates, application queries must be addressed directly to the relevant ministry in the donor country.

More information on the list of APO opportunities currently available and how to apply can be found here.