FAO Awards

B.R Sen Award

Recognising the outstanding performance of field officers during country assignment.

The B.R Sen Award is presented to field officers who have made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of countries where they are assigned.

FAO field officers are true examples of what a knowledge organization with its feet on the ground is all about.

The B.R. Sen Award was established by FAO in 1968 to honour the hard work of staff in the field and in recognition of the role of former Director General (1956 – 1967) B.R. Sen, who transformed FAO from a study organization to a development agency.

Any international field project officers, national professional officers (NPOs), FAO officers in regional and sub-regional offices, and FAO representatives who have served under an FAO programme during the year for which the Award is presented, is eligible for nomination. The Award also recognizes overall career achievements.

In addition to an inscribed medal and a scroll describing the field officer’s achievements, the winner is presented with a cash prize of USD 5, 000 during an awards ceremony at FAO headquarters in Rome. 

The call for nominations is now closed! Winners will be announced in June.

Basic Criteria

All nominees should have made an exceptional and evident contribution to the advancement of the country or countries where they were assigned, in particular in the fields of sustainable agricultural and rural development or food security. This could include technical innovations in agriculture, fisheries or forestry; institutional or administrative improvements; discoveries of new resources as a result of research, surveys or other investigations; establishment of training and research institutions; or achievements in any of the many other tasks assigned to FAO personnel. 
Nominations should be submitted by FAO professional staff, national institutions, FAO Representatives, counterparts to FAO Representatives d or UNDP Resident Representatives.

2019 Winners

The B.R. Sen Award for 2017 is granted to Serge Tissot from Belgium. The Award for 2018 was presented to Salah El Hajj Hassan from Lebanon.

Serge Tissot is recognized for his outstanding leadership, which contributed to the remarkable transformation of the agricultural sector in a country with one of the hardest operating environments in the world. The vision of bridging emergency and resilience for sustainable agricultural development was successfully achieved in just two years through his technical expertise. He has demonstrated dedication and strong ability to deliver, increase FAO visibility and build strategic partnerships.

Salah El Hajj Hassan is nominated for his exceptional contribution to addressing food security, rural development and humanitarian challenges in conflict-affected country. His achievements in Yemen are an inspiration to other FAO staff working in high-risk and extremely challenging conditions, to have their efforts recognized. A combination of innovative programming and robust operations by his team has enabled FAO to make a difference to the lives of millions of Yemeni women, men and children.

2017 Winners

The B.R. Sen Award for 2015 is jointly granted to Fatouma Seid from Djibouti and Tomio Shichiri from Japan. The Award for 2016 was presented to Rafael Zavala from Mexico.

Fatouma Seid is recognized for her exceptional leadership and contribution to food security, during a period of conflict, as well as her concerted effort to strengthen partnerships in Mali. Her coordinated effort to source agricultural supplies from partners meant that she quickly reached farmers affected by conflict using an innovative voucher system. Fatouma’s resourceful efforts were crucial to preventing the disruption of agricultural production, and preserving rural livelihoods in Mali.

Tomio Shichiri has been selected for his remarkable achievements in expanding FAO’s impact in Afghanistan, making it one of the Organization’s largest country programmes.  His strengthened relations with the government and other key partners and led to the mobilization of substantial resources from a wide range of donors for water management.

Rafael Zavala receives the Award for his outstanding achievements during Latin America’s longest armed conflict. His innovative and competent leadership secured a prominent role for FAO in the Integrated Rural Reform component of Columbia’s peace process, which, as a result, recognises food security, nutrition, and rural poverty reduction as central to sustaining peace.

2015 Winners

The B.R. Sen Award for 2013 was jointly granted to Ciro Fiorillo from Italy and Cyprien Felix Biaou from Benin. The Award for 2014 was presented to Lalita Bhattacharjee  from India and Mamoudou Diallo from Guinea.

Ciro Fiorillo has been selected for his exceptional leadership of the National Food Policy Capacity Strengthening Programme (NFPCSP) in Bangladesh, which led to it becoming a model for comprehensive policy assistance. His technical and relational skills were critical to setting up an effective institutional mechanism in Bangladesh, that facilitated collaboration across sectors and coordination at both political and technical levels. The Country Investment Plan for Food Security produced under this programme underpins the FAO programme in Bangladesh in the areas of food safety, nutrition, natural resource management and productivity improvement.

Cyprien Felix Biaou receives the B.R. Sen award for his outstanding contribution to the livestock sector programme, particularly disease surveillance, prevention and control activities, as well as vaccination and treatment of the Somalia stock. Together with his team he supported the establishment and maintenance of appropriate sectorial coordination mechanisms, enhanced the animal health programme and designed the Peste des Petits Ruminants (PPR) control strategy as the lead programme.

Lalita Bhattacharjee is recognised for her outstanding contribution to food-based nutrition and nutrition sensitive approaches, which as a result gained priority in the Government Food Security programme in Bangladesh. She played a key role in increasing coherence and cooperation among the development community in the area of child hunger and under-nutrition, which meant that they could assist the Government more efficiently in setting targets and monitoring progress in food based-nutrition.

Mamoudou Diallo is awarded for his exceptional leadership as FAO Representative, which enabled the Organization to make significant progress in the reduction of food insecurity in Angola and raise awareness of FAO’s activities . His success in mobilizing resources allowed FAO to expand its area of work in Angola and led to the full implementation of the Country Programming Framework, only two years after its establishment.


Previous Winners