Associate Professional Officers

How to apply to the APO Programme

Most of the APO Programme donor governments carry out the pre-selection of candidates. Therefore, application queries should be addressed directly to the relevant ministry in the donor country.

Candidates for the programme include any young professional under the age of 32 with a strong commitment to food and agricultural development issues, a university degree and practical experience with developing countries as well as a genuine interest in working with people from across the world.

Requirements for candidates include:

  • A university degree at M.Sc. or MA level or B.Sc. or BA level with at least three years of relevant working experience
  • Working knowledge of two of FAO's official languages: English, Spanish, French, Arabic, Russian and Chinese
  • Excellent information technology skills, including word processing, database applications, presentation software, and the Internet
  • Minimum of one to two years of working experience in a developing country (optional)
  • Ability to think strategically; to express ideas clearly; to work independently and in teams combined with cultural and gender sensitivity
  • Strong commitment to development; an interest in adapting to varied physical and professional environments; and a desire to work with people of different language, national and cultural backgrounds
  • Respect for the principles of the United Nations Charter and FAO's Mission Statement

APOs from developing countries

Donors that currently provide APO assignment opportunities for nationals from developing countries are Belgium, the Netherlands and Italy. In most cases, FAO handles the selection of APOs from developing countries. 

Interested candidates must apply for a specific position funded by one of the donors that sponsor candidates from developing countries. Please be aware that there are few such positions and that the process only takes place over a limited time period every year.

“It is wonderful to be able to work in your field of interest while at the same time supporting activities that are appreciated by the government of your host country” – Arie van Duijn(left), former Dutch APO.