Associate Professional Officers

What is the APO Programme?

Associate Professional Officers (APOs) are young people selected and sponsored by their own governments to work for FAO. APOs play an important role in FAO’s fight against hunger and at the same time, gain experience and skills they take throughout their career. Some donors also support APOs from developing countries.

FAO's APO Programme is one of the oldest and largest such programmes within the United Nations system. It began in 1954 with five Dutch agricultural engineers working in FAO field projects. Since then, the APO Programme has given over 3 000 professionals from more than 30 countries a headstart in careers in international development.

Each APO is appointed  a supervisor who provides technical advice and career guidance. Furthermore, APOs undertake duty travel in order to have a first hand experience of FAO’s field work. They also participate in seminars and workshops as well as training programmes within and outside the Organization.



“As a Sponsored Fellow I was able to meet and work with high level experts. It pushes you to do your best, since you know that you are working with the best.”- Melie Monnerat, former Sponsored Fellow.
“As an APO, one has a rare opportunity to serve the world with a unique and prestigious institution. Jeevanandhan Duraisamy (right), former APO sponsored by the Dutch Government.