On 22 February 2019, at the 42nd Governing Board meeting of the International Centre for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies (CIHEAM) held in Paris, Plácido Plaza was elected unanimously as new Secretary General of the CIHEAM.
The Spanish authorities’ candidate will take up office on 1st March 2019, for a first term of four years, after completing an interim period. With his strong passion for the Mediterranean, Plácido Plaza has been working on issues related to agriculture, food security and rural development for over 30 years in this region. He is an Agricultural Engineer with extensive experience in applied agronomy both in Latin America and in the Mediterranean. He was in charge of the management of the cooperation framework programme between the European Commission and the CIHEAM in the fields of specialized training, support to research and decision-making in the field of resource management, water, support to agricultural and rural development policies, extensive production systems and biotechnologies. Four major areas of action that have associated the 4 CIHEAM Agronomic Institutes for more than 10 years and mobilized a budget of 12 million Euros. He has also conducted research projects with regional networks and cooperation projects with International Organizations for agricultural research and development such as the FAO, the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM), the International Olive Oil Council (IOOC), ICARDA, or GFAR. The Delegates of the CIHEAM Member States warmly thanked Plácido Plaza for all his work since 12 December 2017 as ad interim Secretary General, following the passing away of Cosimo Lacirignola (CIHEAM SG from 2013 to 2017).