Jan Helsen

Jan Helsen
Director, Land Resources Division (Suva)

The Pacific Community is pleased to announce the appointment of Jan Helsen as the Director, Land Resources Division, at the Pacific Community (SPC). His appointment will take effect on 30 January 2017.

Mr Helsen brings significant technical expertise in the food security sector and in programme coordination in natural resource management, sustainable agriculture and market access. He has more than 19 years of leadership experience gained in working for research and international development organisations, along with strong resource mobilisation and hands-on project management experience. 

He joins SPC from the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) where, for example, he has played a key role transitioning operations in Somalia, from emergency modalities to a climate–smart, market driven agriculture development programme. He has also guided teams within FAO and the Somalia federal and state ministries of agriculture through processes of structural, policy and systems change. 

Mr Helsen has a Degree in Tropical Agriculture and a Master of Science in Agricultural Economics from Wye Imperial College in London. His prior experience includes roles with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, the World Vegetable Centre and the African Development Bank. He is a Belgian citizen. 

Through our Land Resources Division, SPC provides a range of technical support to Pacific Island countries and territories across four key areas: Policy and Monitoring, Food and Nutrient Security, Sustainable Resource Management and Trade  and Agribusiness.

Mr Helsen’s executive management background and high-level skills in scientific, technical and policy support in the development of land, agriculture and forestry resources within tropical environments, stand him in good stead as he assumes the leadership of this important thematic area at SPC.

Mr Helsen will be based at SPC’s Suva Campus in Fiji.