On 29 March 2017, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Director-General José Graziano da Silva announced their appointment of David Beasley of the United States as Executive Director of the World Food Programme (WFP) at the Under-Secretary-General level.
He succeeds Ertharin Cousin of the United States, and the Executive Board of WFP has confirmed its concurrence with the appointment. The Secretary-General and Director-General express their deep appreciation to Ms. Cousin for her leadership of WFP over the last five years. She has led the Programme during an unprecedented time of multiple humanitarian crises, leveraging partnerships and innovative tools to reach those furthest behind. Both wish her every success in her continuing endeavours.
Mr. Beasley was elected at the age of 21 to the South Carolina House of Representatives (1979-1992) and as Governor of South Carolina (1995-1999), one of the youngest in the state’s history. He received a Profile in Courage Award in 2003 from the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation.
A 1999 Fellow of the Institute of Politics at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, Mr. Beasley is involved in numerous civic and charitable projects, including humanitarian efforts in Asia, Africa, North and South America, Europe and the Middle East.
Born in 1957, he attended Clemson University and holds a Juris Doctorate from the University of South Carolina, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Law degree from the University of South Carolina School of Law.