NEW YORK/ROME, MARCH 29 – David Beasley, a US national, is the new Director of the Rome-based UN organization World Food Program. United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Director-General José Graziano da Silva announced today the appointment at the Under-Secretary-General level, in succession to Ertharin Cousin of the United States. The Executive Board of WFP has confirmed its concurrence with the appointment.
The Secretary-General and Director-General expressed 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”, a Spokesperson said. Ms. Cousin, nominated in 2009 by President Barack Obama, announced in January she would not seek a new term. Her current term expires April 6.
Mr. Beasley candidacy was advanced in February by the US Permanent Representative to the UN (and former fellow Governor of South Carolina) Nikki Haley. In a letter to Guterres Haley said Beasley has the business and organizational qualities to lead the U.N.’s leading humanitarian organization for fighting hunger worldwide. “In business, he developed a reputation for honesty and integrity that carried over into his career in public service,” Haley wrote. “In elected office, he mastered management, fundraising and communication,” she added: “Perhaps most importantly, in his recent peace-building and development work, he honed the skills of international diplomacy, with an eye toward lifting up the vulnerable and disadvantaged.” The appointment was welcomed by resident of the Executive Board of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), His Excellency Anil Wadhwa of India.
Beasley, a Republican, brings to the position extensive experience with key governmental and business leaders and stakeholders around the world, with very strong resource mobilisation skills. He was elected at the age of 21, while still at college, to the South Carolina House of Representatives (1979-1992), then Governor of South Carolina (1995-1999), as one of the youngest in the State’s history. During his term, he led delegations on economic development and trade missions to countries throughout Asia, Europe and Africa, tripling foreign investment and creating jobs. 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 and Partner in the law firm, Beasley, Ervin and Warr, he served as Senior Adviser to companies such as Merrill Lynch and General Motors. Since leaving office, he has travelled to more than seventy-five countries and war-stricken regions such as Kosovo, Darfur, Sri Lanka, Guatemala, South Sudan and the Middle East leading peace-building missions and development efforts through working with foreign leaders. He is also 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 J.D from the University of South Carolina and a BA Law Degree from the University of South Carolina School of Law. (@OnuItalia)