Cindy H. McCain

Cindy McCain

Executive Director
World Food Programme (WFP)
Term date: since 2016
United States of America


World Food Programme (WFP) Executive Director, Cindy Hensley McCain, took office on 5 April 2023, and brings to the role a wealth of expertise and a deep commitment to ending hunger and malnutrition. Prior to joining WFP, she served as Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the United States Mission to the United Nations Agencies in Rome.

A distinguished humanitarian, business leader and diplomat with a career spanning four decades, Executive Director McCain has championed a wide range of causes focused on alleviating poverty and promoting sustainable development and peace. She has travelled the world witnessing frontline humanitarian programmes in action, including many run by WFP, and learning from the people whose lives have been transformed by them.

As Executive Director, she is capitalizing on her broad experience to lead the organization’s response to the global food crisis. Hunger has soared to record levels, driven by conflict, climate change and economic strife, and raising resources and public awareness is vital as the organization strives to reach those in need. Executive Director McCain is spearheading the effort to mobilize support from long-standing donors while also forging ambitious new partnerships to sustain WFP’s life-saving mission.

Before taking the helm, she held executive positions with a number of organizations. She is the former Chair of the Board of Trustees of the McCain Institute for International Leadership at Arizona State University, where she oversaw the organization’s focus on advancing character-driven global leadership based on security, economic opportunity, freedom and human dignity. She also chaired the Institute’s Human Trafficking Advisory Council.

In addition to her work at the McCain Institute, she served on the Board of Directors of Project C.U.R.E, CARE, Operation Smile, Halo Trust and the Advisory Boards of Too Small To Fail and Warriors and Quiet Waters.