David Beasley

David Beasley

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


In a public service and business career that spans more than four decades, David Beasley has worked across political, religious, and ethnic lines to champion economic development, humanitarian assistance, education, and intercultural and interfaith cooperation for the most vulnerable people across the globe. For the past 10 years, Mr Beasley has worked with influential leaders and on-the-ground programme managers in more than 100 countries on projects to foster peace, reconciliation, and economic progress. In Ethiopia, he worked alongside Tony Hall, former U.S. Ambassador to the UN food agencies on a partnership with the Project Mercy to increase food access for internally displaced people.

Mr Beasley has also helped strengthen cooperation and communication among the business, political and non-governmental sectors in regions of long-standing political, ethnic and religious tension. In 2016, he and his team led an international conference in Kosovo that brought hundreds of business and political leaders from the Balkans together for five days of dialogue. As Governor of the U.S. state of South Carolina from 1995 to 1999, Mr Beasley provided a steady hand in moments of crisis. His leadership before, during and after hurricanes enabled the evacuation of hundreds of thousands of people and ensured access to food, healthcare and shelter for the most vulnerable households during and immediately after the natural disasters.

As a political figure, Mr Beasley honed his diplomatic skills and has continued to put them to use after leaving public office. He believes strongly that personal dialogue and relationships are critical to conflict resolution. Through his travels, Mr Beasley has developed close personal relationships with leaders in many nations, including heads of state and members of national parliaments.

Mr Beasley received his bachelor’s degree from Clemson University and a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from the University of South Carolina and taught at the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government. He was first elected to public office at the age of 21 as a member of the South Carolina House of Representatives.