Former South Carolina Gov. David Beasley appointed to lead U.N. food program

March 29, 2017

Former South Carolina Gov. David Beasley has been formally appointed to lead the United Nation’s World Food Programme.

The move came after current U.S. ambassador to the U.N. and former Gov. Nikki Haley made the recommendation.

“I am humbled and grateful for the appointment,” Beasley posted on his Facebook page, calling it a “truly a singular honor to be selected to lead the World Food Programme and its 14,000 employees around the globe who are fighting against hunger and poverty.”

Beasley, who served as governor from 1995-99, was among 23 applications or nominations for the job, according to the Reuters news agency.

The WFP’s executive board made note of the appointment in a letter Tuesday.

The agency is headquartered in Rome, meaning Beasley and wife Mary Wood would likely be moving overseas.

Beasley said he wanted to work with U.N. leadership in reforming the program to “achieve zero hunger and address the worst humanitarian crisis since World War II.”

The former governor also takes over at a time President Donald Trump has voiced cutting financial support levels to the U.N. and its mission agencies.

Haley had sent Beasley’s nomination to U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres earlier saying the former governor has the business and organizational qualities to lead the U.N.’s leading humanitarian organization for fighting hunger worldwide.

Beasley, a Republican, was elected governor in 1994 but served only one term. He lost his re-election bid to Democrat Jim Hodges in a race was largely shaped by Beasley’s unilateral support for bringing down the Confederate flag from the Statehouse — a move he announced without first consulting other Republicans.

Beasley, 60, is from Society Hill in Darlington County. He succeeds a fellow American, Ertharin Cousin, who had led the WFP since 2012.