David Beasley

David Muldrow Beasley (born February 26, 1957) is an American politician and the Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Programme.[1] Beasley, a member of the Republican Party, served one term as the 113th Governor of South Carolina from 1995 until 1999; he was defeated by Democrat Jim Hodges in the 1998 election.

David Beasley
GovernorBeasley.JPG
Executive Director of the World Food Programme
Assumed office
April 4, 2017
Secretary GeneralAntónio Guterres
Preceded byErtharin Cousin
113th Governor of South Carolina
In office
January 11, 1995 – January 13, 1999
LieutenantBob Peeler
Preceded byCarroll Campbell
Succeeded byJim Hodges
Member of the South Carolina House of Representatives
from the 56th district
In office
January 9, 1979 – January 10, 1995
Preceded byGary Byrd
Succeeded byDenny Neilson
Personal details
Born
David Muldrow Beasley

(1957-02-26) February 26, 1957 (age 63)
Darlington, South Carolina, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic (Before 1991)
Republican (1991–present)
Spouse(s)Mary Wood Payne
EducationClemson University
University of South Carolina, Columbia (BA, JD)

Early political careerEdit

Beasley was a member of the South Carolina House of Representatives from 1979 until 1995, serving as majority whip from 1985 to 1986 and the majority leader from 1987 to 1989. He served as the youngest Speaker pro tempore and Majority Leader in the nation.[2] It was during the 1991–92 legislative session that Beasley switched to the Republican Party. During the 1994 election for governor, both Beasley and his Democratic opponent Lieutenant Governor Nick Theodore faced tough primary opposition within their respective parties. Beasley defeated his toughest competitor, former congressman and state senator Arthur Ravenel Jr., in both the primary and run-off, and went on to win the general election by a narrow margin of 50%–48%.

Early political careerEdit

Beasley served as a member of the House from 1979 until 1995, rising through the party ranks to become Majority Whip. He served as the youngest Speaker pro tempore and Majority Leader in the nation, being elected to the position from 1987–1989.[3] It was during the 1991–92 legislative session that Beasley switched to the Republican Party. During the 1994 election for governor, both Beasley and his Democratic opponent Lieutenant Governor Nick Theodore had tough primary fights within their own respective parties. Beasley, however, beat his toughest competitor, former Congressman and State Senator Arthur Ravenel Jr., in both the primary and run-off, and went on to win the general election by a narrow margin of 50%–48%.

GovernorEdit

South Carolina had a strong economy while Beasley was governor, with unemployment at a record-low 3.5% in 1998. [4] Beasley often touted his Christ-centered beliefs and his conservatism in a state known for its strong ties to Christianity and conservative politics.[5]

Beasly was strongly opposed to gambling, which was legal in South Carolina until 2002.[6] At the time, many gas stations, convenience stores, and poker "casinos" were established across the state, and as Beasley supported legislation that would outlaw gambling, the video poker industry generated campaign advertisements through "Ban Beasley" billboards and radio ads.[7]

Until 2000, the Confederate flag flew on top of the South Carolina State House, which had been raised over the Capitol dome in 1961 as an expression of opposition to racial integration. Beasley initially supported the flag's presence but announced on statewide television in 1996 that he had reversed his decision and believed the flag should be relocated to a monument elsewhere on the grounds. Beasley's position on the Confederate flag cost him many Republican votes in the next election. The flag was removed from the capitol dome in 2000 after Beasley left office. It was displayed on a pole in front of the statehouse until it was removed from the grounds in 2015 after the Emanuel Nine shooting. [8] Beasley also faced allegations of having an affair with his former press secretary, Ginny Wolfe. Beasley refuted the claims, stating "I can tell you right up front [my wife] Mary Wood and I love each other dearly. We both have been faithful to one another 100 percent."

In the 1998 South Carolina gubernatorial election, Beasley was defeated by Democrat Jim Hodges 53% to 45%.[5]

Later careerEdit

Post-governorEdit

Following his term as governor, Beasley was invited as a fellow at the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In 2003, Beasley was awarded the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award by U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy (D-Massachusetts) for his controversial request to the South Carolina legislature to remove the Confederate flag from the South Carolina statehouse dome.[9]

In 2004, Beasley unsuccessfully ran for the United States Senate to replace retiring Democrat Fritz Hollings. Beasley lost the Republican nomination to Congressman Jim DeMint of Greenville, South Carolina.[10]In April 2005, Beasley, along with his administration's former chief legal counsel, Henry Deneen, incorporated the Center for Global Strategies, Ltd (CGS). CGS focuses on developmental initiatives in the non-integrated world. Governor Beasley serves as the Chairman of the Board.[11]

In 2007, Beasley endorsed Governor Mike Huckabee (R-Arkansas) in the 2008 Republican presidential primaries.[12]

In 2010, Beasley endorsed Henry McMaster in the South Carolina Republican gubernatorial primaries[citation needed].

World Food ProgrammeEdit

In February 2017, United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley (also a former South Carolina governor) nominated Beasley to be the next Executive Director of the World Food Programme (WFP).[13] United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres and U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization José Graziano da Silva appointed Beasley to the post in March 2017, saying the former governor brought "extensive experience with key governmental and business leaders and stakeholders around the world, with very strong resource mobilisation skills."[14] Guterres also said Beasley had been among 23 applications/nominations for the position.[15]

 
Beasley with Argentenian president Alberto Fernandez at the United Nations.

In his capacity as Executive Director of WFP, Beasley serves at the level of Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and is a member of the organization's Senior Management Group (SMG) under the leadership of Secretary-General António Guterres.[16] Since 2019, he has been a member of the World Economic Forum High-Level Group on Humanitarian Investing, co-chaired by Børge Brende, Kristalina Georgieva and Peter Maurer.[17]

Other activitiesEdit

  • SDG2 Advocacy Hub, Co-Chair of the Steering Committee (since 2017)[18]
  • Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN), Member of the Lead Group (since 2017)[19]
  • Peace Research Endowment (PRE), Member of the Board of Directors (since 2011)[20]

RecognitionEdit

Personal lifeEdit

Beasley is married to Mary Wood Beasley. Beasley currently resides in Rome, Italy.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ http://www1.wfp.org/executive-director
  2. ^ "South Carolina - David Muldrow Beasley - 1995-1999". www.sciway.net.
  3. ^ "South Carolina - David Muldrow Beasley - 1995-1999". www.sciway.net.
  4. ^ "South Carolina Unemployment Rate". FRED Economic Research. Retrieved May 19, 2020.
  5. ^ a b "S. Carolina Incumbent in Unexpected Tussle". Washington Post.
  6. ^ "Is legal gambling possible in SC?". Myrtle Beach Online.
  7. ^ "Louisiana Shuts Down Video Poker". July 1, 1999.
  8. ^ "20 years on, ex-SC gov Beasley's prayer on flag answered Confederate battle flag finds a new home among artifacts".
  9. ^ "'John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum".
  10. ^ "DeMint defeats Beasley in S. Carolina runoff". June 23, 2004.
  11. ^ "Center for Global Strategies".
  12. ^ Sheinin, Aaron (May 19, 2007). "Huckabee Picks Up Key Endorsement". The State. Archived from the original on April 22, 2015. Retrieved April 22, 2015.
  13. ^ "Nikki Haley nominates former South Carolina Gov. David Beasley for U.N. food post". The Post and Courier. February 28, 2017.
  14. ^ "David Beasley of United States appointed as head of UN emergency food agency". UN News Centre. March 29, 2017.
  15. ^ Michelle Nichols (March 28, 2017), U.N. picks former U.S. state governor to run World Food Programme Reuters.
  16. ^ Senior Management Group United Nations.
  17. ^ World Economic Forum 2019 Annual Meeting launching a new Humanitarian Investing Initiative World Economic Forum, press release of January 18, 2019.
  18. ^ The SDG 2 Hub: Who we are SDG2 Advocacy Hub.
  19. ^ Movement Lead Group Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN)
  20. ^ Board of Directors Peace Research Endowment (PRE).
  21. ^ Board of Directors Peace Research Endowment (PRE).

External linksEdit

Party political offices
Preceded by
Carroll Campbell
Republican nominee for Governor of South Carolina
1994, 1998
Succeeded by
Mark Sanford
Preceded by
Terry Branstad
Chair of the Republican Governors Association
1997–1998
Succeeded by
Frank Keating
Political offices
Preceded by
Carroll Campbell
Governor of South Carolina
1995–1999
Succeeded by
Jim Hodges
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Ertharin Cousin
Executive Director of the World Food Programme
2017–present
Incumbent