Who's who in #globaldev: March 2017 appointments

David Beasley. Photo by: Marylandstater

World Food Programme

David Beasley is the World Food Programme's new executive director. He will be succeeding Ertharin Cousin, whose current term expires this April.

Beasley is a former governor of South Carolina and was a supporter of President Donald Trump during the U.S. presidential campaign. His appointment, announced last week by U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres and Food and Agricultural Organization Director-General José Graziano da Silva, is seen by some members of the aid sector as strategic given his close ties with influential people in the current administration. It could help stave off potential deep cuts to the agency, part of the U.N. family and wider humanitarian sector under threat of funding cuts in the current U.S. administration’s budget discussions.

Much like the reactions fellow South Carolina politician Nikki Haley received on her appointment as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, some aid officials have raised concerns about the new WFP chief’s limited foreign policy experience, although he has done peacebuilding missions and development work globally, according to an FAO news release. Beasley’s appointment is also seen a step back amid a growing push for more competitive election processes for international positions at major organizations like the United Nations. Americans have led the WFP for more than two decades.

Adam Smith International

A former head of the British Council, Sir Martin Davidson, is stepping in as the new chairman of Adam Smith International. Davidson will be leading the organization as it goes through major structural and governance reforms following investigations that revealed its misuse of proprietary government information and fabricating beneficiary testimonies where U.K. aid money was involved.

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About the author

  • Ravelo jennylei

    Jenny Lei Ravelo

    Jenny Lei Ravelo is a Devex Senior Reporter based in Manila. She covers global health, with a particular focus on the World Health Organization, and other development and humanitarian aid trends in Asia Pacific. Prior to Devex, she wrote for ABS-CBN, one of the largest broadcasting networks in the Philippines, and was a copy editor for various international scientific journals. She received her journalism degree from the University of Santo Tomas.