A native of Lamar, S.C., Nobel Peace Prize Laureate David M. Beasley has a distinguished career of public service dedicated to the people of South Carolina, the United States, and the world.
A graduate of Clemson University AND the University of South Carolina, David was first elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives at age 20 in 1978. He would go on to serve in the S.C. House for 16 years and hold a variety of different leadership positions including Majority Whip, Majority Leader, and Speaker Pro Tempore.
In 1994, David was elected as the 113th Governor of South Carolina, serving from 1995 to 1999. During his tenure as Governor, he focused on economic development, welfare reform, and education. His pro-business initiatives, including the Enterprise Zone Act of 1995, resulted in more than $11 billion in capital investments and the addition of 50,000 jobs in South Carolina.
Following his time as Governor, he taught at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government then spent more than a decade traveling the world on behalf of initiatives to integrate the less economically developed countries into the global economy in the face of many obstacles.
In 2017, David was selected to become the Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Program, the largest humanitarian organization in the world. Under his leadership, the organization fed and otherwise assisted hundreds of millions of individuals across the globe experiencing food-insecurity and famine. The organization was recognized with the Nobel Peace Prize in 2020 for its work in the global fight against hunger. He stepped down from the organization in 2023.