WFP Executive Board Welcomes Appointment of Cindy McCain as New Head of U.N. World Food Programme

Published March 2, 2023

ROME – The President of the Executive Board of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), His Excellency Artur Andrzej Pollok, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Poland, has welcomed the appointment of Cindy Hensley McCain of the United States of America as the U.N. World Food Programme’s next Executive Director.

The appointment was made by United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres and the Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations QU Dongyu, after consultations with the U.N. World Food Programme Board at a special session at the U.N. World Food Programme’s Rome headquarters.

“McCain takes over as head of the U.N. World Food Programme at a moment when the world confronts the most serious food security crisis in modern history and this leadership role has never been more important. We wish her well and can assure her she will have the full support of the Executive Board,” said Pollok.

Cindy McCain presently serves as the U.S. Permanent Representative to the U.N. Agencies in Rome: the Food and Agriculture Organization, the International Fund for Agricultural Development and the U.N. World Food Programme. She is the former Chair of the Board of Trustees of the McCain Institute for International Leadership at Arizona State University. She served on the Board of Directors of Project C.U.R.E., CARE, Operation Smile, the Halo Trust and the advisory boards of Too Small To Fail and Warriors and Quiet Waters. McCain holds an undergraduate degree in Education and a Master’s in Special Education from the University of Southern California. She is the wife of the late U.S. Senator John McCain.

McCain will succeed David Beasley as Executive Director, who will have served six years when his term ends on April 4.

The increasing number of conflicts, climate shocks and economic turmoil have led to a sharp rise in the number of people experiencing severe hunger – up almost 200 million since before the coronavirus pandemic. The U.N. World Food Programme provided more than 158 million people with food, cash and vouchers in 2022, more than in any previous year, and received a record $14 billion in funding.

In 2020, the U.N. World Food Programme was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

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The United Nations World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organization saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.