Hon. George McGovern

In Memoriam

WFP USA Board of Directors

Hon. George McGovern was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1956, where he represented South Dakota. He served in the House until 1960, when President Kennedy appointed him the first director of the U.S. Food for Peace Program and special assistant to the president. First elected to the Senate in 1962, he was re-elected in 1968 and 1974. He served on the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry; the Senate Foreign Relations Committee; and the Joint Economic Committee. He was chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs, which developed the highly regarded Dietary Goals for the American People.

In 1972, McGovern was the Democratic nominee for President. In 1976, he was appointed by President Gerald Ford as the delegate to the 31st session of the General Assembly of the United Nations. He was subsequently appointed by President Jimmy Carter as a delegate to the United Nations in 1978 for the Special Session on Disarmament. In July 1991, McGovern became president of the Middle East Policy Council, an educational organization founded to promote better understanding of the Middle East. From 1998 to 2001, he served as the United States ambassador to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture in Rome.

McGovern also envisioned and led an effort, in collaboration with longtime colleague Senator Robert Dole, to establish a U.S. government global school feeding program. Named the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program in honor of their efforts, this program now provides school meals to approximately 5 million children worldwide. McGovern served on World Food Program USA’s Board of Directors and as the World Food Programme’s Goodwill Ambassador.

McGovern served as a professor of history at Dakota Wesleyan University and as a visiting professor at Columbia University, the University of Pennsylvania, Northwestern University, The University of New Orleans, American University, The George Washington University, the University of Innsbruck (Austria), Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich and the Free University of Berlin. He is the author of seven books and numerous articles for leading journals and magazines.

As a pilot of a B-24 bomber in the European Theater during World War II, McGovern flew 35 missions and was decorated with the Distinguished Flying Cross.