Former Gov. David Beasley (copy)

Former S.C. Gov. David Beasley (right) hugs state Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter, D-Orangeburg, at the time the Confederate flag came off the Statehouse grounds in 2015. File/John Bazemore/AP

United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley has nominated a fellow former South Carolina governor – David Beasley – to lead the World Food Programme.

In a letter this week from Haley to U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres, Haley said Beasley has the business and organizational qualities to lead the U.N.'s leading humanitarian organization for fighting hunger worldwide. 

"In business, he developed a reputation for honesty and integrity that carried over into his career in public service," Haley wrote. "In elected office, he mastered management, fundraising and communication." 

She added "perhaps most importantly, in his recent peace-building and development work, he honed the skills of international diplomacy, with an eye toward lifting up the vulnerable and disadvantaged."

Beasley, a Republican, was elected governor in 1994 but served only one term. He lost his re-election bid to Democrat Jim Hodges in a race was largely shaped by Beasley's unilateral support for bringing down the Confederate flag from the Statehouse — a move he announced without first consulting other Republicans. 

"I am so very honored to be nominated by Ambassador Haley for this extraordinary opportunity," Beasley, 60, told The Post and Courier. He is from Society Hill in Darlington County. 

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Current WFP head Ertharin Cousin, an American nominated in 2009 by President Barack Obama, announced in January she would not seek a new term. Her current term expires April 6.

The U.N. agency's website describes the WFP as the world's largest humanitarian organization with a staff of some 13,500 people working to deliver food to more than 90 million people in 80 countries. It is headquartered in Rome.

Haley's nomination letter says the agency faces "formidable challenges in its mission to end hunger and malnutrition."

She listed corruption, terrorism and natural disasters as some of the leading obstacles in getting food to struggling populations.

Reach Schuyler Kropf on politics at 843-937-5551. Follow on Twitter at @skropf47.

Political Editor

Schuyler Kropf is The Post and Courier political editor. He has covered every major political race in South Carolina dating to 1988, including for U.S. Senate, governorship, the Statehouse and Republican and Democratic presidential primaries.