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About Rev. David Beckmann

David Beckmann is one of the foremost U.S. advocates for people struggling with hunger and poverty in the United States and around the world.

David divides his time between advocacy on public policy and teaching effective strategies to connect faith to the politics of poverty.


He is Coordinator of the Circle of Protection, an anti-poverty advocacy coalition of church bodies and agencies which has helped to protect and strengthen poverty-important programs in the massive bills through which Congress now does most of its work. In response to the threat of Trump-style MAGA Republicanism, he is now also active in supporting Democratic candidates.


Based at Virginia Theological Seminary, he is learning - about the spirituality of religiously unaffiliated people, for example - and teaching at the seminary and more widely.  


During David’s 28 years as president of Bread for the World (1991-2019), it grew to a network of two million people and 3,000 local churches. He was awarded the World Food Prize for his leadership to increase and improve international aid and its contribution to the dramatic reduction of world hunger and poverty in recent decades. 

Before he moved to Bread for the World, David was a World Bank economist (1976-1991). He led the World Bank’s initial engagement with NGOs and community organizations around the world.


David graduated from Yale College and earned master’s degrees from the Lutheran School of Theology and the London School of Economics. He has been awarded eight honorary doctorates.

David is married, with two adult sons and four grandchildren.

My Story: About Me

Boards and Councils



  • Testified before Congress more the twenty times

  • Author of six books

  • Partnership Award, Islamic Relief, 2019

  • InterAction Julia Vadala Taft Outstanding Leadership Award, 2016

  • National Latino Evangelical Coalition Anti-Poverty Champion Award, 2015

  • Community of Christ International Peace Award, 2014

  • Rumi Forum Peace and Dialogue Awards, 2014

  • World Food Prize, 2010

Boards and Councils

  • President Barack Obama’s Advisory Council for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships to Address Poverty and Inequality

  • Advisory Committee on Voluntary Foreign Aid, USAID

  • U.S. Trade Advisory Committee on Africa, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative

  • Co-Chair, Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network

  • U.N. Committee on World Food Security

  • Board, InterAction

  • Board, Partnership to Cut Hunger and Poverty in Africa 

  • Chair, National Anti-Hunger Organizations

  • U.N. Millennium Hunger Task Force

  • Board, Congressional Hunger Center

  • Advisory Board, Center for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods, Iowa State University

  • Founding Board, ONE Campaign

  • Advisory Committee, 20/20 Vision for Food, Agriculture and the Environment

  • Council on Foreign Relations

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