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.

After nearly 30 years as president of Bread for the World, he is now devoting about half his time to advocacy and half to learning and teaching about effective strategies to connect faith to the politics of poverty. He is the Dean’s Advisor for Political and Economic Justice at Virginia Theological Seminary. He is also Coordinator and Co-Chair of the Circle of Protection, an advocacy coalition of church bodies and agencies which has been active in shaping and supporting President Biden’s Build Back Better legislation. In response to Trumpism within the Republican Party, David is actively campaigning for Democratic candidates.

During David’s tenure at 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, Beckmann was a World Bank economist (1976-1991) and worked in internal advocacy on poverty-related issues

Beckmann is both a pastor and an economist. He is married, with two adult sons and four grandchildren.


Boards and Councils



  • Eight honorary doctorates, 1993-2020

  • 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