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Gene White Lifetime Achievement Award for Child Nutrition

The Gene White Lifetime Achievement Award for Child Nutrition was created in 2004 to honor individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the worldwide dream of ending childhood hunger. This prestigious award is given in the name of Gene White, who has dedicated her life to the nutrition and well-being of children. Over many decades, Gene has worked tirelessly in her efforts to improve the lives, health, and educational options of children in our country and around the world. Gene was the first to receive this award.

Each year, corporate executives, high level government officials, and non-profit leaders gather to honor the Gene White Lifetime Achievement Award recipient and to celebrate the achievements in the related realms of school meal programs, nutrition, and agriculture.

2022 Award Recipient

Headshot of David Beasley

David Beasley

Executive Director, UN World Food Programme

GCNF is proud to present the 2022 Gene White Lifetime Achievement Award for Child Nutrition to David Beasley, Executive Director of the UN World Food Programme.  On November 30, 2022, GCNF hosted a special evening to celebrate Mr. Beasley’s outstanding work to support child nutrition in the U.S. and around the world. 

The award recognizes Mr. Beasley’s extraordinary contributions in helping to end hunger and improve nutrition at home and around the world. Among his accomplishments, GCNF acknowledges Mr. Beasley’s leadership in dramatically increasing global awareness of hunger and food insecurity, his extraordinary success in fundraising for WFP’s work including re-prioritizing school feeding programs within WFP, and leading WFP in rallying governments, UN agencies, and NGO partners to create the School Meals Coalition.

About the 2022 Gene White Lifetime Achievement Award Dinner

On November 30, 2022, the Global Child Nutrition Foundation held the Gene White Lifetime Achievement Award Dinner. This year, the dinner honored the 2022 GWLA Award recipient, David Beasley, Executive Director of the UN World Food Programme. The event also honored 2020 GWLA Award recipient, Kenneth M. Quinn, Ambassador (ret.) and President Emeritus of the World Food Prize Foundation.

After a brief cocktail hour, guests enjoyed dinner and heard from both Dr. Quinn and Mr. Beasley, in addition to Dan Glickman, former US Secretary of Agriculture and Pat Roberts, former US Senator (R-KS). The evening continued with a conversation with Mr. Beasley facilitated by Catherine Bertini, former Executive Director of the UN World Food Programme. Senators Chris Coons (D-DE) and John Boozman (R-AK) shared the podium and gave the final remarks, bringing the event to a close.

The event was held in Washington, D.C. with honorary event co-hosts Pat Roberts, Dan Glickman, and Randy Russell, Chairman of the World Food Programme USA.

"Both gave moving addresses to a distinguished audience...David spoke passionately about inculcating in the minds of world leaders, in both the public and private sectors, the value of human capital, particularly the unmatched benefits of early and adequate child nutrition. Ken spoke with equal passion about his ongoing interest in "peace through agriculture" and of the importance of building roads that connect rural communities to markets and public facilities."

" was inspiring to see such a diverse group of agriculture and food leaders join with GCNF to conquer childhood hunger around the globe."

Moments from the evening

Past Distinguished Recipients:

  • 2020 Ambassador Kenneth M. Quinn (ret.), President Emeritus, World Food Prize Foundation
  • 2019 Chairman Jim McGovern, Representative (D-MA)
  • 2018 Chairman Pat Roberts, Senator (R-KS)
  • 2017 Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, President of African Development Bank Group
  • 2016 Howard G. Buffett, Chairman and CEO, Howard G. Buffett Foundation
  • 2015 Secretary Tom Vilsack, U.S. Department of Agriculture
  • 2014 Dr. Rajiv Shah, Administrator, U.S. Agency for International Development
  • 2013 Arlene Mitchell, Deputy Director for Access and Markets, Agricultural Development Program, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • 2012 Ambassador Tony P. Hall, Executive Director, Alliance to End Hunger
  • 2011 Richard Lugar, Senator (R-IN)
  • 2010 Dan Glickman, Former Secretary of the US Department of Agriculture and US Congressman
  • 2009 Marshall L. Matz, Principal Attorney, Olsson Frank Weeda Terman Bode Matz P.C.
  • 2008 Edward M. Cooney, Executive Director of the Congressional Hunger Center
  • 2007 Catherine Bertini, Former Executive Director of the World Food Programme
  • 2006 Dr. Josephine Martin, Past President of SNA and Executive Director of the NFSMI
  • 2005 George S. McGovern, Senator (D-SD) and U.S. Ambassador to the UN Agencies on Food and Agriculture; Robert J. Dole, Senator (R-KS)
  • 2004 Gene White, President, Global Child Nutrition Foundation