Ward Brehm is a Minnesota businessman, leader in African humanitarian efforts and nationally known public speaker and commentator on relief and development in Africa.
Brehm has now served at the pleasure of three U.S. presidents in his role with the United States African Development Foundation (“USADF”) since he was first appointed to its board as chairman by President Bush in 2004 and reappointed in 2010 by President Obama.
Brehm has also represented the United States as part of three presidential delegations to the African continent, having attended the inaugurations of the presidents of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Benin, as well the Leon Sullivan Summit in Tanzania.
Brehm brought his message as an advocate for the poor in Africa to the 2008 National Prayer Breakfast, where he gave the keynote address before an audience including the U.S. President, First Lady, foreign heads of state, most members of Congress and the Washington diplomatic community. Brehm was the first person from the business community to ever be asked by Congress to address this annual gathering in Washington DC.
Brehm continues to be an outspoken advocate for the African poor, bringing his message of hope for a more prosperous Africa to the White House, USAID and prayer breakfasts all over the country.
Brehm also continues to serve as an unofficial diplomat, quietly behind the scenes connecting African and American leaders. He has also brought policymakers together from both sides of the aisle in Washington to unite and support African development initiatives. He has befriended numerous leaders in Africa and has helped facilitate small groups of praying leaders in many African nations.
He is the author of three books on his experiences in Africa: Life Through A Different Lens,White Man Walking, and Bigger than Me.
Brehm also serves on the board of directors for the American Refugee Committee, which works with refugee communities around the world helping the disenfranchised rebuild their lives. . At ARC, he founded Asili, a revolutionary program designed to use free market tools to deliver clean water, medical care and nutrition to the world’s poorest regions. This innovative model is currently being tested in Eastern Congo, with the hope to scale and expand all across Africa.
He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and, in 2018, was appointed to the Advisory Board of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in Washington DC.
Recently retired, Ward Brehm is now a full-time humanitarian. In his former professional life, he was the founder and chairman of The Brehm Group, Inc., a Twin Cities insurance consulting firm. He and his wife, Kris, live in Minneapolis, Minnesota. They have three grown children: Andy, Mike and Sarah.