David Kemp's career spans both academia and practical politics. From 1990 to 2004 he was member of the federal parliament, and from 1996 he was a minister in the Howard government overseeing various portfolios including Employment, Education and Environment. Before entering parliament he was Professor of Politics at Monash University, and after leaving parliament Professor and Vice-Chancellor's Fellow at the University of Melbourne.
He is a Fellow of the Australia & New Zealand School of Government and board member of the Grattan Institute for Public Policy. He is Chairman of the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House and of the Australian Heritage Council.
He has published seminal books on voting behavior and political analysis, and has written extensively on political liberalism, political ideas and Liberal Party icons such as Robert Menzies and Malcolm Fraser.