David Kemp's career spans academia and politics. From 1990 to 2004 he was a member of the federal parliament, and from 1996 was a minister in the Howard government, holding portfolios including Employment, Education, Youth Affairs, Training, and Environment. He was vice-president of the Executive Council and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service.
Before entering parliament, he was Professor of Politics at Monash University, and after leaving parliament has been Professor and Vice-Chancellor’s Fellow at the University of Melbourne, president of the Liberal Party of Australia (Victorian Division), Fellow of the Australia and New Zealand School of Government, and Chair of the Museum of Australian Democracy.
He has published seminal books on voting behaviour and political analysis and has written extensively on political liberalism and political ideas.