David grew up in the South and the North – comprehensives in both London and Leeds.
He studied Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Corpus Christi College, Oxford. In 1988 he won a Kennedy Scholarship to study for a Masters' Degree at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the United States.
David's first job was in the voluntary sector, working for the National Council for Voluntary Organisations. He was then Research Fellow at the Institute for Public Policy Research, and from 1992-94 Secretary of the Commission on Social Justice, set up by the then Leader of the Labour Party, John Smith, to work out new approaches to welfare policy.
From 1994 to 1997 David worked as Head of Policy for Tony Blair, working on the policies that would help Labour into government. He was then Head of the Prime Minister's Policy Unit in Downing Street during Labour's first term in office from 1997 to 2001. He helped found the Centre for European Reform, and edited two books, Reinventing the Left, and Paying for Inequality.
He was elected MP for South Shields in 2001 and stood down in 2013.
In September 2013 he will take up his new role of President and CEO of the International Rescue Committee in New York.
David is married to Louise, a violinist, and they have two sons – Isaac and Jacob.
David in politics
David was elected as a Member of Parliament for South Shields in 2001 to the UK Parliament.
He spent a year as a backbench MP and in June 2002 was appointed Schools Minister where he was behind ‘Building Schools for the Future’ - a programme to rebuild and refurbish every secondary school in the country, and he helped introduce thousands of new teaching assistants to the classroom.
In December 2004 he was appointed Cabinet Office Minister. In May 2005 David became Minister of State for Communities and Local Government where he created the idea of city regions. In May 2006 David became Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs where he spearheaded the Climate Change Bill – setting the world’s first legally binding framework for cutting emissions.
In June 2007 David became Foreign Secretary, the youngest for thirty years. David stood up for human rights, advanced British interests in Europe and established a clear British voice on the key global conflicts of the day.
After Labour lost the 2010 General Election David stood as a candidate for the leadership of the Labour Party and as a backbench MP focussed on the issue of youth unemployment in particular, chairing the ACEVO Commission on youth unemployment.
In April 2013 David resigned his seat and will start his new role of President and CEO of the International Rescue Committee in New York in September.
He is currently co-chair of the Global Ocean Commission.