David’s career has largely been in foreign aid, coordinating humanitarian aid programmes and initiatives for the United Nations and other organisations in a host of countries including Rwanda, Somalia, Iraq, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Israel and Lebanon.
In 1993 he was named “New Zealander of the Year” by the New Zealand Herald for his work in Somalia and awarded an MBE in the British 1993 New Year Honours List.
David’s first active role in New Zealand politics was as an advisor to Foreign Affairs Minister, Phil Goff from 2000 to 2002. Elected MP for Mt Albert in June of 2009, David stood forward to lead the Labour Party when Phil Goff stepped down after the 2011 election. Since leaving NZ politics, he's been working with the United Nations, most recently in the South Sudan, where he was in charge of a 20,000-strong peacekeeping force.
David is married to Anuschka and they have two children.