David has a long and distinguished career in both politics and law. He graduated with a law degree from the University of Western Australia in 1979 and practised for over 20 years as a barrister and solicitor. David was elected as a Liberal Senator for Western Australia in 2001, entering the Senate on 1 July 2002. In March 2007, he was appointed by Prime Minister John Howard to serve as Minister for Justice and Customs. In September 2008, he was appointed Shadow Minister for Defence and was then appointed to serve as the Minister for Defence In 2013 and as a member of Cabinet in the Abbot Government, positions he held until December 2014. Currently, David serves as Australian Defence Export Advocate reporting to the Minister for Defence, Linda Reynolds. He is Non-Executive Chairman at Kalia Ltd, a Non-Executive Director at Saab Technologies Australia, and sits on the Advisory Committee at International SOS, and The Centre for Defence Industry Capability.