Dirk Kempthorne was appointed president and CEO of the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) in November 2010 after an impressive career in public service.
As president and CEO of ACLI, Governor Kempthorne is the chief representative and spokesman for the life insurance industry before Congress, the administration, in all state capitals, and in the international arena. ACLI’s more than 300 legal reserve life insurer and fraternal benefit society member companies account for over 90 percent of the assets and premiums of the U.S life insurance and annuity industry.
Governor Kempthorne's focus is on the important role life insurers play in providing financial and retirement security to many millions of American families. His efforts help shape public policies that make it easier for families to manage risk and ensure they have protection, long-term savings, and guaranteed income-for-life options in retirement.
Governor Kempthorne was born in 1951 in San Diego, California, but has called Idaho his home state for most of his life. He graduated from the University of Idaho in 1975 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science. Governor Kempthorne began his commitment to public service in 1985, when he was elected Mayor of the City of Boise, Idaho. After serving seven years as Mayor, he was elected to the United States Senate in 1993. With Idaho issues close to his heart, he left the Senate after one term and was elected Governor of Idaho in 1998, and was easily re-elected for a second term in 2002. While serving as Governor, Kempthorne made improving education, especially early childhood education, a priority.
In 2006, Governor Kempthorne returned to Washington, D.C. to serve President George W. Bush as the 49th Secretary of the Interior, charged with resurrecting the Department’s tradition of responsible stewardship of public lands. In this role, Governor Kempthorne managed 20 percent of U.S. lands with an annual budget of $18 billion.
Governor Kempthorne has proven himself to be a leader unbound by political affiliation. While in the U.S. Senate, he authored two strong bipartisan bills on state mandates and safe drinking water that were signed into law by President Bill Clinton and remain enacted today. Governor Kempthorne also understands the importance of international partners to U.S. prosperity, and has led numerous trade missions and delegations to key trading nations such as Japan, China, Korea, and Costa Rica.
In addition to his accomplishments as a public servant, Governor Kempthorne has served as Chairman of the National Governors Association and the Western Governors Association, and President of the Council of State Governments. Governor Kempthorne and his wife, Patricia, also a University of Idaho graduate, have two adult children, Heather and Jeff.
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