Dirk Kempthorne

Dirk Kempthorne co-chairs BPC’s Democracy Project.

He 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, and in all state capitals.

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 U.S. 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; he was easily reelected for a second term in 2002. While serving as governor, Kempthorne achieved the largest Indian Water Rights settlement in Idaho’s history, ending 150 years of dispute.

In 2006, Kempthorne returned to Washington, D.C., to serve President George W. Bush. He was nominated and confirmed as the 49th secretary of the interior, charged with resurrecting the department’s tradition of responsible stewardship of public lands.

Kempthorne has proved 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.


Do you believe the current level of extreme partisanship in Washington is harming America?

Jennifer M. Granholm, former Governor of Michigan (D); Olympia Snowe, former U.S. Senator (R-ME); Floyd H. Flake, former U.S. Representative (D-NY) and Pastor, Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral; Henry Bonilla, former U.S. Representative (R-TX);Charles Gonzalez, former U.S. Representative (D-TX); and Dirk Kempthorne, former Governor of Idaho, U.S. Secretary of the Interior, and U.S. Senator (R-ID); President and CEO, American Council of Life Insurers, weigh in. Watch the video