The Honorable Dirk Kempthorne is recognized as a leader in directing transformational change at all levels of government and in the private sector. Drawing on his unique perspective as Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior, Governor, U.S. Senator, and Mayor, Kempthorne demonstrates how practical solutions can solve complex problems. Currently, he is president of the American Council of Life Insurers,leveraging his deft skill, astute insight, and unparalleled diplomacy to tackle the intricate issues now facing the industry and the public in this time of historic change. Kempthorne leads his audiences through the process of innovation and reform that were the hallmark of his 24 years in elected office and continue to distinguish his tenure at ACLI. Identified as one of the nation's most inspiring speakers, Kempthorne engages audiences with wit, passion, and substance, sparking a collective resolve to find common ground and clear solutions.
The Honorable Dirk Kempthorne
Secretary of the U.S. Dept. of the Interior, 2006-2009; Former Two-Time Governor, U.S. Senator and Mayor; President, American Council of Life Insurers
From his time as a U.S. Senator until the completion of his term as the U.S. Secretary of the Interior, Dirk Kempthorne has worked to find a balanced, recovery-based approach to revamp and reauthorize the aging Endangered Species Act (ESA). In the Senate, Kempthorne authored the first bi-partisan approach to reauthorize and reform the ESA. As Secretary, he worked to modernize the ESA through common sense changes to arcane regulations. Kempthorne is the authoritative voice in the nation on this critical issue and communicates his vision and solutions in his continuing efforts to further its progress.
The largest mobilization of the Idaho National and Air National Guard took place during Governor Kempthorne’s second term in office. As Commander-in-Chief of the Idaho National Guard, he responded to the call of President Bush to send the 116th Cavalry Brigade to Iraq and the 124th ANG Wing to Afghanistan. As the National Governors Association (NGA) lead Governor for the National Guard, Kempthorne, fought for the support and re-equipping of returning brigades to ensure their response capabilities during times of domestic strife. Under his watchful eye, he helped rally communities to the support of our troops in areas such as expanded health coverage, employee compensation during wartime and enhanced family support systems.
Throughout Dirk Kempthorne’s career in public office, water has been one of the main points of strife for his citizens in their efforts to find a balance between rights, usage, and protection. Drawing upon his legacy of successful water agreements, Kempthorne has showcased his ability to be the open, honest, collaborative broker between competing users. He will address the difficult questions that must be answered and illustrate an innovative pathway toward solutions.
A passionate scholar of U.S. history, Kempthorne provides a unique perspective on some of the greatest Americans ever to lead our storied nation. Combining historical accounts with his own real life experiences, Kempthorne energizes audiences with an inspiring reflection of how the challenges and struggles we respect from the past can give us a reality check on current tough times. It is a riveting, uplifting and compelling message of how tenacity and attitude can get any individual or organization through any challenge they may face today.
Health and Dignity should be the hallmark for any state or national strategy on long-term care. As the Chairman of the National Governor’s Association, Kempthorne launched a national initiative that identified best practices for States and Governors to assist their aging citizens. Not content with just identifying solutions, Kempthorne led the massive overhaul of the Idaho Medicaid program, putting his innovative ideas into action. Recognized as a pioneer in long-term care reform, Kempthorne provides his audiences with an informed and inspiring approach to caring for our Greatest Generation.
From a unique perspective of being one of the very few individuals in American politics to have been a Mayor, a U.S. Senator, a Governor and a Cabinet Secretary, Kempthorne brings first hand examples of how public policy impacts people’s lives and the beauty and genius of the U.S. Constitution. In these difficult times, he draws from history to provide inspiration to achieve great results for individuals and organizations.
Throughout his career, Kempthorne has understood and met the challenges of providing reliable, domestically-produced energy, including renewable energy, while balancing the need for environmental protection. Kempthorne lends a transformational voice in the debate over the future of energy in the U.S., providing a holistic and innovative approach to the production of energy, the protection of our environment, and the prosperity of our people.