David McGuinty was born and raised in Ottawa South in a family of twelve with a strong tradition of public service. He is a leading public figure whose extensive domestic and international experience defies labels, and he has been recognized at the highest level for his contributions to his community.
A fluently bilingual lawyer by trade, he has worked with governments, businesses, and not-for-profit organizations around the world on a broad range of matters including the economy and the environment.
At the age of twenty-one, David earned his Diploma in Agriculture from the Kemptville College of Agriculture in Ontario. He helped run a succession of family-owned businesses while earning a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature at the University of Ottawa, specialized diplomas in Civil and Comparative Law at Université de Sherbrooke in Quebec, a Bachelor of Laws at the University of Ottawa, and finally a Master of Laws at the London School of Economics and Political Science in 1991.
Based in Cotê d’Ivoire from 1988 to 1990, David worked tirelessly on behalf of UNICEF in 23 West and Central African countries as part of a broader UN effort to seek consensus on the ratification of the International Convention on the Rights of the Child.
From 1991 to 1992, David was a visiting lecturer and researcher on International, Environmental, and Comparative Law at King’s College at the University of London. He practiced law with UK-based firm Gouldens Solicitors from 1992 to 1995, where he worked on corporate mergers and acquisitions, European Union affairs, and international environmental issues.
He was seconded to the International Development Law Institute in Rome from 1993 to 1995, where he designed and taught advanced courses for mid-career legal professionals from throughout the developing world. Among his highlights here, David helped launch the first ever international partnership for the training of Chinese judges and lawyers with the Canadian Bar Association. He also worked in his capacity with representatives of emerging economies in Eastern Europe to improve economic opportunities and quality of life.
Shortly after his return to Canada in 1995, David was chosen to serve as President and CEO of the Prime Minister’s National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy. He led deliberations among prominent Canadians representing the private sector, labour movements, federal, provincial, and municipal governments, environmental and aboriginal organizations and other non-governmental organizations. His work has placed him among the foremost Canadian experts on green budgeting, brownfields, and the nexus between the economy, the environment, and social issues.
Also from 1995, David served as National Program Director of LEAD Canada, an NGO where he worked with CIDA among other many organizations. With LEAD, he mentored future leaders across Canada and internationally in Africa, Latin America, Asia, and the United States. David has also advised the Rockefeller Foundation.
David is a Harvard-trained mediator and negotiator and received the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal for “outstanding and exemplary contributions” to his community and to Canada.
In June 2004, David was elected to the House of Commons as Member of Parliament for Ottawa South. At this time, David and his brother Dalton became the first siblings in Canadian history to hold elected office both provincially and federally in the same riding concurrently.
Since his election in 2004, David has served as Liberal Critic for Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, Official Opposition Critic for Energy and the Environment, Vice Chair of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development, Chair of the National Capital Region Liberal Caucus, Official Opposition House Leader, and Acting Liberal Whip. He currently serves as the Chair of the National Capital Region Government Caucus and on the Executive Committees of the Canada-United States Inter-Parliamentary Group, the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, the Inter-Parliamentary Union and the Canada-Japan Inter-Parliamentary Group.