David Emerson attended the University of Alberta and obtained his Bachelors Degree in Economics in 1968 and his Masters Degree in Economics in 1970. He then went on to Queens University where he received his PhD in Economics.
While completing his doctorate in 1972, he worked as a researcher for the Economic Council of Canada in Ottawa. In 1975, his passion for public service brought him to British Columbia, where he quickly rose through the ranks to become the province's Deputy Minister of Finance in 1984.
In 1986, he left government to become President and CEO of the Western and Pacific Bank of Canada in Vancouver. Four years later, he returned to the provincial government as Deputy Minister of Finance, where he was quickly promoted to Deputy Minister to the Premier and then President of BC Trade Development Corporation.
In 1992, he was appointed to lead the newly created Vancouver International Airport Authority, which was responsible for developing, operating and improving the airport's services and facilities. Today, the airport is a major economic generator for Greater Vancouver and the province.
In 1998, Mr. Emerson was appointed President and CEO of Canfor Corporation, BC's largest forestry company, leading it through one of the most difficult periods for the forest sector in BC.
He and his wife Theresa have a son and a daughter age 12 and 9. He also has three grown children, a son age 34 and two daughters age 30 and 22.