Born in Victoria, British Columbia, David Anderson received his law degree from the University of British Columbia (UBC). Mr. Anderson did two years of post graduate studies at the Institute for Oriental Studies at the University of Hong Kong where he became fluent in Mandarin.
From 1968 to 1972, during his time as Member of Parliament (MP) for Esquimalt-Saanich, Mr. Anderson founded and chaired the Special Committee on Environmental Pollution. In 1972, he was elected Member of the Legislative Assembly for Victoria and sat in the Legislative Assembly as the leader of the Liberal Party of British Columbia until December of 1975.
In 1979, he worked as an environmental consultant and adjunct professor at the University of Victoria's School of Public Administration. His environmental work focused on coastal and wetland protection and marine pollution.
In 1993, Mr. Anderson was elected Liberal MP for Victoria and served as Minister of National Revenue. In 1996, he was appointed Minister of Transport.
Since 1999, Mr. Anderson has served as Minister of the Environment. In 2001, Mr. Anderson became the first Canadian ever elected as President of the Governing Council of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
Mr. Andersonís priorities as minister have been improving air and water quality, protecting biodiversity (including endangered species) and negotiating, securing and implementing Canadian ratification of the Kyoto Protocol on climate change.
He and his wife Sandra, have two children, James and Zoe.