Originally a solicitor, Lord Young of Graffham gained extensive experience across both the business world and within the political sphere.
After building up his own companies for nearly twenty years, he joined the government in 1979 as a volunteer civil servant, introducing privatisation in the Department of Industry, serving eventually as Chairman of the Manpower Services Commission from April 1982. September 1984 saw David Young enter the Lords and join the Cabinet as Minister without Portfolio becoming Secretary of State for Employment in 1985 and after the 1987 election where he had a key role, became Secretary of State for Trade and Industry and President of the Board of Trade. He retired from government in July 1989, serving as Deputy Chairman of the Party until June 1990. That year also saw the publication of his book The Enterprise Years.
At the beginning of 1990, he became a director of Salomon Inc (until May 1994) and was invited to become Executive Chairman of Cable & Wireless PLC in October 1990 where he served until November 1995. He founded Young Associates Ltd, a Private Equity house in 1996 where he is currently Chairman and is Chairman of a number of companies listed on AIM.
Apart from his business interests, Lord Young was President of the Institute of Directors until 2002, Chairman of Council, University College London until 2005, was the founder Chairman of the West Sussex Economic Forum, the Chairman of the London Philharmonic Trust until 1997 and since then has been Chairman of Chichester Festival Theatre. He was Chairman of the Institute of Cultural Heritage at UCL and a member of the Council of the Prince’s Trust where he had responsibilities for fundraising and the business programme and President of the Patrons Network. He was President of the Coram Trust and of Chai Cancercare and the Jewish Museum London.
The Foundation was saddened by his death in December 2022.