Wyoming native Dave Freudenthal graduated from Amherst College in 1973 and then returned to Wyoming to take a position as an economist for the Wyoming Department of Economic Planning and Development. Governor Ed Herschler appointed him state planning coordinator in 1975. After graduating from the University of Wyoming College of Law in 1980, Freudenthal opened his own one-man law office in Cheyenne, which grew into a general practice firm representing individuals and businesses.
In 1994, he was appointed U.S. attorney for Wyoming, a position that he held until May 2001. He has chaired the Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce, was a founding director of the Wyoming Student Loan Corporation, and has been a member of the Education Policy Implementation Council, the board of the Wyoming Community Foundation, the state Economic Development and Stabilization Board, and the Laramie County Community Action Board. He was elected governor of Wyoming in November, 2002.