A religious leader, author and social activist, Campbell devoted her career to using tax law to benefit the underserved. “It’s about caring for those who are most often left out,” she said. “From a young age, I just had this idea that you had to act. You had to step in and fix things.”
Shortly after graduating from the School of Law, she founded the Oakland Community Law Center, which provided legal services on a sliding-fee scale.
More recently, she spent 17 years as executive director of NETWORK, a Catholic organization promoting social justice in public policy. In that role, she lobbied for all kinds of economic justice issues, including health care, immigration reform and tax policies. Her work was credited in helping to pass the Affordable Care Act in 2010. She gained national prominence for those efforts and for leading Nuns on the Bus. As part of the program, Catholic nuns have driven thousands of miles across the United States to advocate for justice and equitable federal policies. Campbell was recognized for her lifelong advocacy for economic justice last July, when she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.
Campbell retired from NETWORK in 2021 and is now leading a new effort called Understanding US that is focused on political healing. She has received numerous awards including the Defender of Democracy Award from the Parliamentarians for Global Action. She is the author of two books, A Nun on the Bus (2014) and Hunger for Hope (2020).