Bonnie Campbell


Bonnie Campbell

"She was the strongest voice in changing the way we think and act as a state and a people when it comes to violence against women." - Thomas J. Miller

Bonnie Campbell of Washington D.C. is a staunch supporter of Women's freedom from violence. Born in Norwich, New York in 1948, Campbell grew up in a modest family of dairy farmers and was the first person in her family to graduate from high school. While listening to a campaign speech at the age of 16, she was inspired to public service. After high school graduation, she moved to Washington, D.C. to work for the Department of Housing and Urban Development and later, for three U.S. Senators. After moving to Iowa and a stint with U.S. Senator Culver, she became a full-time student at Drake University, earning a bachelor's degree in 1982 and a law degree in 1984. She chaired the Iowa Democratic Party for two years, the first woman to do so. Elected in 1990, she became Iowa's first woman Attorney General and while in office authored one of the nation's first anti-stalking laws. She ran unsuccessfully for governor in 1994. In 1995, President Clinton appointed Campbell as the first director of the Violence Against Women Office, an agency of the U.S. Department of Justice. In that position, Campbell had the opportunity to travel throughout the country and to other nations. After her service as a member of the U.S. Delegation to the United Nations' Fourth World Conference on Women held in Beijing, she became a leading spokesperson on international human rights. Named in Time magazine as one of the 25 most influential people in America in 1997, Campbell continues her work in private practice. Campbell was inducted into the Iowa Women's Hall of Fame in 2002.