Sister Simone Campbell, SSS, has served as Executive Director of NETWORK, A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby, since 2004. She is a religious leader, attorney and poet with extensive experience in public policy and advocacy for systemic change. In Washington, she lobbies on issues of peace-building, immigration reform, healthcare, and economic justice. Around the country, she is a noted speaker and educator on these and other public policy issues.
During the 2010 congressional debate about healthcare reform, she wrote the famous “nuns’ letter” supporting the reform bill and got 59 leaders of Catholic Sisters, including LCWR, to sign on. This action was cited by many as critically important in passing the Affordable Care Act. She was thanked by President Obama and invited to the ceremony celebrating its being signed into law.
In 2012, she was also instrumental in organizing the first “Nuns on the Bus” tour of nine states to oppose the “Ryan Budget” approved by the House of Representatives. This budget would decimate programs meant to help people in need. NETWORK’s “Nuns on the Bus” received an avalanche of attention across the nation from religious communities, elected officials and the media. Last year, she led a new cross-country Nuns on the Bus trip (May 28 through June 18, 2013) focused on comprehensive immigration reform. More “Nuns on the Bus” journeys are planned.
Sister Campbell has often been featured in the national and international media, including recent appearances on 60 Minutes, The Colbert Report, and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. She has received numerous awards, including the “Defender of Democracy Award” from the international Parliamentarians for Global Action and “Health Care Heroes Award” from Families USA. In addition, she has been the keynote or featured speaker at numerous large gatherings, including the 2012 Democratic National Convention.
Prior to coming to NETWORK, she served as the Executive Director of JERICHO, the California interfaith public policy organization that works, like NETWORK, to protect the interests of people living in poverty. She also participated in a delegation of religious leaders to Iraq in December 2002, just prior to the war, and was later (while at NETWORK) part of a Catholic Relief Services delegation to Lebanon and Syria to study the Iraqi refugee situation there.