Tom Campbell (Born August 14, 1952) returned as dean of the Haas School of Business and a professor of business administration at the University of California, Berkeley after a leave of absence to serve as the Director of Finance for the State of California in 2004 and 2005. He previously served five nonconsecutive terms in the United States House of Representatives as a Republican.
Born in Chicago, Campbell obtained his B.A. and M.A. degrees from the University of Chicago (1973) and a J.D. from Harvard Law School (1976). He returned to the University of Chicago to earn a Ph.D. in economics in 1980. His mentor was Milton Friedman. He was raised in a Democratic family, but became a Republican during college.
Campbell was admitted to the bar in 1976 and went into private practice in Chicago. He was a White House Fellow in the office of the chief of staff and White House counsel (1980-1981). He then served as director of the Bureau of Competition, Federal Trade Commission (1981-1983).
Campbell became a law professor at Stanford University in 1983, becoming the youngest professor ever awarded tenure at Stanford. He took a leave of absence in 1988 to run for the Republican nomination in California's 12th Congressional District, which included his home in Campbell, just outside San Jose. He won and served two terms before making an unsuccessful bid for the Republican nomination for the Senate seat being vacated by Alan Cranston. He won a special election for the California State Senate in 1993 and served there until 1995. That year, 15th District Congressman Norman Mineta unexpectedly resigned. Campbell's home had been redrawn into this San Jose-based district, and he ran in the special election. Mineta had held the seat since 1975, and it was widely considered a safe Democratic district. However, the Democrats in the 15th are not as liberal as their Bay Area cousins, and were thus receptive to electing a moderate Republican. Campbell won the October special election by a large margin. He won a full term almost as easily in 1996 and was handily reelected in 1998.
Campbell was one of the most socially liberal Republicans in Congress, which served him well since he spent his entire Congressional career representing heavily Democratic districts. He was pro-choice on abortion and was strongly supportive of gun control and gay rights. He was also a vehement opponent of the war on drugs. However, he favored privatizing Social Security and allowing local governments to issue vouchers for private schools.
In 2000, Campbell won the Republican nomination to take on Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein. However, he faced almost impossible odds against the popular Feinstein, especially since California had swung heavily to the Democrats in the previous decade. It didn't help that he had voted for two of the four articles of impeachment against Bill Clinton shortly after being reelected in 1998. During the impeachment debate, Campbell suggested that Clinton's misleading statements about his relationship with Monica Lewinsky had incapacitated him from serving as president. Campbell was badly defeated, losing by over 19 points. He then returned to Stanford, serving there until his appointment at the Haas School in 2002.
As Dean of the Haas School, Campbell stressed the study of corporate social responsibility and business ethics amid an era of corporate scandals. A full-fledged Center for Responsible Business was established. In September 2004, Campbell was named by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to his newly formed Council of Economic Advisors.
From 2004 to 2005 Campbell took a leave of absence from his Berkeley post to serve as director of the California Department of Finance in the Schwarzenegger administration, but has since returned to lead the Haas School of Business.