Colleen Carroll Campbell is an author, print and broadcast journalist and former presidential speechwriter. In addition to her critically acclaimed first book, The New Faithful, and her award-winning spiritual memoir, My Sisters the Saints, her journalism credits include contributions to the New York Times, Washington Post, First Things and America, and appearances on CNN, FOX News, MSNBC, PBS and NPR. Campbell has served as executive producer and anchor of EWTN News Nightly with Colleen Carroll Campbell, a television newscast airing worldwide on EWTN, the world’s largest religious media network, and as creator and host of EWTN’s Faith & Culture television and radio interview show. In 2013, she anchored EWTN’s live television coverage of the historic election and installation of Pope Francis in Rome. A former speechwriter for President George W. Bush and editorial writer and op-ed columnist for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Campbell is the recipient of two honorary doctorates and numerous other awards for her journalism work. She serves as a lay consultant to the Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and speaks to audiences across North America and Europe. Campbell lives near Washington, D.C., with her husband and four children, whom she homeschools. Her website is www.colleen-campbell.com.
Colleen Carroll Campbell began her writing career at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where she served as editor-in-chief of the campus magazine, president of the campus chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, and a freelance writer for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. She won Society of Professional Journalist Mark of Excellence Awards for her writing and editing, and nearly a dozen awards, scholarships, and memberships in honorary societies for her academic and journalistic achievements. In 1995, she was chosen from a nationwide pool of college students for an American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME) editorial internship with Washingtonian Magazine. The following year, she graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Marquette with a Bachelor of Arts degree in writing-intensive English and a minor in political science.
Colleen’s first full-time journalism job was with the Memphis Commercial Appeal, where she wrote a series of front-page stories exposing political misconduct among elected officials in Collierville, Tennessee. In 1997, she moved to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, where she gained experience in investigative reporting and narrative journalism. She graduated from the National Institute for Computer-Assisted Reporting in 1998, and wrote a five-part series later that year on the St. Louis Public Schools. The series uncovered corruption and waste in the city school system and resulted in her nomination as a finalist for the Livingston Awards, the largest all-media, general reporting prizes in American journalism. The series also caught the attention of the Post-Dispatch’s editorial page editor, who invited Colleen to join the newspaper’s editorial board. At age 24, she became its youngest member. Colleen wrote daily editorials on a wide variety of topics, from education and social issues to media and culture, and her work earned her a Fellowship for Editorial Writers from the Hechinger Institute at Columbia University.
In 2000, Colleen won a $50,000 Phillips Journalism Fellowship that allowed her to take a year’s leave from her newspaper job and travel the country, researching and writing about a little-noticed trend that had attracted her attention: the appeal of traditional religion and morality to a growing number of young Americans. The result of her research was The New Faithful: Why Young Adults Are Embracing Christian Orthodoxy (Loyola Press, 2002), a critically acclaimed book now in its sixth printing that was a finalist for the 2002 ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Award and has been adopted as required reading by several colleges and universities. The New Faithful has been featured in more than 100 magazines and newspapers in the U.S. and abroad, including The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, U.S. News & World Report, National Review and Christianity Today. Since its publication, Colleen has received speaking invitations from institutions across North America and Europe, including requests to present her research to staff members at the White House and on Capitol Hill. She presented a copy of The New Faithful to Pope Benedict XVI while serving as a North American delegate to an international Vatican Congress on women.
In 2002, Colleen began work toward a doctorate in philosophy at Saint Louis University. She interrupted her studies later that year to accept a job as one of six speechwriters, and the only woman speechwriter, to President George W. Bush. Colleen worked directly with the President on major policy addresses, writing his speeches on such topics as education, the faith-based initiative, the fight against AIDS and judicial appointments.
After leaving the White House, Colleen served as a fellow at the Washington, D.C.-based Ethics and Public Policy Center and as a weekly op-ed columnist for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She also continued her work as a regular commentator on religion, politics and culture in the print and broadcast media.
Colleen contributes articles and online commentary to such outlets as The New York Times, Washington Post, National Review Online, Weekly Standard, Christianity Today, First Things and America. She has made more than 350 television and radio appearances on such networks as CNN, FOX News, MSNBC, PBS, NPR and the CBC. Her quotes have appeared in reports by the Associated Press, U.S. News & World Report, The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune and The Christian Science Monitor, among many others. In addition to her regular columns for the Post-Dispatch, Colleen has served as a columnist for America, Our Sunday Visitor and Lay Witness, winning a Catholic Press Association award for her work in the latter. Colleen’s essays and columns have been widely cited and published in several anthologies, including Take Heart: Catholic Writers on Hope in Our Time (Crossroads, 2007), which the publisher describes as a collection of essays from “the most beloved Catholic literary figures, scholars, and theologians of our day.” She wrote the foreword for Dawn Eden’s The Thrill of the Chaste: Catholic Edition (Ave Maria Press, 2015) and edited St. Gianna Molla: A Modern-Day Hero of Divine Love (Catholic Action, 2010).
Colleen’s newest book is My Sisters the Saints: A Spiritual Memoir (Image/Random House, 2012). Praised as “a beautiful and inspiring story” by bestselling novelist Mary Higgins Clark, “provocative … charming and instructive” by Kirkus Reviews and “touching … thoughtful and gracious” by Booklist, My Sisters the Saints won a 2013 Christopher Award and a 2013 Association of Catholic Publishers Excellence in Publishing Award. The book sold nearly 73,000 copies within two years of its debut. It is now in its seventh hardcover and fourth paperback printings and was recently translated into Spanish. Among other speaking engagements related to the book, Colleen recently keynoted an international conference commemorating the 500th anniversary of the birth of St. Teresa of Avila in Avila, Spain. My Sisters the Saints interweaves the story of Colleen’s 15-year spiritual search with the stories of the six women saints who guided her on her way.
Beginning in 2006, Colleen served as a television and radio host for the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN), the world’s largest religious media network. She created and hosted the long-running “Faith & Culture” interview show that aired on EWTN television, EWTN radio, Sirius Satellite Radio and Relevant Radio. She served as executive producer and anchor of “EWTN News Nightly with Colleen Carroll Campbell,” launching the network’s first-ever television newscast from the show’s studios near Capitol Hill. In 2013, she anchored EWTN’s live television coverage of the historic election and installation of Pope Francis in Rome. In the course of her television career, Colleen has interviewed dozens of political, cultural and religious leaders, including Senators, Congressmen, Cardinals, Archbishops, Vatican officials, bestselling authors, filmmakers, songwriters, artists and academics.
In addition to awards previously mentioned, Colleen was named 2004 Young Alumna of the Year by Marquette University’s College of Arts and Sciences. In 2008, she won the Phillips Foundation’s Distinguished Conservative Leader of the Year Award, which the foundation uses to honor “rising stars in politics and public policy.” In 2013, Colleen received an honorary Doctorate in Communications from Franciscan University of Steubenville and served as commencement speaker. In 2015, she did the same at Immaculata University, where she received an honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters. Colleen was recently appointed to a three-year term as a lay consultant to the Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. She speaks to audiences across North America and Europe and lives near Washington, D.C., with her husband and four children, whom she homeschools.
Click here (or on the photo below) to download a larger version.
Photo credit: Jeremy Rusnock
Bio photos by Niall O’Donnell, Red Sneakers Mediaworks, Doug DeMark, Servizio Fotografico, White House Photo Office, Saint Vincent College, EWTN, Stephen Driscoll, Leon Segears, Patrick McNamara, Jack Hardway.