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Nancy Duff Campbell, Co-President

Nancy Duff Campbell

Nancy Duff Campbell is a founder and Co-President of the National Women's Law Center, one of the nation's pre-eminent women's rights organizations. A recognized expert on women's law and public policy issues, for over forty years Ms. Campbell has participated in the development and implementation of key legislative initiatives and litigation protecting women's rights, with a particular emphasis on issues affecting low-income women and their families.

Ms. Campbell's accomplishments include participation in successful Supreme Court litigation establishing that two-parent families with unemployed mothers are entitled to AFDC benefits, in Califano v. Westcott; organization and leadership of the Coalition on Women and Taxes, whose analyses and advocacy led to expanded tax assistance for single heads of household and the removal of six million low income families from the tax rolls in the Tax Reform Act of 1986; the establishment of a uniform right to child support enforcement services for all custodial parents without regard to income, in Parents Without Partners v. Massinga; a central role in drafting and pressing a national agenda on child care, which culminated in passage in 1990 of the first comprehensive child care legislation since World War II and several improvements in the succeeding years;  and expansion of the rights and remedies of military women facing sexual harassment, unfair family policies, and stereotyped limitations on their jobs and ability to serve in combat, through congressional legislation and Department of Defense policies. She is also the author of numerous articles on women's legal issues.

Ms. Campbell has been named by Working Woman magazine as one of the top 25 heroines whose actions over the last 25 years have advanced women in the workplace, a Woman of Genius by Trinity College, and the 2010 Woman Lawyer of the Year by the District of Columbia Women's Bar Association. She received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for her work to improve child support enforcement and was appointed by Congress to the U.S. Commission on Child and Family Welfare, to study and make recommendations on a range of issues, including child support, custody and visitation; family services; and family and juvenile court systems. She was the only North American representative to the 2009 United Nations Conference on the Implications for Women of the Global Financial Crisis and in 2010 was appointed by the Secretary of Defense to the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services. She is the recipient of the District of Columbia Bar's William J. Brennan Award, in recognition of her exemplary legal career dedicated to service in the public interest, Barnard College of Columbia University's Millicent Carey McIntosh Award, and the Center for Law and Social Policy's 25th Anniversary Award, and she has been recognized by her law school as an "NYU Alumnus/Alumna of the Month" and by Online Colleges as one of "20 Influential Female Lawyers Every Law Student Should Know." She has been selected for inclusion in Who's Who in America, Who's Who of American Women, and Wikipedia. She has served on the District of Columbia Bar Board of Governors, including its Executive Committee, as well as numerous other boards, and currently is a member of the Princeton University Center for Research on Child Wellbeing Advisory Board, Low-Income Investment Fund Board of Directors, Alliance for National Defense Board of Advisors, and Institute for Women's Policy Research Board of Advisors. She is also a Fellow of the American Bar Association.

Ms. Campbell received her undergraduate degree from Barnard College of Columbia University in 1965 and her law degree from New York University School of Law in 1968. Prior to her work with the National Women's Law Center, she was a law professor at Georgetown University Law Center and Catholic University School of Law in Washington, D.C., and an attorney with the Center on Social Welfare Policy and Law (now the National Center for Law and Economic Justice) in New York.

My Take

Tax Day News: Louisiana's Unique Tax Credits Improve Child Care Quality

Posted by Nancy Duff Campbell, Co-President | Posted on: April 14, 2015 at 05:31 pm

Louisiana’s unique package of tax credits, the first of its kind in the country, improved the quality of child care in the state in its first four years — including for low-income children — according to a new report just released by the National Women’s Law Center. The report assesses the effectiveness of the credits, known collectively as the School Readiness Tax Credits (SRTC), in improving child care quality in the first four years of their implementation. Between 2008, when the credits took effect, and 2011, the credits provided more than $38 million in new investments in child care quality. Over the same period, there were measurable improvements in the quality of child care in Louisiana.


What a Speech! Thank President Obama

Posted by | Posted on: February 14, 2013 at 01:07 pm

What a night, and what a speech!

On Tuesday, President Obama laid out an important economic agenda for women and families in his State of the Union address — expanding early education opportunities, advancing fair tax and budget policies, increasing the federal minimum wage, and passing both the Paycheck Fairness Act and the Violence Against Women Act.

This is a full and impressive agenda for President Obama's second term. But we're up for the challenge and we hope you are, too!

Please join us in thanking President Obama for his commitment to women and their families. Your voice will send a strong signal to the White House that it's on the right track.

What's our take on all of these key issues?

  • Expanding Early Education Opportunities — President Obama's early childhood initiative would expand access to critical early learning opportunities for millions of preschool age and young children across the country. This would help many low- and middle-income women and their families who are struggling to afford the early learning opportunities that put their children on a path to success.
  • Advancing Fair Tax and Budget Policies — President Obama called on Congress to pass a budget that replaces reckless cuts with smart savings and wise investments in our future. This is especially important to women, because millions of hard-working women are struggling to lift their families out of poverty and cuts in funding for public services have cost women hundreds of thousands of jobs. We also need a tax system that fairly raises the revenue required to make these wise investments and stave off deep cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and other programs women and their families count on.

Unemployed? Happy Holidays: Now You’re On Your Own

Posted by Nancy Duff Campbell, Co-President | Posted on: December 16, 2009 at 08:34 pm

by Nancy Duff Campbell, Co-President,
National Women's Law Center

Cross-Posted from Huffington Post.

Here’s a sobering thought for our holiday season: one million workers will become ineligible for unemployment benefits in January 2010 unless Congress reauthorizes the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)’s unemployment insurance and COBRA health insurance programs by the end of this month.

What a way to ring in the New Year: a vital lifeline that helped these jobless women and men keep a roof over their heads, put food on the table, and get medical insurance coverage will evaporate. By March the number of affected Americans could swell to more than 3.2 million workers if Congress doesn’t act.

One group of jobless workers is especially vulnerable: single mothers. The unemployment data released earlier this month show that 11.4 percent of women who head families are unemployed, compared to an overall unemployment rate of 10 percent. Since the recession began in December 2007, unemployment among women who head families has consistently been higher than the unemployment rate for men and women generally.


Women Small Business Owners Really Need Healthcare Reform

Posted by Nancy Duff Campbell, Co-President | Posted on: August 04, 2009 at 04:54 pm

by Nancy Duff Campbell, Co-President, 
National Women’s Law Center

Cross-posted from Reuters.

Insurance companies and others who profit from our broken health care system are mobilizing to defeat comprehensive reform by using misinformation and scare tactics. A prime example is the allegation that healthcare legislation – specifically the plan being considered by the House of Representatives – will hurt small businesses.

The fact is that small business owners, especially women, are already hurting under our current healthcare system. Leah Daniels, 29, is the owner of Hill’s Kitchen – a gourmet kitchenware store that opened last May not far from the U.S. Capitol. Daniels can’t afford to offer health insurance to her three employees. She purchased her own bare-bones plan on the individual market for protection “in case I get hit by a car,” but not much else. It costs her just under $200 a month and doesn’t cover such services as routine doctor’s visits or maternity care. Daniels, who often works 7 days a week, says that she is constantly worried about getting sick.

Daniels’ problems are, unfortunately, all too typical. A new report by the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) found that small businesses pay up to 18 percent more than large firms for the same health insurance policy. These higher costs mean that small businesses are considerably less likely than larger businesses to provide health insurance to their employees, and those that do tend to have less comprehensive plans. And Census data show that women-owned businesses are generally smaller than male-owned businesses.