A Woman You Should Know: Debra Campbell

As a seasoned philanthropic advisor, Debra Campbell has spent decades establishing meaningful humanitarian endeavours. She helps her clients see their life’s efforts from new perspectives. When conversing with a new client, “It’s always interesting and surprising to hear how they view the world,” says Campbell. Driven by a “strong belief in the value of community,” she spends a considerable amount of time on her own philanthropic work, too.

Photography by Kourosh Keshiri. Coat by Hermès; blouse by Vince, Holt Renfrew; trousers, shoes and earrings, model’s own.
Photography by Kourosh Keshiri. Coat by Hermès; blouse by Vince, Holt Renfrew; trousers, shoes and earrings, model’s own.

On her industry:

“The most important thing is to start by asking a few really good questions, then listening carefully to the answers. The landscape for family philanthropy has evolved considerably over the last 20 years, and now there is an opportunity to engage the next generation in the decision-making process. They bring with them new ways of thinking, new approaches to problem solving, and they want to roll up their sleeves and effect measureable change in the issues they care about most.”

On defining success:

“Arianna Huffington captured what I believe are the measures that truly count, listing ‘well-being, wisdom, wonder and giving’ as most important.”

On being rewarded:

“I enjoy helping people look at what they’ve done from different perspectives, and I like being able to tell their story back to them. This lays the foundation for looking ahead; using lessons they’ve learned to create new possibilities for the future.”

On living The Good Life:

“My best days are the rare occasions when my husband and I can spend time with both of our adult sons at the same time. We try to create opportunities for shared experiences, like travelling, cooking and seeing art.”