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Donovan Campbell

Bestselling author, Marine platoon commander, corporate executive

  • About Donovan Campbell

    Donovan Campbell is a decorated military officer and a young Fortune 500 executive whose lessons about leadership and teamwork came the hard way, through three combat deployments—two in Iraq and one in Afghanistan. Donovan has over a decade of experience leading teams in some of the most demanding environments imaginable—both on and off the battlefield—and he is passionate about bringing a focus on building individual character into the workplace. He was awarded the Combat Action Ribbon and a Bronze Star with Valor for his time in Iraq. He is the author of the New York Times bestseller Joker One: A Marine Platoon’s Story of Courage, Leadership, and Brotherhood, which Bing West has called “the finest small-unit description of a platoon at war in Iraq” and which Entertainment Weekly has said “isn’t as much a story of war as it is a story of love.” It was also recently named one of “The Best Military Books of the Decade” by Military Times.

    Campbell has become a recognizable face among the military officers returning home and entering the business world. In his most recent book, The Leader’s Code: Mission, Character, Service, and Getting the Job Done, he applies the principles learned in the military: a humble servant-leader mentality, a willingness to shoulder responsibility, and an understanding of personal sacrifice for the greater good to civilian life. Donovan Campbell’s lecture appearances include Harvard Business School, the Air Force Academy, Wake Forest University, BENS (Business Executives for National Security), PepsiCo, Culver’s Restaurants, and multiple appearances at the annual Barbara Bush Celebration of Reading as a featured author.

    Campbell is also the co-founder of NextOp, a nonprofit organization which recruits, trains, and places high-performing middle-enlisted military leaders into industry careers.

    He lives in Houston with his wife and three daughters.

  • Speaking Topics

    The Experience of War and the Transition Home

    In this talk Campbell describes a typical front-line combat tour using pictures and stories from his time leading a platoon in Ramad (a city just recently re-taken from ISIS) in 2004, at the height of the Sunni insurgency. Sharing the lessons he learned from such an experience, Campbell explains how these lessons can help veterans excel in civilian life. Campbell delves into the reasons that some veterans struggle to transition back the normal world and shares insights into how to help them based on his own experience as the co-founder of NextOp.

  • Video

  • Praise for Donovan Campbell


    Donovan delivered highly relevant & motivating content in an impactful manner. He took time to understand our needs before the event and tailored his address accordingly. Everyone was highly impressed by his professionalism and sincerity to the task and he received a standing ovation at the end.


    Praise for The Leader’s Code

    Campbell, a former captain in the US Marine Corps who served in Iraq, writes fluently and persuasively, blending abstract ideas and personal experience in a highly readable narrative…brings a fresh approach…[Campbell] does not just talk about leadership; he has experienced it under very trying conditions. That novel take on an existing subject makes this book worth reading.

    Financial Times

    A refreshing model for leadership, offering convincing principles and motivating examples that are sure to make a difference in a leader's personal and professional life. I can't remember a leadership book that has had more influence on my thinking.

    Steve Reinemund, Dean of Business, Wake Forest University and Retired Chairman and CEO, Pepsico

    Donovan Campbell nails it as he speaks to our country’s need for leadership at every level…at home, in the marketplace, education, government, and the military. The Leader’s Code is a clear call to be about the right mission, in the right way, and at the right time. This is a thoughtful book that will keep you awake at night and challenge you to dream in the daytime!

    Dr. Dennis Rainey, President and CEO, FamilyLife
  • Books by Donovan Campbell

  • Media About Donovan Campbell

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and Availability

  • 212 572-2013
  • Donovan Campbell travels from Houston, TX

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