Campbell was raised on a 4,500 hectare sheep/canola/barley farm in the Great Southern region of Western Australia. He is an agricultural scientist with a Honours Degree and PhD in the areas of crop and pasture physiology, who has nearly three decades of experience in research management bringing extensive skills in finance and risk management, business development and fundraising. Campbell has also owned and operated his own agribusiness (Valet Beta Pet Foods) producing and selling kangaroo pet meat. In 2013 Campbell became a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and has held board directorships on numerous not-for-profit organisations over a 15 year period. This includes the West Australian Animal Resources Authority (2007-2019), the Pawsey Supercomputing Centre (2012-2019), the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (2014-2016), the Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities (2014-2015), and the Population Health Research Network (2009-2014). Campbell has been instrumental in the development of the profession of research management in the Australasian region and has served two terms as President of the Australasian Research Management Society (ARMS) (2004-2006; 2017-2019). His commitment to the profession is further evident in his appointment to the ARMS Accreditation Council (2013-2019).