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Eugene P. Campbell Papers 1941-1986
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Biography

Biographical Note

Eugene Paul Campbell is a public health physician and a longtime official of the Institute of Inter-American Affairs, the International Cooperation Administration and the Agency for International Development. He is a passionate advocate of U.S. economic and technological aid to the Third World countries. During his decades of governmental service, he headed cooperative public health programs in Latin and South America and India. He and his colleagues worked closely with government officials and physicians in host countries to improve sanitation, disseminate public health information, install rural health services and eradicate diseases such as malaria, schistosomiasis, and small pox.

Born in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1907, Dr. Campbell earned a M.D. from Johns Hopkins University in 1933 and a master's in public health from the Pennsylvania School of Public Health in 1942. When the Second World War broke out, he was teaching epidemiology there and wanting to contribute to the war effort, he went to work for the fledgling Institute of Inter-American Affairs (IIAA).

The Institute of Inter-American Affairs was a key element of the Roosevelt Administration's "Good Neighbor" policy toward Latin America, crafted by Assistant Secretary of State Nelson Rockefeller. Although the IIAA was founded in March, 1942, partly in response to the outbreak of the war and to the United States' need for raw materials and allies, its roots can be traced to June 1940. After Franklin D. Roosevelt read a memo by Rockefeller entitled "Hemisphere Economic Policy," he issued an executive order to the Council on National Defense ordering the creation of an Office for the Coordination of Commercial and Cultural Relations between the American Republics. Rockefeller was appointed Coordinator. In 1941 the Office was renamed The Office of the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs and placed within the Executive Office of the President. In March 1942, the IIAA was established under this office to implement bilateral diplomatic agreements made between the United States and most Latin American countries two months before at a Rio de Janeiro meeting of Western Hemisphere Foreign Ministers. Campbell joined the organization one month later.

One of the IIAA's principal objectives was the establishment of cooperative organizations in the health ministries of the host nations' governments that would promote improvements in public health and rural health services, to be jointly funded and staffed by the United States and each of the host governments. These bodies were known as Servicios. To each country with which the US had a bilateral agreement, the US sent a small "field party" comprised of a physician, an engineer, a nurse and an administrator. The chief of field party served as both the Chief IIAA representative to the host country and the Servicio. From 1942 to 1943, Campbell served as the chief of field party in Guatemala, and from 1943 to 1945 the IIAA's field director for Central America and then all of South America, traveling from country to country. With the end of the war in 1945, Dr. Campbell was appointed the IIAA's Chief of Field Party in Brazil.

In 1947, the IIAA became part of the Technical Cooperation Administration and then in 1953 it was absorbed into the Foreign Operations Administration (FOA). Dr. Campbell remained in Brazil until 1955, serving as the IIAA representative to Brazil's Servicio, the Servico Especial de Saude Publica (SESP), and Chief of the IIAA Field Party. An exception among Servicios established by the IIAA, SESP remained in existence even after the bilateral agreement between the US and Brazil had expired. It became a legal part of the Brazilian government, a foundation, funded by the Brazilian Legislature.

In 1955 the FOA ceased to exist and was replaced by the International Cooperation Administration (ICA). At the same, time Dr. Campbell was called back to Washington to serve as deputy chief and then Chief of the ICA's Office of Public Health. In 1961, the ICA became part of the newly established Agency for International Development (AID), at which time Dr. Campbell was transferred to India as Chief of AID's Cooperative Health programs. He returned to Brazil in 1965 as an AID consultant, remaining there until retirement in 1970. Well into the 1970s, however, Campbell continued to travel around the world as a public health consultant and expert.

Additional biographical material on Dr. Campbell may be found in the 1972 Who's Who in America and in his unpublished memoirs located in the subject files of this collection (Series 4). His activities with the IIAA and SESP are also documented in the following two publications donated to the library by Dr. Campbell and found in the library's printed collections: Institute of Inter-American Affairs. Health and Sanitation Division. Newsletter, 1942-1950, and Boletim do S.E.S.P., 1943-59.