Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Obama Appoints California Attorney to Intelligence Panel
By STEVEN M. ELLIS, Staff Writer
President Obama has named a former federal prosecutor in Los Angeles to a top intelligence oversight panel.
Obama said Thursday he will appoint Roel C. Campos and seven others to the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board, an independent board within the Executive Office of the President.
According to its website, the board provides the president with “an independent source of advice on the effectiveness with which the Intelligence Community is meeting the nation’s intelligence needs, and the vigor and insight with which the community plans for the future.”
Campos is currently partner in charge of the Washington, D.C., office of the national law firm Cooley, Godward and Kronish. An assistant U.S. attorney in the Central District of California from 1985 to 1990, he later co-founded a Houston radio broadcasting company before serving as a commissioner on the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Announcing the appointments, Obama said:
“Throughout its history, this distinguished board has been used by each President to examine and address the most pressing intelligence challenges that face our nation. A significant component of our national security is dependent on the health and capability of the intelligence community to identify and effectively deal with current threats and those on the horizon.
“I am deeply grateful that these individuals have agreed to serve our country by offering their independent, unbiased guidance to me on a range of important intelligence issues. I look forward to receiving their expert counsel in the coming months and years.”
Campos joined Cooley Godward in 2007 and is a member of the firm’s litigation department, where he advises corporate management teams and boards of directors on enforcement, internal investigations, prosecutions, securities and international regulation, and corporate governance.
He served as part of Obama’s economic advisory board and was a member of the president’s transition team.
Campos was twice confirmed by the U.S. Senate as an SEC commissioner and served from 2002 to 2007, representing the agency in international matters and leading initiatives to raise global regulatory and enforcement standards.
Born in Harlingen, Texas, to Mexican American parents, he attended the U.S. Air Force Academy and later specialized in major weapons systems procurement as an officer.
After obtaining a business degree from UCLA and graduating from Harvard Law School, he worked in Los Angeles as a corporate transactions/securities lawyer and litigator.
Campos spent five years prosecuting major cases against narcotics cartels and corporate fraud as a member of the U.S. Attorney’s Office. In one celebrated trial, he obtained convictions for the kidnapping and murder of a DEA agent.
However, in 1990 he returned to private law practice for several years before becoming one of two principal owner-executives of El Dorado Communications, with headquarters in Houston.
Campos was admitted to the State Bar of California in 1979, but also became licensed to practice law in the State of Texas in 2001.
Thursday’s move by Obama marks the first by the president to fill the board, whose seats were left vacant when the entire PIAB membership that served under the Bush administration resigned as part of an agreed-upon move during the presidential transition. In October, Obama appointed former U.S. Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., and current University of Oklahoma President David L. Boren, a former Democratic senator, as PIAB co-chairs.
Copyright 2009, Metropolitan News Company