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  • Janet Campagna

Janet Campagna (MS '85) Elected as New Caltech Trustee

The finance leader and Distinguished Alumna has built a career charting new territory

Janet Campagna (MS '85), founder and CEO of QS Investors and a Caltech Distinguished Alumna, has been elected to the Institute's Board of Trustees. After earning a bachelor's degree in economics from Northeastern University, the Brookline, Massachusetts, native came to Caltech to pursue graduate studies in what was then an emergent social sciences department. She completed a master's degree, then earned a PhD in political science from UC Irvine, researching electoral bias and helping develop California's redistricting plans.

Soon after completing her academic studies, Campagna realized her skillset could be more aptly applied to finance, and she took her first job in the investment sector. She found she could apply her background as a social scientist to the emerging field of quantitative finance, which uses complex mathematical models to inform investment strategy. She rose through the ranks of firms including Barclays Global Investors in San Francisco and Deutsche Bank in New York, where she eventually became the global head of quantitative strategies.

Later, in the midst of the economic downturn, Campagna spun off her department into a new investment-management firm, QS Investors. She was named a Caltech Distinguished Alumna in 2016 for contributions to quantitative investment and leadership in the financial industry.

At Caltech, Campagna also serves on the Information Science and Technology council for the Division of Engineering and Applied Science. She is a member of advisory boards at UC Berkeley and Northeastern University, and is on the board of trustees at Mott Haven Academy in New York.

Campagna is one of three individuals to have joined the Board of Trustees, Caltech's governing body, in recent months. The Board is led by David L. Lee (PhD '74), chair, and Ronald K. Linde (MS '62, PhD '64), vice chair. It is currently composed of 45 trustees, 26 senior trustees, 19 life members, and one honorary life member.

Campagna recently reflected on her career and on lessons learned at Caltech.

Do you think it is important to take risks in life? Why?
Absolutely. The quantitative skills I obtained at Caltech opened up many opportunities I had never even realized existed. Almost every great opportunity and experience I have had in life has come when I push myself into the unknown.

What do you find most interesting or inspiring about Caltech?
The unabashed passion the community shows for its work and research interests. I wish more people were aware of the innovation that is generated by multidisciplinary collaboration at the Institute.

What qualities and experience do you bring to the role of trustee?
I bring strong fiduciary and risk-management discipline. I have knowledge of cybersecurity and a passion for shaping culture to fit an institution's goals.

Written by Jennifer Torres Siders