Michael Russell

Mr. Michael Russell has a record of 28 years of distinguished Federal service, including senior appointments on Capitol Hill and in two Cabinet departments, focusing on homeland security, national security, and law enforcement policy.  He is recognized for staffing Congressional committee oversight of the Department of Homeland Security during its first decade.

Early in his Washington career, Mr. Russell served as counsel on two Senate Judiciary Subcommittees, Legislative Director to Senator Arlen Specter, Senate staff liaison to the Congressional Crime Caucus, Deputy Director and Acting Director of the Justice Department’s National Institute of Justice, and Deputy Chief of Staff to Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell.

On September 11, 2001, Mr. Russell was in Senator Campbell’s office, and staffed the Senator on the initial Congressional reactions to the terrorist attacks.  Shortly thereafter, the Bush Administration appointed Mr. Russell as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Enforcement Policy and Budget at the U.S. Department of the Treasury.  In this capacity, he worked directly with the Under Secretary for Enforcement to oversee and provide policy guidance to the enforcement bureaus implementing new programs to strengthen border and cargo security, combat terrorist financing, and expand law enforcement training.  Mr. Russell also represented Treasury on White House homeland security policy committees and inter-agency initiatives related to the creation of the Department of Homeland Security.

In March 2003, Senator Peter Fitzgerald appointed Mr. Russell as Staff Director of the Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Financial Management, the Budget, and International Security where he staffed DHS oversight and nominations, markup of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act, and passage into law of the Department of Homeland Security Financial Accountability Act.

When the House of Representatives established its authorizing Committee on Homeland Security in 2005, Chairman Christopher Cox appointed Mr. Russell as Deputy Policy Director responsible for overseeing the budget and management of DHS.  Subsequently, Chairman Peter King named Mr. Russell the first Staff Director of the Management, Integration, and Oversight Subcommittee, then full committee Minority Chief Counsel, Minority Staff Director, and in the 112th Congress Majority Staff Director and Chief Counsel.  Committee priorities included counterterrorism and radicalization; cybersecurity; border, port, and aviation security; infrastructure protection; and oversight of DHS policies, programs, and budgets.  Mr. Russell also staffed the Committee’s first Congressional Delegation to Asia on transportation security and Delegations to Central America, Africa, and Europe that focused on counterterrorism, port security, and information sharing.

Mr. Russell currently serves on the faculty of American University and teaches American politics and government in the Graduate Gateway Program, with a focus on homeland security.  He received his Bachelor of Arts from Gettysburg College, Master of Arts in Political Science from Vanderbilt University, and Juris Doctor from Vanderbilt Law School.  Mr. Russell is a member of the bars of Pennsylvania, the District of Columbia, and the Supreme Court of the United States.