Russ is a former senior Australian Public Servant with considerable experience in social policy and education policy. He performed a number of Branch Manager roles in Early Childhood Education and Child Care, and in Mental Health. These roles included providing strategic policy analysis and development, program design and delivery, and evaluation, as well as the negotiation of agreements and funding arrangements with state and territory governments. Further, Russ oversaw the DSS Community Mental Health Activity, a $250 million pa grant program which supported around 500 providers across Australia to deliver a range of non-clinical community mental health programs to around 120,000 clients. He also managed the transition of two mental health programs to the NDIS.
Russ completed his PhD on Policy Markets in Australia at the University of Canberra in 2001. He is a regular contributor to IGPA's postgraduate teaching programs, teaching on policy development, design, implementation, project management and evaluation.