Justin Thomas Russel
Executive Director of Belief in Africa
For over 30 years, Justin Thomas Russell has been navigating the intricate world of government relations and foreign policy with unmatched expertise. With his extensive knowledge of international politics and strong connections to influential figures in both public and private sectors, he is able to drive agendas forward effectively. Justin’s exceptional skills have proven him to be a force in advancing congressional affairs, strategic policy, and spearheading economic development initiatives.
Currently, Mr. Russell serves as the head of the Believe in Africa Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to leveraging economic development as a diplomatic tool worldwide. Prior to this role, he held key positions such as Principal Director of the New York Center for Foreign Policy Affairs, Managing Principal at Rialtas Public Strategies, and Director of Corporate Strategy & International Affairs for Avaya Government Solutions.
In addition to his impressive resume, Mr. Russell brings invaluable experience from his tenure at General Dynamics Information Technology and as President of SPG/Florida Atlantic Consultants. During this time, he provided strategic guidance to government bodies on critical security matters, including port operations and policy development. He also assisted private clients in securing grants for emergency response programs, utilizing his strong relationships with federal agencies to benefit both public-sector entities and community operations.
Notably, Mr. Russell served honorably as a member of the U.S. Coast Guard and Coast Guard Reserve, where he played pivotal roles in law enforcement, alien/migrant interdiction operations, and maritime safety and security. His distinguished service included significant contributions to Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm and securing manned space flight operations.
Beyond his professional achievements, Mr. Russell is a licensed airman with countless hours of flight experience. He is also a highly regarded guest lecturer at American University and has been featured in various reputable publications.
Justin Thomas Russell divides his time between Florida and Washington, DC, unwaveringly committed to making a difference on the global stage.