Catherine Russell

Spring 2019
Resident Fellow

Ambassador Cathy Russell was U.S. Ambassador for Global Women’s Issues at the Department of State during the Obama Administration. Before that, she was Deputy Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff to Second Lady Dr. Jill Biden, the senior advisor on international women’s issues to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, an Associate Deputy Attorney General, and the Staff Director of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Throughout her career, Russell has been, in the words of President Obama, “a longtime advocate for women, for justice, for fairness.”

Russell currently serves as the board co-chair of the Women’s Foreign Policy Group and as a director of Women for Women International. She is also a member of the KIVA advisory council, the Sesame Street Global Advisory Group, and the Thompson Reuters Trust Women Foundation. 

Russell received a B.A., magna cum laude, from Boston College and a J.D. from George Washington University. She lives in Washington, D.C. with her husband, Tom Donilon, and their two children.



Disclaimer: This information is accurate for the time period that this person was affiliated with the Institute of Politics.