Russ Washington is currently serving as the Acting Director of the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) of the United States Department of Justice (DOJ). He joined the COPS Office in 2016 as the Principal Deputy Director. The COPS Office is responsible for advancing community policing nationwide and supporting the community policing activities of state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies. To date, the COPS Office has invested more than $14 billion in the advancement of community policing. The COPS Office currently manages over 2,000 active grants totaling $1.4 billion.
Most recently, Russ served as the Director of Incident Management Policy for the National Security Council at the White House. In this role, he coordinated across the Executive Office of the President and federal partners to strengthen the collective federal capabilities to support disaster response operations. He supported White House coordination for drought, severe weather, Atlantic and Pacific tropical activity, wildfires, and the domestic Zika response, and produced the Domestic Incident Coordination Plan for the Executive Office of the President.
Prior to the NSC, Russ served as the first Director of FEMA's National Watch Center, Lead for Situational Awareness in the National Response Coordination Center (NRCC) and was responsible for Operational Intelligence for FEMA. In this role, he created the secure FEMA Watch program providing guidance and building consensus across federal partners. As a result of his action, Russ received the FEMA Administrator's Award for being an Exemplary Emergency Manager in 2011, 2012 and 2013.
Prior to joining FEMA, he served 21 years of dedicated military service as an Infantry Officer in the US Army, US Army Reserves and the US Army National Guard. His military awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal with oak leaf cluster, Meritorious Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Combat Infantrymen Badge, Ranger Tab, Parachutist Badge and Silver Spurs.
He earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science from Hampton University, a Master of Science in Management from Troy University and a Certificate in Leadership in Homeland Security at Harvard University Kennedy School of Government. Russ and his wife have three children.