A. Russell
Adam Russell, PhD | Director, Artificial Intelligence Division

Information Sciences Institute, University of Southern California

We are pleased to announce that Adam Russell, PhD has been named the Director, Artificial Intelligence Division, Information Sciences Institute at the University of Southern California, Andrew and Erna Viterbi School of Engineering.

Russell most recently served at the University of Maryland’s (UMD) Applied Research Laboratory for Intelligence and Security (ARLIS), with an adjunct faculty position in UMD's Department of Psychology. From 2020 to early 2022, he was the chief scientist at ARLIS, before leaving to serve on a temporary duty loan from ARLIS to NIH, where he was appointed by the Secretary of Health and Human Services to serve as the acting deputy director to help stand up the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H). Russell returned to ARLIS to help run its Center for Decision Advantage, focusing on the creation and use of “collective intelligence” capabilities to enable better decision-making processes under deep uncertainty. 

Russell began his career working on human performance and strategic competitions for various government organizations. After joining the government in 2009, he spent the next decade as a program manager at the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) and then the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). At IARPA and DARPA, Adam managed a large portfolio of high-risk, high-impact R&D programs focused on enhancing the US Government's Human Domain capabilities to better understand, anticipate, and leverage human social behavior and variability through improving scientific discovery and innovation. Russell has a deep interest in using artificial intelligence and machine-learning to enhance our causal and counterfactual reasoning in the face of complexity. 

Russell holds a BA in cultural anthropology from Duke University and a PhD in social anthropology from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. 

Courtney Wilk-Mandel led this search with Rafa Escobedo, and Cara Meyers.