Russell is Senior Vice President, Mission with Diabetes Canada. He leads mission strategy, programs and initiatives . These include advocacy, policy, research , HCP( Health Care Professional) education and support, as well as patient knowledge and connection. The national organization advances improvements in the quality of life of people with Diabetes. Diabetes Canada has been successful in securing government commitment to a nation-wide comprehensive diabetes strategy.
Previously, he served as President of Innovative Medicines Canada (formerly Rx&D), an association of over fifty innovative life sciences companies.
His leadership working with all governments at the Federal and Provincial levels, as well as key stakeholders in the health, research, patient and economic sectors was aimed at creating a better environment for improved life science research and healthcare sustainability. Russell participated in a number of key coalitions focused on improving research, healthcare and ethics networks.
Russell chaired the International Code Compliance Network for the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA), as well as being a member of the Council of the IFPMA. Since 2011, he has served as the primary private sector lead for the APEC biopharmaceutical ethics initiative, a group of twenty- one countries that developed international principles for business ethics. In 2015, he was named Industry Co-Chair of the APEC Biopharmaceutical Working Group on Ethics set up by the U.S. Department of Commerce to support the initiative. He currently serves as Patient Co-Chair for this initiative. Recent awards include the Russell Williams Studentship in Medical Ethics, Queen’s University, and the Life Science Leadership Award with Life Science Ontario.
Russell had a successful career in Quebec politics as the Member of the National Assembly for the riding of Nelligan. He was, and continues to be, a well-known champion and advocate for many causes which included better patient care, improved emergency services, increased research and development, individual rights, language and constitutional policy, as well as reform for handicapped services. He created and led strategies to build a local community college (CEGEP). He founded several community initiatives such as the West Island Palliative Care Residence and West Island Community Shares, both still in existence today.
Current community leadership roles include: Chair of the Canadian Frailty Network (CFN), National Chair of the Champions Council for the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association (CHPCA), Member of the Board of Life Sciences Ontario (LSO) , BioCan Rx and Health Charities Coalition of Canada (HCCC).He remains an honourary Board Member for both the Teresa Dellar Palliative Residence and West Island Community Shares.