Russell Porter is the Staff Director for the Northern Triangle Task Force and also serves as Deputy Director for the Central America and Mexico Office at USAID. Russell manages a team of over 20 professionals that provide strategic direction and oversight for programming in the region. He led the development of the Root Causes Strategy in 2021, and manages interagency coordination as well as headquarters engagement with field programs.
Russell has held several leadership roles during his 24-year career at USAID. He previously served as USAID’s first Coordinator for Countering Violent Extremism; Director of the Program Office for Afghanistan and Pakistan; director of the Haiti Task Team following the devastating 2010 earthquake; and director for Latin America in the Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI). Russell started his career at USAID serving as the Agency’s senior press officer. He spent nearly three years on Capitol Hill working for Sen. Sam Nunn (D-GA). Russell has worked in over 20 countries and is proficient in Spanish.
Outside of USAID, Russell serves as an adjunct professor at the George Washington University’s Elliot School for International Affairs where he leads a section of the Capstone program.
A native of Atlanta, Russell is a graduate of Rhodes College and later earned an MA in Latin American studies and international economics from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). He has one son, Jack Porter.
Conflict and Stabilization, Latin America, Counter-terrorism, Economics, US Foreign Policy