Menzies Centre University of Sydney
Dr Lesley Russell is currently a Visiting Fellow in health at the Center for American Progress, a Visiting Professor in the Department of Health Policy at George Washington University, and a Senior Fellow at the Center for Australian and New Zealand Studies at Georgetown University in Washington DC.
Lesley is also a Research Associate at both the Menzies Centre for Health Policy and the US Studies Centre at the University of Sydney.
Dr Russell has substantial experience in working in health policy in the United States and Australia, both in and out of government. She is actively involved in health policy research, analysis and commentary across a wide range of issues and a number of collaborations. A particular focus has been on health care reforms in Australia and the US, mental health, Indigenous health, health disparities, and the impact of cost on patients’ compliance with their treatment and medication regimes.
Dr Russell was previously Policy Advisor to the Shadow Minister for Health and Manager of Opposition Business in the House, Julia Gillard MP, now Prime Minister of Australia. Prior to this Dr Russell served as Policy Advisor to the Leader of the Federal Opposition, the Hon Simon Crean, MP, now Minister for Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government, and Minister for the Arts. She has advised across a considerable portfolio including Health and Ageing, Population and Immigration, Indigenous Affairs and Reconciliation, and Multicultural Affairs.
Dr Russell worked in a similar role in the US Congress from 1984 -1991, having been awarded the 1984-85 American Society for Microbiology Congressional Science Fellowship. She worked on the professional staff of the Committee on Energy and Commerce in the House of Representatives, initially on the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, and then on the full Committee, where she had responsibilities for health and biotechnology issues.
Dr Russell also has extensive experience in internal and external communications, strategic marketing, media management and public affairs in the private and non-governmental sectors. She has a PhD in Biochemistry from the John Curtin School of Medical Research at the Australian National University, a BA from the Australian National University and a BSc(Hons) from the University of Tasmania.