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News | Dec. 21, 2016

Russell leaves agency with great history

By DCMA Public Affairs

FORT LEE, Va., Dec. 21, 2016 — For 36 years, Jim Russell has made, and collected, acquisition history. Now the Defense Contract Management Agency deputy director is retiring, but not before making sure what he’s helped grow lives on.

“In many ways Jim is this agency,” said Air Force Lt. Gen. Wendy Masiello, DCMA director, who recognized Russell at a Dec. 19 ceremony here. “He has been the heart of DCMA for a long time, and has provided the expertise and continuity we’ve needed.” That continuity has, on more than one occasion, included Russell serving as acting agency director, making him uniquely qualified to serve as Masiello’s principal adviser.

From his time as a Navy Supply Corps officer to his tenure as the agency’s ranking civilian, Russell’s resume reads like a history of DCMA. He served on active duty, then with the Defense Logistics Agency, Defense Contract Administration Services, Defense Contract Management Command, and finally DCMA.

Before becoming the agency’s deputy director, Russell was executive director of Financial and Business Operations and comptroller for DCMA. There he was responsible for a $1.2 billion annual budget and the senior adviser to the agency director on management of the organization’s business infrastructure. His duties included strategic planning; resourcing and budgeting; agency review, assessment, and evaluation; and business development and marketing.

For the past two years his role has included championing the agency’s Strategic Goal 4, focused on audit readiness and good fiscal stewardship.

Russell spent his career delivering acquisition insight to customers and coworkers. He’s also collected more agency history — first hand — than most will ever see. It’s not surprising, then, that one of his last acts as DCMA deputy director is to make this trove of agency history readily available to the next generation.

Starting this week, hundreds of pages of documents, including those that created DCMA, will be in a DCMA 360 online archive called the Jim Russell Collection:

“Jim has embodied our vision and mission, long before we even put them into words,” said Masiello. “It’s hard to let him go … you can’t force the kind of continuity he represents, we just have to appreciate and capture it while we can. He’s been an exceptional role model for all of our workforce, and his thumbprint will be on our success for years to come.”