Russ is the President of Conservation International and was selected as one of TIME Magazine’s “EcoHeroes for the Planet” in 1998. Russ is a noted author of Hotspots and many other books on conservation and is the only working field biologist at the head of a major international environmental organization.
He has been Chairman of the IUCN Species Survival Commission’s Primate Specialist Group since 1977. Russ received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in biological anthropology in 1977. He has served as Vice President for Science at the World Wildlife Fund, President of the Margot Marsh Biodiversity Foundation and Adjunct Professor at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.