Russell F. Smith III has worked on international environmental issues for more than 20 years. He served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Fisheries at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. In that position he led U.S. international engagement in support of the sustainable management of fisheries, including promoting science-based decision-making and improving efforts to combat illegal, unregulated, and unreported fishing. In addition, he represented the United States as the U.S. Commissioner in several regional fisheries management organizations.
Russell has also worked for the Office of the United States Trade Representative on efforts to ensure that U.S trade policy and its implementation are supportive of U.S. environmental policy, including through the promotion of the sustainable management of natural resources and ensuring that opportunities for trade and investment liberalization resulting in access to the U.S. market are used as incentives for the enhancement, and not degradation, of environmental protection. As an attorney in the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, Russell’s work included a focus on working with developing countries on improving their legal systems, including with regards to the development and implementation of environmental laws and regulations. During his career he has worked extensively with representatives at all levels of the Executive Branch, Members of Congress and their staffs, civil society, industry and academia. Prior to his federal Executive Branch service, Russell was an associate at Spiegel & McDiarmid, a law firm in Washington, D.C. and clerked for the Honorable Douglas W. Hillman, Chief Judge, U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan. He is a graduate of Yale University and the University of Michigan Law School.