Mark E. Russell is vice president of Engineering, Technology and Mission Assurance for Raytheon Company. In this role, he provides leadership and guides the company’s vision in technology and research, engineering, operations, performance excellence, programs security, Raytheon Six Sigma™ and Mission Assurance.
Russell has more than 32 years of experience in the defense industry. He has worked in design engineering, operations, field testing and project and program management for many of the company’s advanced systems.
Russell serves on Raytheon’s Executive Diversity Leadership Team, which drives diversity strategy, programs and projects across Raytheon. He serves as an advisor for Raytheon’s Young Employee Success Network, an employee resource group focused on encouraging and assisting early-career employees to build strong workplace and community connections.
Russell chairs the board of directors for the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering and serves on the boards of trustees for Worcester Polytechnic Institute and the Joslin Diabetes Center.
Russell has received 37 U.S. patents and has written numerous peer-reviewed papers on radar, missiles, communication systems and other technologies. He earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Massachusetts Lowell, and a master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Russell was named as a Fellow by both the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. He has also been awarded an honorary doctorate in engineering from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Recruiting STEM talent at our nation’s colleges and universities and seeking to fill today’s technology jobs is becoming increasingly challenging. We need to recommit to tapping into the potential within underrepresented STEM groups, military veterans and our nation’s youth.
If we can make tech jobs more welcoming to underrepresented groups in STEM – i.e., minorities and women – we can increase the diversity of our workforce, leading to the diversity of ideas that make our corporations more innovative. Regardless of what a company produces, it’ll be more competitive if produced by a workforce that includes the best people from all backgrounds.
Untapped top talent also exists with our returning veterans. These men and women are uniquely qualified to fill the skilled labor gap. Military service prepares them for STEM-based careers. Veterans have much to contribute to some of the fastest-growing STEM fields, such as cybersecurity.
To fill the tech jobs of tomorrow, we need to inspire students throughout their academic lives. Raytheon’s MathMovesU program is a great example of providing STEM advancement opportunities at all stages of a child’s education; through programs like Engineering is Elementary, MATHCOUNTS, and the Team America Rocketry Challenge.
An educated population, particularly in STEM, is vital for America’s future. Students need confidence to pursue STEM disciplines later in life. We must reach them during their formative school years and continue to foster that connection through college.
Through my work with the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering, we help underrepresented minorities succeed within a STEM discipline through scholarships and STEM education advocacy. NACME helps each scholar to grow and develop within their select STEM field while contributing to an engineering workforce that “looks like America.”
For our STEM professionals, job rotations can help to round out an employee’s development. For example, through the Raytheon Engineering Leadership Development Program, we’re building tomorrow’s engineering leaders. This differentiator not only attracts STEM talent early, it gives employees leadership experience to help them succeed.
Before we enter the workforce, educators have often been our mentors. They have the ability to inspire the next generation of STEM talent. I think many STEM professionals can remember a teacher who had a profound impact on their education and career choice. It is critical that students from all walks of life have the opportunity to excel in STEM, and educators play an important role in this.
I’m proud that many of our STEM professionals are giving back to their communities as mentors. They volunteer for MathMovesU programs, such as mentoring and tutoring, science fairs, math team coaching and school visits. Raytheon also awards scholarships and grants to students, teachers and schools at all levels to support STEM achievement. As a parent of a college student in a STEM-related field of study, it is rewarding for me to see the excitement and satisfaction my child experiences through success in STEM pursuits, much as I did.
Strengthening education enhances our nation’s global competitiveness and leadership in innovation. Corporate America has a responsibility to inspire our nation and our citizens to act in the best interests of building tomorrow’s workforce. A highly skilled and robust technology workforce is essential not only to our national security, but also to our economic prosperity. Our need for U.S.-developed technical talent is particularly critical to ensure a world-class aerospace workforce ready to lead in a global economy.
Within Raytheon, we encourage innovation with a variety of programs. One in particular is our annual Raytheon Innovation Challenge. This challenge solicits solutions from across Raytheon to a set of challenge problems of importance to our customers. We want to identify a diverse range of new approaches that have the potential to extend our current technical capabilities or lead to new products for Raytheon.
As a technology leader, we are always looking for opportunities to partner with the public sector to help fuel research and development. One example is our partnership with the University of Massachusetts Lowell. We recently launched the Raytheon UMass Lowell Research Institute (RURI) – a joint research facility focused on the advancement of innovative technologies, including flexible and printed electronics. RURI serves as a launchpad for collaboration and learning among UMass Lowell faculty and students and Raytheon employees.
Raytheon employees represent our talent, identity and future. As one component of our Diversity & Inclusion program, Raytheon’s Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) provide a cross-business, collaborative structure that supports both employee and company needs. Raytheon’s ERGs bring new perspectives to the table, where leveraging these insights help us to deliver the right solutions for our customers.
We partner with our nine Raytheon ERGs for community and diversity talent outreach. With more than 20,000 employee members, these groups offer a forum where employees can build their networks and share experiences. Our employee resource groups include the Raytheon American-Indian Network, Raytheon Black Employees Network, Raytheon Women’s Network, Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Allies, Hispanic Organization for Leadership Advancement, Raytheon Asian-Pacific Association, Raytheon Persons with Disabilities Association, Young Employee Success Network and the Raytheon Veterans Network.
We attend numerous STEM-related national diversity conferences, where recruiting is a top priority. All of our ERGs are involved in Community Outreach, much of which is related to STEM, including tutoring in math and science locally or conducting MMU workshops at conferences locally, regionally and nationally.
Raytheon Company, headquartered in Waltham, Mass., is a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense, civil government and cybersecurity markets throughout the world. With a history of innovation spanning 93 years, Raytheon provides state-of-the-art electronics, mission systems integration and other capabilities in the areas of sensing; effects; and command, control, communications and intelligence systems, as well as cybersecurity and a broad range of mission support services.
Raytheon believes that strengthening education enhances global innovation and that technology companies have a responsibility to act in the best interest of building tomorrow’s workforce. Raytheon’s broad-based STEM program, MathMovesU®, is an initiative committed to increasing student interest in math and science education. Since the program’s inception in 2005, the company has invested more than $100 million in STEM programs, scholarships and grants that impact students from kindergarten to college, as well as STEM educators.