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Panelist Bio


Tony Russell
Federal Coordinating Officer (FCO) Region VIII (Louisiana Panel)

Mr. Russell is currently serving as the Acting Director of FEMA’s Louisiana Transitional Recovery (LA TRO) in New Orleans. In this role, he is committed to making certain the needs of Louisiana disaster victims are met. He is also dedicated to promoting a positive work environment at the LA TRO that fosters mutual respect and support among all members of the local FEMA team.

Mr. Russell brings a wealth of knowledge and experience as a Federal Coordinating Officer. With over six years of FCO experience, he coordinates the Federal response and recovery support to state and local emergency management officials after a presidentially declared disaster.

He has managed various complex disasters in Washington, Texas, Alabama, South Dakota, North Dakota, Illinois, New Mexico and Montana to name a few. Prior to assuming the position as FCO, he served in numerous emergency response and recovery positions.

Mr. Russell has over a quarter-century of experience in emergency response procedures, methodologies, seminar facilitation and course development. His audiences have included national and international responders, such as Japan, Germany and the United Kingdom.

Mr. Russell received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of New Mexico. He has also earned a Masters of Arts in Management and a Masters of Business Administration from National University and a Masters in Homeland Security Studies from the Naval Post Graduate School. Mr. Russell also holds the Certified Emergency Manager designation.

Current Topic


09/16 - Pass or Fail? Louisiana’s Education System

How well is the state’s public school system really performing?

One national survey ranks Louisiana as 49th for academic achievement of public school students. Another national report ranks the state dead last. So, how well is the state’s public school system really performing? Where is there room for improvement? What will the new federal “Every Student Succeeds Act” mean for education in Louisiana? And how have the historic summer floods changed things? Louisiana Public Square explores these issues and more on “Pass or Fail? Louisiana’s Education System” Wednesday, September 28 at 7 p.m. on LPB HD and in New Orleans on WLAE.

The panelists are
• Superintendent Michael Faulk, Central Community School System
• James D. Garvey, Jr. , BESE Board President
• Scott Richard, Executive Director, Louisiana School Boards Association
• Rep. Patricia Haynes Smith, D- Baton Rouge; House Education Committee

LPB CEO Beth Courtney and LSU Manship School of Mass Communication professor Robert Mann host the show. The program features interviews with Louisiana Education State Superintendent John White; Debbie Meaux, President of the Louisiana Association of Educators; Brigitte Nieland with the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry and Caddo Parish School Superintendent Dr. Theodis Lamar Goree.

“Pass or Fail? Louisiana’s Education System” can also be heard on public radio stations WRKF in Baton Rouge; Red River Radio in Shreveport and Monroe; and WWNO in New Orleans. Check their station websites for schedule.

Learn More!

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Special Presentation


05/16 - Louisiana Veterans Coming Home

What challenges do our returning veterans face?

Coming Soon!


10/16 - Election 2016

What concerns are on citizens’ minds as they go to the polls this fall?

Recent Topics


08/16 - Louisiana Post-Katrina: A Decade of Difference (encore)

What difference has a decade made?


07/16 - Regular and Extraordinary: Legislative Review

Who are the winners and losers in Louisiana’s budget battle?


06/16 - Symbol or Statement? History in Public Spaces (encore)

Is the display of Civil War statues in public justified or do they belong only in museums?


05/16 - Louisiana Veterans Coming Home

What challenges do our returning veterans face?

»»» View all Topics!
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