Words by Grace Raines
A Sussex alumnus has become a key member of President Biden’s administration following the defeat of Donald Trump in the recent US presidential elections.
Bill Russo graduated from the University of Sussex in 2010 with an MA in Environment, Development and Policy. From there, he has only gone from strength to strength. Moving back home to the States after graduating, Russo applied for an internship at the White House on the recommendation of a friend working in Washington DC at the time. After successfully securing the internship and working as part of then-Vice President Joe Biden’s office under the Obama-Biden administration, Russo moved forward into a full-time position within US government as a senior aide to President Biden.
Russo now acts as the deputy press secretary to the president, assisting the White House’s executive press secretary, Jen Psaki.
Graduating from the University of Delaware before travelling to the United Kingdom to pursue his MA in Environment, Development and Policy, Russo began thinking seriously about a career in politics. When talking to Sussex University to create a profile as a part of the ‘Gamechangers’ alumni webpage, he stated that “Sussex was at the top of the list” he had been recommended to consider when selecting an institution to further his studies in the field.
Beginning his MA in 2009, Russo attended the university and was shocked by the abundance of diversity within his classes, claiming this “vastly exceeded [his] expectations”, and that he was surprised to be “the only American” in the room for one of the first times in his life.
Though the completion of his thesis was difficult due to the passing of his father, Russo commends the university for its understanding and help during this challenging time, as he says the school was “wonderful”, awarding him additional time to complete his work as he dealt with the family tragedy.
Looking back on his time as a University of Sussex student, Russo expresses his gratitude for the instructors and friends he met during his time studying here, as he believes their help allowed him to find the work he truly believes in.
Picture Credit: Francisco Diez