Dr. Timothy Russell joined the Center for Intelligence and Security Studies, at the University of Mississippi after having served for more than a decade as a manager and Middle East specialist in the CIA’s Directorate of Operations, Directorate of Analysis, and Directorate of Digital Innovation. While at CIA, Dr. Russell focused on threats to Middle Eastern stability and U.S. interests posed by conflicts across the region, and he completed tours in the Middle East, Africa, and Europe. From 2014-2015, Dr. Russell served at the White House as the National Security Council’s Director for Syria, where he was responsible for working with agencies across the federal government to coordinate the Obama administration’s Syria policy and counter-ISIL efforts. Dr. Russell has significant experience providing analytic support to senior policymakers, supporting covert action, fostering interagency collaboration, and engaging foreign partners. For these efforts, he received ten Exceptional Performance Awards from CIA during his years of government service. Originally from Memphis, Dr. Russell has taught intelligence and international relations courses at Georgetown University, the University of Tennessee, and the University of Memphis. He received a B.A. in European Politics from Millsaps College, M.A. in Diplomacy and International Relations from Seton Hall University, and Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Mississippi.