January 9, 2021 at 12:54 pm EST | by Peter Rosenstein
Comings & Goings
Lee M. Russ, gay news, Washington Blade
Lee M. Russ (Photo public domain)

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Congratulations to Special Agent Lee M. Russ on his new position as DoD’s first Executive Director of Counterintelligence and Global SAP Security located at the Pentagon. Upon learning of his selection, Russ said, “I take great pride in being an integral part of the greatest military force in the world that is diverse, inclusive, and representative of the American people that we serve. I’m excited for the new opportunity and proud of the amazing work of our special agents, security and cybersecurity specialists, analysts, and support staff while I was assigned as the Deputy Director of the Office of Special Investigations (OSI), Office of Special Projects (PJ). This new career-broadening opportunity and the associated responsibilities within the Department of Defense Special Access Program Central Office (DoD SAPCO) highlights the immense value the Department of Defense and nation place on the work counterintelligence and security professionals do to protect technologies in order to acquire and deploy operational and intelligence capabilities to warfighters worldwide.”

Before moving to this position, which he began in January, Lee was a supervisory special agent serving as the deputy director of the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, Office of Special Projects, Joint Base Anacostia–Bolling, Washington, D.C., where he was responsible for operational control of more than 427 personnel at 41 field offices delivering specialized investigative, counterintelligence, polygraph, and program security management support for United States Air Force and Space Force Special Access Programs designed to protect advanced and emerging technologies for the Department of the Air Force and the Department of Defense. 

Russ joined the Air Force in 1997. He became an OSI Special Agent in 2001 and transitioned to DAF Civil Service in 2006. He has also been the lead investigator in numerous major DAF and DoD counterintelligence and espionage cases. After basic training and Communications, Information Systems technical school, he was assigned to Minot Air Force Base, N.D., and deployed twice to Eskan Village in Saudi Arabia. In 2001, he retrained into OSI where he worked as a computer forensic field examiner, basic criminal and counterintelligence agent at Seymour Johnson AFB, N.C. In 2003, he deployed to Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar in support of Operation Southern Watch, Enduring Freedom, and Iraqi Freedom. In 2004, he was reassigned to the Pentagon as the Assistant Special Agent in-Charge where he conducted highly sensitive counterintelligence investigations. In 2006, Russ separated from the Air Force and was hired back to OSI as a civilian special agent where he served as a Command Program Security Officer protecting advanced and emerging technologies and operational capabilities. In 2014, he was selected to serve as the Special Agent in-Charge of OSI PJ’s Washington Field Office, where he oversaw and directed the initiation and execution of operational planning and specialized investigative, counterintelligence, and program security management support for Air Force SAPs.

Russ has earned many awards and honors including: Air Force Civilian Meritorious Service Medal (x3); Air Force Exemplary Civilian Service Medal; Joint Service Achievement Medal; National Counterintelligence & Security Award; DoD Counterintelligence Award; OSI Civilian Special Agent of the Year in 2011. 

He earned a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice at American Intercontinental University, IL; a master’s in Strategic Studies, Air War College, Maxwell AFB, AL; and a master’s in Strategic Intelligence, National Defense University, D.C. 

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