“I am profoundly honored and above all humbled to return to Regis, particularly during such significant and challenging times, and serve an incredible institution that for over 100 years has continued to fulfill its distinct mission of providing a world-class, merit-based, and high-impact education rooted in academic rigor and service to others,” Russo said. “As the son of working class immigrants in Queens who could not pursue higher education themselves, I am forever thankful to Regis for the amazing teachers, administrators, and students from whom I learned so much so long ago, as well as the transformative educational, personal, and professional opportunities offered by our alma mater, including a senior year internship that introduced me to a remarkable team of dedicated and talented public servants who have since reached the highest levels of government, business, and countless other fields while also directing and molding both my career and character, and I undoubtedly share in that experience with most if not all of our fellow alumni.
“For more than a century, Regians have applied their four years of learning on 84th Street toward earning prominent roles in every profession imaginable and producing major contributions throughout society on a local, national, and global scale – from the singularly inspirational and instructive Dr. Anthony Fauci ’58, whom I had the honor of joining to address my fellow classmates during our commencement ceremony in 1995, to the numerous committed and capable doctors and nurses on the front lines both before and during the pandemic, to the thousands of other extraordinary individuals serving and leading throughout the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors, our alumni impact, and moreover, improve the lives of others around the world day in and day out,” he continued. “I am excited and grateful for the opportunity to work with and for each of these accomplished and model human beings, along with the exceptional team of colleagues at Regis and impressive members of the greater school community.”
Russo began his career as a spokesman for the Mike Bloomberg for Mayor campaign in 2001. In 2002, Mayor Bloomberg appointed him deputy press secretary at City Hall, covering key city agencies, including the Police, Fire, Education, Parks & Recreation, and Cultural Affairs Departments. In 2003, Schools Chancellor Joel Klein appointed Russo press secretary of the Department of Education, where he served as chief spokesman for the largest public school system in the nation. He returned to City Hall in 2006, serving as a special assistant and later as a senior advisor, and working in administration and operations for Deputy Mayor Edward Skyler.
In 2013, Governor Cuomo appointed him to Empire State Development, where he led communications for the state’s economic development agency. In 2016, Russo joined BeaconLight, LLC, serving as a strategic advisor and providing counsel on a full range of corporate affairs, including business development, communications, and the launch of new corporate service programming at the firm. He was an independent advisor immediately prior to his appointment at Regis.
Russo, who was student body president and commencement speaker while at Regis, earned a BA at the University of Pennsylvania and a JD from George Washington University Law School, ultimately completing his legal studies at Fordham Law School night school while working days at City Hall. A member of the New York Bar, Jerry speaks Italian and Spanish, too.
The Regis alumni community includes over 8,000 living Regians located around the world, spanning all professional fields and industries, and often serving as prominent leaders in their professions. Each year, approximately 40% of all alumni provide gifts for the school, with alumni support accounting for roughly 65% of its Annual Fund. Alumni also give their time and talent as volunteers, mentors, or guest speakers at the school and events, and thus play a pivotal role in the advancement of the Regis mission.