Josie Claire Russell is a life-long Tennessean with historic ties to the Commonwealth of Virginia. She is a descendant of Secretary of State Richard Lee, Zachary Taylor, 12th President of the United States, and Governor John Coode of Maryland.
She is a graduate of King University where she studied Philosophy & Religion and Political Science & History. As a student, she was a member of the Philosophy Club, Greek Reading Club, History and Political Science Club, and the King University Security and Intelligence Studies Group. She is currently obtaining her Master of Public Administration at Lincoln Memorial University.
Since 2005, Josie has been active in politics and advocacy. Over the last decade she has risen to serve in senior level positions in numerous federal, state, and local election campaigns with a win rate of 89%. She is the former Principal Partner at Russell & Russell and is currently Director of Public Relations at Held Law Firm. Over her career, she has worked with government officials, advised heads of state, managed successful campaigns, and assisted nongovernmental organizations.
From 2018-2021, she served as the City Administrator of her hometown where she oversaw administration, operations, and finances. For nearly three years, she drafted and managed a >$8 million budget that has reduced the city’s debt and tripled the surplus. During her tenure, she oversaw $2 million in park expansions, renamed racially insensitive landmarks, and worked closely with Public Safety which led to the city being named the safest city in the state for two consecutive years.
She was conferred the Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Lion by His Majesty the King in 2019, appointed Privy Councilor in 2020, appointed a Tennessee Ambassador of Goodwill by Governor Bill Haslam in 2017, and was commissioned Colonel Aide de Camp by Governor Phil Bredesen in 2009.
Josie lives in Knoxville, Tennessee with her wife. They have three children and two dogs. In her spare time, she likes to volunteer for several causes and in her Church, read books, listen to music, travel, and cook.