Window To The World Communications, Inc. (WWCI), parent organization of WTTW and WFMT, announced that Timothy Russell will fill the position of Vice President of Community Engagement, effective today. In this new role, Russell will be responsible for crafting and executing community engagement activities for the organization. He was previously Chief Global Diversity and Inclusion Officer for CDK Global, and throughout his career, Russell has been a leader and change-maker focused on community affairs, philanthropy, and diversity and inclusion.
“After a diligent and thoughtful search, we are pleased to have found the best individual to lead our community engagement efforts,” said Sandra Cordova Micek, President & CEO of WWCI. “Tim’s passion and his understanding of the impact WTTW and WFMT can have on the lives of people make him uniquely qualified to build and strengthen true partnerships with communities and organizations across our region.”
In his previous role at CDK Global, Russell led the development and execution of diversity, inclusion, and community investment plans and strategies. Before that, he served as Director, Global Diversity and Engagement for PepsiCo; and he has more than two decades of experience in the public and private sectors – including leadership roles at Sara Lee Corporation and the Robert R. McCormick Tribune Foundation. In addition, he was a Policy Associate for the Chicago Jobs Council and the Assistant Director of the Paternal Involvement Demonstration Project.
“It is a privilege to be a part of an organization committed to diverse perspectives, accessibility, innovation, community engagement, and life-long learning,”said Russell. “I look forward to working with the team and leveraging my experience in community engagement, and diversity and inclusion, to engage audiences and communities across Chicago and beyond.”
Russell’s role will include identifying specific needs in the community, building on existing partnerships, and forming new relationships with relevant influencers, nonprofits, foundations, and business partners to assist in launching programs and services that will have the most profound impact on local constituents, and ensuring that they align with the organization’s strategic plan. He will also serve as WWCI’s liaison to the community, and will work with PBS Education and PBS Learning Media to further activate educational resources in local schools and libraries.
Russell has served on the board of directors of several nonprofit organizations, including Goodman Theatre, the Association of Black Foundation Executives (former Chair), Chicago African Americans in Philanthropy (former Chair), Urban Prep, Muntu Dance Theatre, Paternal Involvement Project, School Street Movement, and the Lorain County Midnight Basketball Program. Currently, he is a board member of the Evanston Community Foundation and Chicago Cares. Tim has received numerous acknowledgements including the Handy L. Lindsey Award for Chicago African-Americans in Philanthropy, and was named one of the Top 100 Under 50 Diverse Executive Leaders by Diversity MBA Magazine.
Russell received his Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology and religion from Oberlin College, earned a Masters of Theological Studies with a concentration in Ethics and Society from Garrett Theological Seminary, and completed a certificate program in Business Administration at Loyola University Chicago. In addition, as an undergraduate, he was awarded a Ford-Mellon Research Fellowship and a Ronald E. McNair Research Fellowship.
Window To The World Communications, Inc. is the parent organization of WTTW and WFMT. WTTW is the PBS member station in Chicago, producing and presenting the very best in public affairs, arts and culture, nature and science, history, documentary and children’s public media content across its distinct television and digital channels – WTTW11, WTTW Prime, WTTW Create/WTTW World, WTTW PBS Kids 24/7, wttw.com and the PBS/WTTW video app. WTTW is recognized for its award-winning journalism and local productions such as Chicago Tonight, Chicago River Tour, Check, Please!, digital-first series Urban Nature and Foodphiles – and national productions 10 That Changed America and Nature Cat. WFMT is one of the country’s most respected classical music radio services, showcasing the finest music programming and live performance, including Live from WFMT and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Series, across broadcast and digital platforms on 98.7FM, wfmt.com, and the WFMT app. The WFMT Radio Network is a leading creator and distributor of audio arts and culture programs, including Exploring Music with McGlaughlin and the Beethoven Network, made available to radio stations and other content platforms around the world.