Lesley Russell returned to Australia in October 2012, after three years in Washington DC where she worked on a range of issues around the enactment and implementation of health care reform, initially as a Visiting Fellow at the Center for American Progress (known as the 'Obama think tank') and later as a Senior Advisor to the U.S. Surgeon General in the Department of Health and Human Services.
Dr Russell has substantial experience working in health policy in the United States and Australia, both in and out of government. She was previously the inaugural Menzies Foundation Fellow at the Menzies Centre for Health Policy (MCHP) and a Research Associate at the US Studies Centre at the University of Sydney. Prior to that she was a health policy advisor to the Federal ALP. She worked for seven years as health policy advisor on the Energy and Commerce Committee in the US House of Representatives.