ISI Directory

Adam Russell, Ph.D.

Director of Artificial Intelligence Division


D.Phil. in social anthropology from Oxford University
BA in cultural anthropology from Duke University


Dr. Adam Russell was a research scientist at UMD’s Applied Research Laboratory for Intelligence and Security (ARLIS), with an adjunct faculty position in UMD's Department of Psychology. Adam began his career in national security working on human performance and strategic competitions for various government organizations. After joining the government in 2009, he spent the next decade as a Program Manager at the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) and then the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) - where he was known as the “DARPAnthropologist.” At IARPA and DARPA, Adam managed a large portfolio of high-risk, high-impact R&D programs focused on enhancing the USG's Human Domain capabilities to better understand, anticipate, and leverage human social behavior and variability through improving scientific discovery, innovation, and reproducibility, especially in the social and behavioral sciences (e.g., Next Generation Social Science (NGS2), Collective Allostatic LoadSystematizing Confidence in Open Research and Evidence (SCORE)Ground TruthHow the Social Becomes the BiologicalStrengthening Human Adaptive Reasoning and Problem-solving (SHARP), Tools for Recognizing Useful Signals of Trustworthiness (TRUST), and ODNI and IARPA’s first public data analysis incentive “Challenge” competition, INSTINCT).

Adam has a BA in cultural anthropology from Duke University and a D.Phil. in social anthropology from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. He has played rugby for Oxford University - representing Oxford in four Varsity matches - as well as the US Men's National Rugby Team, and was the High-Performance Director for the US Women's National Rugby Team for the 2014 and 2017 Rugby World Cups. He currently serves as the Head Sport Scientist for the Athlete Collective.