Russell's Story

Experience, Integrity & Commitment

I am Russell Harrison, and I would like to be your City Treasurer.

My wife, Kathy, and I moved to Manassas in 2003, hoping to find a vibrant community in which to raise our family. Manassas has not disappointed us. We love the history, the friends and the culture of our wonderful city, and are proud to call Manassas our home.

Both Kathy and I believe that, in a Democracy, our community will be exactly as good as we make it. Since we want Manassas to be the best community it can possibly be, we have done whatever we can to make it the best community possible.

I have served as a member of both the Manassas Planning Commission and Electoral Board, the later as Chair. These two Boards are regarded as two of the most technically and legally demanding Boards within the City government, and I served on both simultaneously – the only person in recent Manassas history to do so.

I was Chair of the Electoral Board from 2015 to 2016, and served four additional years as Vice-Chair. The Electoral Board oversees elections in Manassas. The job requires a comprehensive knowledge of election law, impartiality, and not a small bit of diplomacy. I was not only successful as a member of the Board, but won the respect of both political Parties for my hard work and fairness, so much so that I was elected Chair of the Board with unanimous support from both political parties.

As a member of the Manassas Planning Commission I promote smart land-use policies in our City. Within the Commission, I serve on the Zoning Ordinance Review Committee (ZORC), which re-wrote Manassas’ entire zoning ordinance over the course of three years. Meeting once or twice per month, I and my two colleagues updated the city’s land-use regulations to ensure that they were consistent with current state and federal law, were as clear and understandable as possible, and were good public policy.

By doing this ourselves and using consultants only sparingly, the we saved the City of Manassas over $1 million and earned its annual Volunteer of the Year award in 2015.

Beyond the City government, I have been an active leader in Boy Scout Troop 1188, a Catechist (Sunday school teacher) at All Saints Church, a Manassas Public School Volunteer and the former Coach of the Haydon Chess Team.

Through this work, I have developed a solid understanding of how our City operates, and demonstrated my sincere commitment to doing the hard work necessary to make sure it remains one of the best towns in Virginia.

Professionally, I am the Director of Government Relations for the world’s largest technical professional society, the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers), where I oversee a staff of professionals approximately the same size as the Manassas Treasurers’ department. My responsibilities include directly managing a $5 million budget, serving as an executive staff member for a $450 million international organization, coordinating global public policy initiatives with professionals in more than a dozen countries, and working with Congress and the administration on federal budget, education and immigration policy.

I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and a Masters of Public Management from the University of Maryland. My Master’s degree program is designed specifically to train students to run major government agencies. My education has not stopped with my formal degrees. Since entering the workforce, I have become a Certified Association Executive, the top professional certification one can earn in the non-profit world. Additionally, I am a Certified Planning Commissioner, a graduate of Virginia Tech’s nationally recognized program on land-use policy.

Through all of this, I have earned a reputation for honesty and hard work that will serve me well as your Treasurer.

The Treasurer’s Office does not set policy, so I won’t promise the citizens of Manassas any new laws or rules. But I will make this promise: I will run your treasurer’s office as honestly and efficiently as possible, expect the highest level of professionalism from my staff, and work as hard as I can to make your government work for you.

I’ve done this as a volunteer for our City, and will keep doing it as your Treasurer

Qualifications

I have received masters-level and professional training in finance, budgeting, and government policy.

I have experience managing professional staff, setting and meeting public policy objectives, and working with the highest levels of our government.

I have served with distinction on two major boards within the Manassas government.

In short, I am the only candidate with the education, training, experience and qualifications to be your Manassas City Treasurer.

Professional Experience

  • 21 years experience working for non-profits
  • 14 years experience with the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers), the world's largest technical professional organization

    Director of Government Relations, 2014-2017

    - Manage mult-million dollar budget

    - Supervise staff of five professionals

    - Senior staff for $450 million global corporation

    - Coordinate global public policy initiatives with 30 other professionals world-wide

  • Represented individual technology professionals (computer programmers, IT specialists, aerospace engineers, etc.) before Congress, in the media and with the executive branch
  • Spokesman for America’s technology professionals, having appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Boston Globe and dozens of other publications
  • Certified Association Executive, ASAE

    - Trained to run nonprofit organizations

    - Formal training in finance, management, law and HR

  • Adoption Advisor, Christian World Adoptions

    - Advised families on navigating the adoption process

    - Helped place six children in homes in Northern Virginia

Volunteer Experience

  • Manassas Planning Commission, 2013-2017

    - Certified Planning Commissioner, Virginia Tech

    - Zoning Ordinance Review Committee, 2013-2017

  • Manassas Electoral Board, 2009-2016

    - Chair, 2015-2016

    - Established unpaid internship program with George Mason University

    - Required at least one Spanish-speaking poll worker at each Manassas precinct

  • Catechist (Sunday school teacher), All Saints Church, 2011-2017
  • Adult leader, Boy Scout Troop 1188, 2014-2016
  • Friend, Manassas Center for the Arts
  • Friends of Hylton Performing Arts Center

Education

  • Masters of Public Management
    University of Maryland 1998
  • Bachelors in Political Science
    Minors in History and Communications
    Allegheny College 1994

Manassas Public Schools

  • Coach, Haydon Elementary Chess Team, 2012-2013
  • Manassas Public School Volunteer, 2012 - 2017
  • Haydon PTA, 2009-2013
  • Mayfield PTA, 2013-2016
  • Metz PTA, 2016-2017