Dr. Russell Shilling
Russell Shilling, Ph.D., is an esteemed social impact innovator with a robust career dedicated to harnessing technology for enhancing education, training, and psychological health. His diverse background includes a distinguished tenure as a Navy Captain and Aerospace Experimental Psychologist. At the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), he led transformative AI and affective computing initiatives aimed at advancing psychological health, and pioneered novel approaches in STEM education through the integration of gaming and analytics.
Dr. Shilling's pioneering contributions began with the establishment of the first Department of Defense (DoD) sponsored research programs focused on the development and assessment of virtual reality tools for PTSD and pain management. His collaboration with Sesame Workshop resulted in award-winning programs supporting military children facing deployments, injuries, and loss.
Transitioning from military service, he served as Executive Director of STEM Initiatives at the U.S. Department of Education during the Obama Administration and as Chief Scientific Officer at the American Psychological Association. Currently, he provides strategic advisory services to the Office of Healthcare Innovation and Learning (OHIL) at the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs and serves on the Medical and Science Advisory Committee at Autism Speaks.
A passionate advocate for establishing a DARPA-equivalent for education (ARPA-ED), Dr. Shilling continues to consult with startups and philanthropic organizations, applying innovative processes to research and development in education. His ongoing work in policy focuses on the intersection of AI and education technologies, underscoring his commitment to innovation and leadership in these fields.