VICKSBURG, Miss. –The U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) inducted Environmental Laboratory (EL) Director Dr. Edmond Russo into the Senior Executive Service (SES) during a hybrid virtual and in-person ceremony held March 11 at the ERDC-EL building.
The SES was established by the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 to ensure the executive management of the government of the U.S. is responsive to the needs, policies and goals of the nation and is otherwise of the highest quality.
Appearing virtually, Lt. Gen. Scott A. Spellmon, 55th chief of engineers and commanding general, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), explained that the SES flag includes an image of a keystone — the final stone in bridge construction that keeps the other stones together and allows the structure to bear weight ― symbolizing the importance of SES positions within USACE.
“To Edmond, you are now officially one of the few keystones that we have in our ERDC and within our USACE, and we’re certainly very, very proud to have you join these ranks,” Spellmon said.
“I’ve really appreciated the opportunity to serve the USACE, the Army, the Department of Defense and our nation in a very rewarding career,” Russo said. “I’ve really enjoyed the opportunity to team with everyone and build relationships over those years.”
ERDC Director Dr. David Pittman said that Russo’s duties will include overseeing aspects of the organization’s operations and business as a member of the ERDC Board of Directors.
“This may be one of the most challenging tasks that Edmond has, but I’ve already seen fresh energy and fresh ideas coming from Dr. Russo,” Pittman said.
The ERDC is an integral component of the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering and helps solve the nation’s most challenging problems in civil and military engineering, geospatial sciences, water resources and environmental sciences. The EL, with approximately 275 personnel, is one of ERDC’s seven laboratories and supports the environmental mission of the USACE, the U.S. Army and the nation.
Pittman described how, as a laboratory director, Russo will plan, direct and coordinate multimillion dollar research programs, as well as “lead hundreds of team members in this fantastic Environmental Laboratory and keep an eye out to the future for new and strategic research opportunities to solve our nation’s toughest challenges.”
“On a personal note, I have worked closely with Edmund on several occasions and in different capacities throughout his career,” Pittman said. “We were lucky to have him at ERDC from 2005-2014 before he moved on to other very important positions within USACE. He has always been an ERDC champion and a valued proponent for research and development, and he’s helped build big, important partnerships and relationships with ERDC while serving in other USACE districts like New Orleans and Galveston districts.”
“Edmond has a long, successful history with USACE and brings a unique skillset to his responsibilities as a senior executive,” Pittman said.
“I look forward to working with the other ERDC lab directors and leaders here to deliver outstanding value in technology innovations,” Russo concluded.