Andrew Russo co-founded the National Family Support Network in 2011 and served as its co-chair until December 2015 when he was hired as its first Director and relocated from California to Washington DC. He has worked and volunteered in the nonprofit social service sector at the direct service, management, and network levels for more than 25 years in Boston, Chicago, New York, the San Francisco Bay Area, Washington DC, and Taiwan.
He began working in the Family Support and Strengthening field with the refugee community in Chicago, by developing and launching the Strengthening Cambodian American Families Program. Moving to California after graduate school, he worked as a therapist with children and youth at school-based Family Resource Centers in the Oakland Unified School District. He went on to establish and direct new Family Resource Centers, including the first Family Resource Center serving the Asian community in Contra Costa County, and the Joy Lok Family Resource Center in San Francisco’s Chinatown. The Joy Lok Family Resource Center was subsequently recognized by First 5 San Francisco as a model center with its successful programs, effective development of parent leaders, and high level of father engagement.
Because of his keen interest in working collaboratively at the systems level to ensure even more families would be supported, he went on to co-found and serve as co-chair of six Family Support and Strengthening networks at the neighborhood, city, state, and national levels, including the Chinatown Families Economic Self-Sufficiency Coalition, San Francisco Family Support Network, San Francisco Family Economic Success Coordinating Council, California Network of Family Strengthening Networks, and the National Family Support Network.
In those roles, he co-authored several landmark documents in the Family Support field including the San Francisco Family Support Standards, the San Francisco Family Support Network Policy Platform on Family Economic Success, and the nationally-adopted Standards of Quality for Family Strengthening & Support. He earned his B.A. in East Asian Languages and Cultures from Columbia University and his M.A. in Pastoral Counseling from Loyola University Chicago. He is fluent in Mandarin Chinese.