Humanities council sends off Russell as he retires


Scott Russell poses with several past board chairs of the NMI Humanities Council at his retirement party Friday evening at the Charley’s Cabaret of the Pacific Islands Club Saipan. (Erwin Encinares)

The Northern Mariana Islands Humanities Council hosted Friday evening a cocktail party at the Charley’s Cabaret of the Pacific Islands Club Saipan, as a sort of sendoff for council executive director Scott Russell, who is retiring,

Russell will retire this month. Part of his plans for the near future is to visit his family in the U.S. mainland. He assured, though, that he will still return to the CNMI.

“I have a brother that is not doing well and I haven’t seen my daughter in four years, so I want to go and spend some time with her. After that, I would return; I still have a house here. There are many fish to kill and I haven’t had a chance to shoot yet,” he said, adding that his brother is in Ohio and his daughter in Oregon. Russell is an avid spear fisherman.

Russell, a former U.S. Peace Corps volunteer, has been in the CNMI since being involved with the Peace Corps from 1974-1976.

He then worked as a staff historian for the Office of Historic Preservation, Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, Saipan from August 1977 to July 1982. Russell moved on to work as a deputy director and staff historian for the Division of Historic Preservation under the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs until 2001.

From 2001 to 2004, Russell worked as a program officer for the NMI Council for the Humanities before moving on as an assistant executive director and program officer for the NMI Council for the Humanities from December 2004 to December 2009, before ultimately working as an executive director for the Northern Marianas Humanities Council.

Russell expects future leaders of the council to be further involved with the globalization of the NMI.

“We got a fantastic board and solid staff, so I expect really good things from the council in the coming years,” he said. “I am looking for new leadership and new vision for the things that the council would tackle. I believe they would be dealing with more contemporary issues. Dealing with the Commonwealth now, with all the economic development and social issues and all of the things happening within the larger Pacific context, I am looking forward to them tackling those issues and providing great humanities programs to the people of the Commonwealth.”

Rep. Joseph Deleon Guerrero (R-Saipan) and Rep Edwin K. Propst (Ind-Saipan) both recognized Russell for his work in the CNMI by presenting him with House Commemorative Resolution 20-18, which Deleon Guerrero authored.

Erwin Encinares | Reporter
Erwin Charles Tan Encinares holds a bachelor’s degree from the Chiang Kai Shek College and has covered a wide spectrum of assignments for the Saipan Tribune. Encinares is the paper’s political reporter.

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