Russell Shaffer is Executive Vice President, Strategy & Programs, for Disability:IN where he has responsibility for the development and implementation of the organization’s strategic plan along with the measurement and reporting of its key performance indicators. In addition, Russell and his team lead signature Disability:IN programs including Accessibility, the Disability Equality Index and Global Disability Equality Index, the NextGen Leadership Program, and Supplier Diversity.
He joined Disability:IN in October 2022 from Walmart Inc. where he most recently was Senior Director – Global Culture, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (CDEI) with responsibility for reporting and analytics; global employee engagement measurement and strategy; benchmarking; branding and messaging strategy; and budget forecasting and management. In a previous role as Senior Manager – Constituent Relations, Russell managed Walmart’s corporate strategy and stakeholder outreach for the people with disabilities and aging constituencies. His career also includes roles in advertising, corporate communications, marketing, print journalism and public relations with organizations such as May Department Stores, The Timken Company, The Canton Repository, and The Ohio Optometric Association.
Russell currently serves on the Board of Trustees for the American Printing House for the Blind (APH) in Louisville, Kentucky, and his board service includes prior terms with Sources for Community Independent Living in Fayetteville, Arkansas and the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB). His AFB service included a two-year term as Chair of the Board, and in 2015 he received the AFB Stephen Garff Marriott award in recognition of his professional achievement and service as a person who is blind or low vision. While at Walmart he served two terms as Chair of the company’s inABLE Associate Resource Group, and in 2018 he traveled to China as a private-sector disability employment expert as part of a U.S. State Department delegation. Disability:IN honored Russell as the 2019 recipient of the annual John D. Kemp Leadership Award in recognition of his commitment to advancing disability inclusion inside Corporate America.
He is an honors graduate of Malone University in Canton, Ohio, and holds dual bachelor of arts degrees in business administration and communication arts. Russell resides in Rogers, Arkansas with his wife, Jessica, and their children, Sophia and Brady. His perspectives on disability advocacy and inclusion are informed by his experiences with retinitis pigmentosa, a genetic, degenerative eye disease that was diagnosed when Russell was 10 years old and led to his legal blindness by his late 20s.