The UCLA Center for World Health welcomes Craig Russell, chief design and project delivery executive at Walt Disney Imagineering, to its External Advisory Board.
A more than three-decade veteran of Imagineering, Craig previously served as the leader responsible for all design, engineering, production, installation and project management functions for Parks and Resorts projects around the world for nearly 10 years. Craig most recently oversaw the construction and completion of the Shanghai Disney Resort, The Walt Disney Company’s first resort in mainland China.
He also served as vice president of Environmental Design, leading the group charged with transforming creative ideas and concepts into three-dimensional immersive experiences. In this role, Craig was responsible for design disciplines that include architecture, theatrical set design, lighting, graphics and landscape architecture, as well as all facets of engineering for facilities, rides, shows, attractions and theme parks.
Craig first joined Walt Disney Imagineering in 1980 as a project coordinator for Tokyo Disneyland, Disney’s first international theme park, where he relocated to manage the show and ride installation for six major attractions and three themed lands.
During his tenure with WDI, he has led the design of some of Imagineering’s biggest, most complex and highly successful projects, from concept through opening.
During a three-year absence from Disney, Craig worked as a project manager for attractions developed for Universal Studios, Six Flags and the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics Committee, as well as several projects in Asia before returning to Imagineering in 1986.
Craig is an active leader in Disney’s employee volunteer program, and serves on the board for the Greater Los Angeles Chapter of Habitat for Humanity. He also is active in the project and construction management industry, and recently sat on the board of the LEAN Construction Institute. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering systems from University of California, Los Angeles.