Headshot of Russell Barnes
Associate Consultant
Russell is an engaged, thoughtful communicator who is not afraid to ask the right questions. A recovering journalist, he is dedicated to making topics easy to understand and helping clients connect concepts and ideas together in evaluation. Russell is also passionate about intersectionality and social justice. Outside IG, he is a major foodie who loves being outdoors.


Russell is skilled at developing data collection tools; conducting qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis through the facilitation of focus groups, interviews and surveys; and reporting project findings in a clear and compelling manner. He brings to our team an awareness of intersectionality in determining data collection and analysis methods and protocols. He is also adept at working with youth and vulnerable populations and is familiar with data privacy protocols. Through this experience, Russell has developed valuable expertise in using social media in evaluation.
Russell is a communications expert who frequently develops reporting products for clients. He works collaboratively, first asking the necessary questions to make sure IG begins the reporting process with a clear understanding of client needs and expectations. He then uses the strong writing and editing skills he honed as a journalist to effectively communicate our findings to clients. Russell is passionate about work that impacts communities at any scale.

Professional Experience

The Improve Group | St. Paul, MN | Associate Consultant | 2020-present | Work collaboratively with project team to complete activities to make the most of information, navigate complexity, and ensure clients’ investments of time and money lead to meaningful, sustained impact.

The Improve Group | St. Paul, MN | Assistant Consultant | 2017-2020 | Supported consultant teams on variety of project activities.

Freelance Copywriter | Minneapolis, MN | 2017-present | Works with clients to conduct interviews and create content for a variety of publications on topics ranging from sports to housing.

KVRR-TV| Fargo, ND | Multimedia Journalist | 2016 | Reported on issues including health care, education, and social justice under strict deadlines.

KSTP-TV | St. Paul, MN | Web Producer Intern | 2015-2016 | Wrote and proofread hundreds of news stories and operated station social media channels, boosting Facebook followers by more than 15,000.


University of Minnesota – Twin Cities | Bachelor of Arts in Journalism with a minor in Psychology (graduated Magna Cum Laude)

Want to learn more about Russell? Check out their full resume here!