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Russ Hedge has served as Chief Executive Officer of Hostelling International USA since 2000. He advanced through the ranks of HI-USA, having began 15 years earlier as a volunteer who helped to develop the hostel currently serving Washington, DC. He eventually served as Executive Director of the Washington, DC area chapter. Prior to becoming Chief Executive Officer he served as Chief Operating Officer of HI-USA.
Russ’s early career focused on economics and finance at the US Economic Development Administration and US International Trade Administration with stints at the US Securities and Exchange Commission and the US Senate Budget Committee. His interest in the hostel experience emerged during an educational leave of absence from a government position to study at Oxford University, when he observed the quality of cross-cultural interactions at hostels and the influence of travel as experiential education.
A native of Wisconsin, Russ received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and Political Science from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, and his Master’s degree from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin.