Craig Russell is a project integration executive for Walt Disney Imagineering. In this role, he applies his unique expertise in project leadership and integration across all scope of work for the company. After leading the completion of the Star Wars projects at Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort, he is currently responsible for all projects at the Tokyo Disney Resort.
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. He also served as vice president of Environmental Design and Show/Ride Engineering, leading and overseeing the groups 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 June 30, 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. He later returned to Japan to serve as executive design manager for Tokyo DisneySea theme park and field project manager for two themed lands and the 500-room Tokyo DisneySea Hotel MiraCosta. During his tenure with Imagineering, 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. Craig returned to Imagineering in 1986 where, as senior project engineer, he was responsible for the overall technical aspects of the Disney-MGM Studios theme park throughout its design, construction, show and ride systems installation.
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 is also active in the project and construction management industry, and has served on the board of the LEAN Construction Institute. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering systems from University of California, Los Angeles.