Erick Russell was sworn in as Connecticut’s 84th State Treasurer on January 4, 2023. He is currently serving his first term.
Born and raised in New Haven, Russell adopted the worth ethic and financial responsibility of his parents by working in the family’s small convenience store. He would become the first in his family to graduate college, earning a bachelor’s degree from the University of New Haven.
Russell continued his education at the University of Connecticut School of Law. As a law student, he began to merge his talents with the values instilled by his parents. He volunteered to help low-income taxpayers navigate the complexities of federal and state tax law as part of UConn’s Low-Income Tax Clinic. He also interned with the Connecticut Legal Rights Project and the administration of Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy.
After law school, Russell joined the prestigious Connecticut law firm of Pullman & Comley where he was a partner in the firm’s Public and Private Finance Group. Russell represented towns, cities and the state in financing infrastructure projects, managing debt and restructuring pension obligations. In that work, Russell often interfaced directly with the Office of the Treasurer, gaining firsthand insight into how the agency operates and its potential to shape the financial future of Connecticut.
As treasurer, Russell administers Connecticut’s pension funds holding over $40 billion in assets, oversees the state’s debt and cash management, collects and returns unclaimed property, and manages the Connecticut Higher Education Trust (CHET), a 529 plan that helps students and families save for higher education.
Russell continues to advocate for people traditionally left out of the political process and denied economic opportunity. He is prioritizing financial literacy, sound fiscal policy and necessary statewide investments that maximize resources while growing the economy and combating systemic inequities.
In addition to his professional responsibilities, Russell has embraced the role of mentor, particularly for young Black and LGBTQ people. In 2022, he became the first Black out LGBTQ person in American history to win an election for statewide office.
Russell continues to live in New Haven with his husband, Christopher Lyddy.