Policy Analysis

Brooke Russell

Associate Director, Transparent Development Footprints


Download CV

Brooke is the Associate Director of the Transparent Development Footprints team. She previously served as AidData's Senior Program and Technology Manager, focused on non-traditional donor relations, from 2012-2021. Previously Brooke was a project manager for AidData from 2009-2011. She holds an MA in Public Affairs from the University of Texas in Austin and a BA in Political Science and Business Administration from Brigham Young University.

M.A., Public Affairs, University of Texas in Austin

B.A., Political Science and Business Administration, Brigham Young University

Brooke Russell is the Associate Director of the Transparent Development Footprints team and previously AidData's Senior Program and Technology Manager. She leads AidData’s Middle East research team, which seeks to better understand aid allocation trends and patterns from Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries to recipient countries worldwide. The project focuses on conducting data collection and analysis of aid flows, in particular applying the Tracking Under-reported Financial Flows (TUFF) methodology to GCC donors such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Kuwait. Brooke and her team use these data along with official data to produce analysis on Middle Eastern donors’ aid spending for various partner organizations, and to better understand the unique context of Middle Eastern aid.

Brooke also works as a data curator for AidData’s core holdings, specifically for aggregate data and project-level data on non-DAC donors. These tasks include data collection activities through official sources on over 20 non-DAC donors, standardizing the collected data for inclusion in the AidData core database and portal, helping create and implement AidData’s Data Management Plan, and advising on data-related policies and methodologies. 

Brooke has over seven years of experience working with development finance data. Previously, she oversaw AidData’s collaboration with the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) to track 2012 HIV/AIDS funding from non-DAC donors. While a graduate research assistant at the University of Texas at Austin, she worked with Climate Change and African Political Stability (CCAPS), supporting the design and implementation of a CCAPS research project on democracy and governance aid efficacy. Before graduate school, Brooke served as a Project Manager for AidData’s operations and data products at the College of William & Mary from 2009-2011.


Middle Eastern Aid, Foreign Aid Financial Flows, OECD-DAC