Ellen Scully-Russ

Ellen Scully-Russ
Associate Professor, Human & Organizational Learning
(571) 553-3786

Dr. Scully-Russ is an Associate Professor of Human and Organizational Learning at The George Washington University Graduate School of Education and Human Development. Her scholarship and practice are focused on the role of Adult Education in meeting the individual and the political-economic challenges of the emerging knowledge society. With expertise in qualitative research methods, she has studied the inter-dependencies of work organization and individual learning in traditional as well as emerging occupations.

Dr. Scully-Russ has more than 25 years experience as a workplace learning and workforce development practitioner in a wide range of industries including health care, telecommunications, manufacturing, hospitality, and the public sector. She has worked with dozens union-management partnerships on the firm, regional, and industrial levels to develop policies and programs to meet the dual goals of supporting individual learning and development and improving industry and firm performance. She also served as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer in the Republic of Liberia in the early 1980s.

Ed.D., Teachers College, Columbia University, M.A., Teachers College, Columbia University, B.A., St. Peters College


Pittman, P., & Scully-Russ, E. (2016). Workforce planning and development in times of delivery system transformation. Human Resources for Health, 14(1), 56.

Scully-Russ, E., & Cseh, M. (Eds.), (2015). Green HRD: A social-environmental systems perspective of the role of HRD. Advances in Developing Human Resources, 17(4). (Received the 2015 The Advances in Developing Human Resources Outstanding Issue Award).

Schwandt, D., Scully-Russ, E., & Crowley, K. (Eds.), (2014). Human interactions, processes and contexts: Reflections on the past and envisioning the future. Bloomington, IN: Authorhouse. (Received the R. Wayne Pace Book of the Year Award for the outstanding HRD book that advances the theory and/or practice of the profession).

Scully-Russ, E., Lehner, R., & Shuck, B. (Eds.), (2013). A scholar-practitioner case approach: Implications for advancing theory and research. Advances in Developing Human Resources, 15(3), 243-251.

Scully-Russ, E. (2013). The dual promise of green jobs: A qualitative study of federally funded. Energy Training Programmes in the U.S. European Journal of Training and Development, 37(3), 257-272.

Scully-Russ, E., Rose, A., & Glowacki-Duka, M. (Eds.), (2013). Green jobs, the green economy, and adult education. Adult Learning, 24(1).

Scully-Russ, E. (2012). Human resource development and sustainability: Beyond sustainable organizations. Human Resource Development International, 15(4), 399-415.

Scully-Russ, E. (2012). Green jobs and career pathways: An arranged marriage in service to a 21st-Century workforce development system. 2010 Research Paper. Washington, DC: U. S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.

Marshall, D., & Scully-Russ (2010). Joint union-management workforce development model. In D. Finegold & S. Schurman (Eds.), Transforming the US workforce development system: Lessons from practice and research. Labor and Employment Relations Association, 2010 Research Volume (pp. 205-236).


Scully-Russ, E. (2016). Workforce Development by Alternative Means, Invited workshop for the Equitable Food Initiative’s Trainer’s Network, Washington, DC.

Scully-Russ, E. (2016). The Lifelong Learning Imperative, Invited workshop for Kaiser Permanente Workforce of the Future Network, Universal City, CA.

Scully-Russ, E. (2016). Exploring Program Design Principles for Healthcare Career Pipeline Programs for Underserved Youth. Invited panelists, GW Health Workforce Speakers Series, Washington, DC.

Scully-Russ, E. (2016). The Role of Adult Education in Building Opportunity Structures in High Inequality Societies. Invited speaker, Graduate School of Education and Human Development, National Committee, Washington, DC.

Scully-Russ, E. (2015). Research, voice and policy. Invited discussant on a panel on role of adult educators in US workforce development policy, Commission of Professors of Adult Education, Oklahoma City, OK.

Scully-Russ, E. (2015). An Invitational Opportunity to Deepen Understanding of Cultural Historical Activity Theory (CHAT) and Learning-Network Theory (LNT) in Relationship to the Role of Reflection in- and on- Experience in Workplace Learning. Teachers College, Columbia University, NYC.

Scully-Russ, E. (2015). Labor Management Training Funds for the Healthcare Industry. Invited respondent, Healthcare Career Advancement Program, Management and Labor Convening on Building a Skilled Workforce for Quality Healthcare, Arlington, VA.

Scully-Russ, E. (2014). Taking the next step with PIAAC: A research-to-action conference. Invited respondent, American Institute for Research, Washington, DC.

Scully-Russ, E. (2014). How OECD’s adult skills survey can help shape workforce investment boards’ strategy and programs. Invited moderator, National Association of Workforce Boards Forum, Washington, DC.

Scully-Russ, E. (2011). Rise of Illich’s convivial society through new media commons. Paper presented at the American Education Research Association Conference, New Orleans, LA.

Scully-Russ, E. (2010). New media as a new medium: Work and learning in an emerging postindustrial occupation. Paper presented at Academy of Human Resource Development, Knoxville, TN (pp 2312-3240).

In the News

Dr. Ellen Scully-Russ contributed to an AIR-commissioned paper which was published today. The paper is entitled, "Collaboration at Work and PIAAC Skills." Dr. Scully-Russ also facilitated a webinar for the American Association For Adult and Continuing Education to present and discuss her chapter on Adult Education for a Global Economy published in the Association's International Compendium: Mapping the Field of Adult and Continuing Education.

Dr. Ellen Scully-Russ was an invited participant to the PIAAC Research Conference sponsored by American Institutes for Research (AIR). She delivered the results of an AIR sponsored study examining the extent to which collaboration and information sharing at work are associated with the adult competencies measured by the Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC), including literacy, numeracy and problem solving in a technological rich environment. The study was a collaboration with colleagues at the University of Colorado, Tobin Lopes and Jill Zarestky, and the University of Minnesota, Joshua Collins.

Dr. Ellen Scully-Russ was the lead co-editor of the recent volume of New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education, entitled Update on Informal and Incidental Learning Theory. She co-edited the volume with Drs. Aliki Nicholadies and Karen Watkins of the University of Georgia and Dr. Victoria Marsick of Teachers College. Dr. Scully-Russ also co-authored two chapters, including "Sowing the Seeds of Change: Equitable Food Initiative through the lens of Vygotsky's Cultural Historic Development Theory" with Kevin Boyle, and "Connections, Questions, Controversies and the Potential Paths Forward" with Dr. Nicholodies. GSEHD doctoral candidate Ximena Vidal De Col (Human and Organizational Learning) was the Editorial Assistant on this project.

Dr. Ellen Scully-Russ' research on Joint Union-Management Workforce Training and Development Programs was cited in an amicus brief submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court in the Janus Case recently decided by the Court. Janus was brought before the Supreme Court from the Seventh Court of Appeals on whether public sector unions can collect membership dues from non-members covered by the collective bargaining agreement. The brief was filed on behalf of the public employees unions by the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services, the New York City Health Hospitals, and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).

Faculty, students, and alumni presented their research at the National Conference of the Academy of Human Resource Development. Presenters included: Dr. Maria Cseh, alumna Dr. Anne Lackritz (Human and Organizational Learning), doctoral candidate Oliver Crocco (Human and Organizational Learning), former doctoral student Wei Wang (Human and Organizational Learning), Dr. Ellen Scully-Russ, Dr. Neal Chalofsky, alumnus Dr. Ralph Soule (Human and Organizational Learning), alumna Dr. Danielle Dimitrov (Human Resource Development), doctoral student Selena Barlow (Human and Organizational Learning), alumna Dr. Emily Morrison (Human and Organizational Learning), doctoral student Leslie Kirsch (Human and Organizational Learning), doctoral student Terri Hinkley (Human and Organizational Learning), doctoral student John DeForest (Human and Organizational Learning), and doctoral student Cindy Dupree (Human and Organizational Learning).