Russ has served as political volunteer, staff, and consultant at the federal, provincial, and municipal levels in all aspects of politics, public policy, and the legislative process.
From 1994 to 1999, He served as executive assistant to two Members of Parliament, as the Whip's assistant for committees and the lobby desk, as House strategy consultant to Ray Speaker, Reform House Leader, and as Preston Manning's strategic communications officer responsible for Finance. In 2000, Russ served as Director and, later, Acting Manager of the Ontario Crime Control Commission, responsible for policy development and communications on justice issues. He was involved in the Canadian Alliance leadership campaign, and served as Ontario Policy Chair for the Canadian Alliance General Election campaign, in 2000.
In 2001, Russ was a member of the Stephen Harper Exploratory Committee and organized Mr. Harper's Tudor Hall launch in Ottawa for the 2002 Canadian Alliance leadership campaign. In March 2004, Russ was called upon to serve as convention organizer for the Stephen Harper Campaign to lead the new Conservative Party. During the 2004 federal election, Russ served as one of a team of speechwriters for Mr. Harper.
From 2004 to 2008, as Research Fellow of Cardus, he wrote a book on Canada-U.S. trade, and he saw a series of articles on Canada-U.S. trade and investment published in Policy Options.
As a volunteer in the 2006 election, Russ organized election day, "get out the vote" (GOTV) efforts on behalf of David Sweet, M.P. In September 2008, Russ was asked by the Conservative Party national campaign to assist with the election of Lisa Raitt, Toronto Port Authority CEO, as M.P. for Halton. From December 2008 to February 2010, Russ was Director of Policy to the Hon. Lisa Raitt, P.C., M.P. when she was Canada's Minister of Natural Resources.
Since 2010, Russ has opted to pursue opportunities outside government. In 2014, Russ wrote a major thought piece published by Cardus framing and locating Canada's new industrial revolution in resource development (Russ Kuykendall, Signs of the Times: Canada'ss New Industrial Revolution).
Russ was also a member of the national campaign team that saw the Conservative Party achieve a majority mandate in May, 2011. He has continued to be involved in various provincial and municipal campaigns in Ontario and Alberta as strategic advisor, campaign manager, election day chair, GOTV trainer, and writer. Russ volunteers with several NGOs doing charitable work in Canada and benevolent work abroad.
Russ believes that political engagement is one domain among other domains of human life and activity dedicated to achieving human flourishing. However, he believes that in the political domain, recruiting, educating and training activists of a shared world view in effective political engagement is the best way to advance:
- the principles of constitutional, limited, representative government,
- the sovereignty of what Edmund Burke called “the little platoons” of volunteer organizations and non-governmental institutions,
- a market regulated to secure the free movement of people, goods, services, and intellectual property,
- a strong national defence, and
- the ethos of public service.