Russell J. Barcelona Ph.D.

Co-Founder – Business Psychologist

Dr. Barcelona is a co-founder and licensed business psychologist with Ascend Talent Strategies, Inc. For over twenty-five years, Russ has delivered an insightful and evidenced-based approach in the areas of leadership assessment, succession planning, organization cultural transformation and executive coaching. He blends a highly quantitative/scientific industrial psychology background with his robust intuition (of people) and an in-depth understanding of a client’s business.

Russ worked on the inside of an action-oriented human resource department of a multi-billion dollar organization early in his career. During his early career, he played an active role on a national task force for testing and personnel research within the electric utility industry. Since 1997, he shifted his focus to playing significant partnership roles in two Industrial/Organizational Psychology firms. His clients span industry sectors including manufacturing, insurance, food production and law firms. He continues to engage with Fortune 500 clients, governmental agencies, private equity firms, merger and acquisition due diligence activities and entrepreneurial start-ups. In 2019, Ascend Talent Strategies, Inc. was launched to capitalize on a forward-leaning and contemporary approach to providing customized I/O Psychology services and consultation to leaders, teams and organizational clients.

Russ has a B.S. in psychology from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from Illinois Institute of Technology. He is married with five children and six grandchildren and has the eclectic interests of gardening, home-brewing, soccer, Nordic Noir books, fishing and back-country hiking.

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