Russel Backus currently lives in Fairfax, Virginia, with his wife. After receiving B.S. and M.S. degrees from Utah State University, Russel worked for consulting engineering firms in California, Idaho, and Colorado as a licensed Civil Engineer. He moved on to serve in the U.S. Agency for International Development, living for fourteen years in Pakistan, Egypt, and Kazakhstan, and supporting programs in Africa for eight years while posted in Washington, D.C. Since retirement, Russel and his wife have served as L.D.S. Church missionaries in Hungary, and as FamilySearch missionaries in several different capacities.