Russ Hearl leads Elance’s ecosystem partner program. He manages partnerships with the leading IT certification vendors that connect certified professionals with job opportunities across 160 countries. Elance’s partnership with Microsoft addresses the growing IT skills shortage by enabling Microsoft partners and customers to hire Microsoft Certified Professionals online. This year, over 800,000 projects will be filled online on Elance, many by certified professionals who have made the decision to be a virtual freelance worker. Prior to Elance, Russ held various senior management roles at and FedEx Services. Russ holds an MBA with an emphasis in Economics from Santa Clara University.