Russell Kunkel (September 1, 1948), also known as Russ Kunkel, is an American drummer and producer who has worked as a session musician with a number of well-known artists.

Kunkel was born in Pittsburgh, PA. In the 1970s, Kunkel worked so frequently with bassist Leland Sklar, guitarist Danny Kortchmar, and keyboardist Craig Doerge that they eventually became known as "The Section" and recorded three albums under that name between 1972 and 1977.

Kunkel had a cameo as doomed drummer Eric "Stumpy Joe" Childs in the 1984 film This Is Spinal Tap.

Kunkel was engaged to Carly Simon from 1985–86 and married singer Nicolette Larson in 1990. They had a daughter, Elsie May Larson-Kunkel. He was previously married to Leah Cohen, younger sister of Cass Elliot, and together they raised Elliot's daughter, Owen Vanessa. They have a son, Nathaniel, an Emmy Award winning sound engineer.

In 2010 Kunkel joined the Troubadour Reunion Tour supporting James Taylor and Carole King.