City of Santa Monica

Julie Rusk

Chief Civic Wellbeing Officer 
City of Santa Monica

At the groundbreaking nexus of wellbeing and local government policy, Julie Rusk marshals and champions projects that help all segments of the community flourish. As the City of Santa Monica's Assistant Director of Community & Cultural Services, Julie oversaw a range of human service, cultural, education, recreation and place making initiatives. With over 25 years of local government and nonprofit management experience, Julie has led pioneering, nationally-recognized efforts to tackle social issues with compassion, collaboration and smarts. Prior to becoming the City's first Chief Civic Wellbeing Officer, Julie launched Santa Monica's pioneering Cradle to Career Initiative and first Youth Wellbeing Report Card in a partnership designed to use data to drive cross-sector action. An East Coast transplant, Julie lives in Santa Monica, California with her husband, two teenagers and exuberant Springer-Spaniel.

Lisa Parson

Project Manager, The Wellbeing Project
City of Santa Monica

Lisa has close to a decade of experience working as a lead on high impact inter-sectoral projects in the public sector. Prior to becoming the Project Manager for the Wellbeing Index, she was the district liaison to a State Assemblymember in New York City where she worked on issues ranging from an outbreak of youth violence, the reconstruction of the World Trade Center, and the closing of a level 1 trauma center, worked as a writer for the 72 Democratic members of the Minnesota House of Representatives, and worked in homeland security and emergency management in Los Angeles. Throughout her career Lisa has placed an emphasis on developing data-driven, innovative solutions to public challenges, and the Wellbeing Index is the culmination of those efforts. A graduate of Columbia University and the University of Southern California, Lisa lives in Los Angeles with her fiancee, their new son Harrison, and their old cat, Dennis.

partnering organizations

Funded by the Bloomberg Philanthropies' Mayors Challenge, The Wellbeing Project draws on expertise from multiple disciplines to define and measure community wellbeing.

Through a competitive proposal process, RAND Corporation, a nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization based in Santa Monica, was selected as the City's research partner to develop The Local Wellbeing Index, a key component of The Wellbeing Project. RAND Corporation has chosen to partner with the New Economics Foundation (nef), a nonprofit research center that specializes in wellbeing analysis, city planning, and policy development. Finally, the City has partnered with the innovation firm Daylight Design to create a blueprint for a rich, human-centered platform as part of the long-term vision for The Local Wellbeing Index.


The Wellbeing Project Panel of Experts has been assembled by RAND Corporation, in partnership with the New Economics Foundation (nef), to draw upon the deep knowledge base of leading researchers from various disciplines to inform and advise development of the framework for the first Local Wellbeing Index.

Click here to read more about each panelist, including:

The City of Santa Monica's Office of Civic Wellbeing has closed.
Our work continues as Civic Wellbeing Partners, a non-governmental organization, and we will continue to update this website and our social media. Stay tuned!