Civic Wellbeing Partners

Julie Rusk

Founder - Civic Wellbeing Partners

Julie is a strategic leader focused on social impact partnerships leading towards equity and wellbeing for all. In July 2020, after three decades in local government and nonprofit leadership positions, Julie co-founded Civic Wellbeing Partners, a startup project designed to advance and spread wellbeing leadership and practices. Julie led the City of Santa Monica's award winning work to define, measure and actively improve community wellbeing including Santa Monica’s wellbeing index. Prior to this, Julie developed and led the City’s Human Services which included a diverse portfolio of social, health, cultural, education, affordable housing, recreation, and placemaking initiatives. She has pioneered nationally-recognized efforts to tackle complex social issues, including homelessness and youth violence, bringing compassion to her work. She led Santa Monica’s Cradle to Career Initiative, spearheaded Santa Monica’s winning submission for the 2016 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Culture of Health prize. She received the League of Women Voters “Women Who Shape Santa Monica” (2015) award. She is a 2016/17 Fellow with Common Future (formerly Business Alliance for a Local Living Economy) and was named to the 2017 List of Top 25 Influencers by ELGL (Engaging Local Government Leaders). Julie is currently a Senior Fellow with UCLA’s Center for Healthier Children, Families and Communities and serves on the Executive Board of the Santa Monica Bay Area Human Relations Council.


Catalina Langen

Co-Founder, Program Manager - Civic Wellbeing Partners

Catalina lifts up promising practices, supports creative engagement strategies, and uses data to drive her work. She believes that equity-forward solutions have the power to strengthen the wellbeing of our communities, and oversees the Wellbeing Microgrants program, supporting resident leadership in advancing their ideas for community wellbeing. She is a 2021 inaugural 36x36 Fellow, working alongside womxn change-makers around the world to envision a new economic architecture toward wellbeing on a healthy planet. Previously, Catalina worked at California State University San Marcos developing co-curricular civic engagement programming, creating opportunities for students to connect with community leaders and city officials, dialogue about democracy, and serve the community. A Southern California native, Catalina graduated from the University of California Santa Barbara, grew up in North County San Diego and lives in Los Angeles.

partnering organizations

With original funding 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, we 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: