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The City Manager's Office leads the team of City departments and staff to achieve the City Council's vision of a thriving community of sustainable wellbeing. Our mission is to foster collaboration and innovation to create a 21st century city that works for everyone.

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John Jalili - Interim City Manager

John Jalili returned to Santa Monica to serve as Interim City Manager in June 2021. He previously served the Santa Monica community from 1985 to 1999, which included recovering from the Northridge Earthquake. He holds the record as the City's longest-serving city manager. He was formerly the City's Planning and Community Development Director and has a degree in City Planning. Jalili has also contributed his vast experience in executive municipal operations as interim city manager in the communities of Manhattan Beach and Redondo Beach.  

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Susan Cline - Interim Assistant City Manager

 As Acting Assistant City Manager, Susan works alongside city leadership to advance the City’s top priorities: emergency operations, clean and safe neighborhoods, economic recovery, and racial equity inside and outside the organization. In particular, Susan plays a critical role with the City’s Emergency Operations Center to promote public health as we work to save lives and support vaccination amidst the catastrophic crisis occurring across LA County, as well as to plan for full reopening of City operations and services. She will also continue to help make necessary adjustments to our operations to deliver strong city services, as the City was forced to make painful decreases to its operating budget to account for the revenue decreases forecast at the time and now clearly seen in the pandemic.

Cline is a Santa Monica resident who has held key leadership roles in the Public Works Department for more than a decade, including serving as Director of Public Works since 2016.  In her role as Public Works Director, Cline has overseen operations for the City’s largest department, a department that offers many of the services that have the greatest impact on resident’s lives, including refuse collection, public landscape, beach maintenance, capital projects, and environmental programs. Cline is a champion for sustainability and has been instrumental in incorporating sustainable practices across Public Works and City operations.


Anuj Gupta - Deputy City Manager

As the Deputy City Manager, Anuj is deeply involved in the executive leadership at City of Santa Monica. While involved in day-to-day operations at the City, Anuj is primarily tasked with spearheading the forward-looking policies and initiatives for an innovative and progressive municipal government. The most substantial initiatives Anuj is tasked with are defined under Council’s Strategic Goals.

During the implementation of the Strategic Goals, Anuj will be working with intergovernmental agencies, community partnerships, neighborhoods, businesses, educational institutions, and other stakeholders to accomplish the goals set by City Council. Anuj is also overseeing the City’s efforts to transition to a Performance Management model to better oversee resource disbursements for future programs and projects.

Anuj previously served in the administrations of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti as the General Counsel in the Office of Immigrant Affairs and under President Barack Obama as an Associate Staff Secretary. Anuj holds a BA in Public Policy from Stanford and graduated from NYU School of Law. 


Debbie Lee - Chief Communications Officer

In the capacity of Chief Communications Officer, Debbie is the City’s chief spokesperson and oversees the Office of Communications. Debbie and her team manage the City’s integrated communication strategy which includes everything from print publications to web management, including social media. In the event of media coverage, Debbie will coordinate the City’s response across departments and personnel.

Debbie develops and maintains media relations to ensure optimal coverage of City programs, special events, public announcements, and other projects. Working closely with the City Manager and City Attorney, Debbie also manages the contracts for federal and state lobbyists and tracks issues or pending legislation pertaining to the City or Council.

Debbie joined the City of Santa Monica after holding executive leadership positions at Downtown Santa Monica, Inc. and the Santa Monica Convention and Visitors Bureau. Debbie studied English Literature at UC Riverside.


Lindsay Barker – Chief Resilience Officer

In the capacity of Chief Resilience Officer, Lindsay is responsible for leading the efforts of the Office of Emergency Management, which includes Public Safety Dispatch and Emergency Preparedness. In the event of any type of emergency, natural or manmade, Lindsay’s team will be directing the City’s resources in response.

For the days we are fortunate enough not to have a disaster, Lindsay is preparing and overseeing proactive efforts to mitigate future disasters. This includes creating disaster recovery plans for residents, businesses, employees, and with other agencies. Lindsay coordinates with local, state, and federal agencies on a regular basis to ensure that Santa Monica is prepared for any type of disaster at all times.

Lindsay previously worked for Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, where she held the position of Director of Emergency Management and Public Safety. She holds a BA in International Service at American University and a Master’s Degree in Public Health from UCLA. 


Christopher J. Smith – Chief of Staff/LGBTQ Liaison

In the capacity of Assistant to the City Manager, Christopher is responsible for providing administrative support to the City Manager, Assistant City Manager, and Deputy City Manager. This includes overseeing and coordinating the staff report approval process with internal departments for presentation to City Council.

Christopher is also responsible for representing the City Manager’s Office in interdepartmental meetings along with certain boards and commissions, as assigned.

Christopher holds a BA in English and Political Science from University of Washington and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Cal State Long Beach. 

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1685 Main St, Santa Monica, CA 90401