Throughout nearly two decades, Mayor Pam O’Connor has championed policies and partnerships that enhance community livability and wellbeing. She is particularly interested in issues that advance mobility, transportation and sustainability. Pam O’Connor was first elected to the Santa Monica City Council in 1994, and is currently in her fourth term as Mayor.
Mayor O’Connor has served on the Los Angeles County Metro Board since 2001, steering the planning, coordination, design, construction, and operation of the transportation/transit system for the nation’s most populous county. In this capacity, she leads Metro’s Sustainability Committee and chairs its Planning and Programming Committee. Pam O’Connor is also Chair of the Exposition Metro Line Construction Authority Board that oversees building of the light rail line that extends from Downtown Los Angeles to Santa Monica.
Mayor O’Connor served as President of the Southern California Association of Governments, the nation’s largest metropolitan planning organization representing six counties. Pam O’Connor led the 84-member Regional Council in the unanimous adoption of the region’s first Sustainable Communities Strategy in 2012.
Pam O’Connor also served on the California Coastal Commission as an alternate from 2010 to 2012. This quasi-judicial regulatory body oversees land use issues that impact California’s coastline, with the goal of protecting and conserving the environment and preserving public access to this natural resource.
Mayor O’Connor works with cities throughout the world on environmental, sustainability and climate issues as a member of ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability-USA Board. She is on the Board of Directors of the Local Government Commission, California Transit Association, National Association of Regional Councils and CalCog. Mayor O’Connor serves on Advisory Boards for the Santa Monica College Public Policy Institute, and the Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies in UCLA’s Luskin School of Public Affairs. She is an active member of the National League of Cities and the US Conference of Mayors.
Mayor O’Connor’s achievements have been recognized with the 2013 Streetsblog LA “Streetsie Award” as Elected Official of the Year, Southern California coalition Mobility 21’s Public Sector Leader of the Year Award (2012), Move LA Award (2012), LA League of Conservation Voters Environmental Champion Award (2012), Los Angeles County Chair’s Green Leadership Award (2008), American Planning Association—LA Distinguished Leadership Elected Official (2006). Pam O’Connor was recognized as one of the 25 Most Influential Women in Transportation in Southern California by the Women’s Transportation Seminar (2010), and was recently named as one of the “100 Pioneers of the New Economy” by The Purpose Economy.
As a professional urban planning consultant, Pam O’Connor specializes in historic preservation. She has worked on significant historic buildings throughout Southern California including the Los Angeles City Hall Seismic Rehabilitation, and at institutions including the University of California Los Angeles, University of Southern California, California State University campuses, Los Angeles Community College, and Occidental College. Her expertise includes environmental review and rehabilitation of historic resources. Other previous positions of note include: Director of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Northridge Earthquake Recovery Partnership
Program; Planner for the City of Pasadena; and Research Associate at the Survey Research Center, Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan.
Pam O’Connor holds Masters’ degrees in Planning and in Technology Management from Eastern Michigan University and a B.S. in Communications from Southern Illinois University.
Mayor O’Connor views community wellbeing as the natural next step in the evolution of local government, as well as a way to advance the connection between mobility and sustainability issues by looking at their impact through the lens of human flourishing.