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Gross National Happiness USA is a 501c(3) Tax-Exempt non-profit organization with a mission to increase personal happiness and our collective wellbeing by changing how we measure progress and success.

We are building new pathways to sustainable happiness and wellbeing in the United States. Recognizing our abundant wisdom and tapping into our collect impact potential, we work with local, national and global partners to celebrate and create resonance between what we value and how we live, taking care to include the wellbeing of all living creatures and the planet.

Our History

In November 2008, 66 international guests attended the fourth Annual Gross National Happiness Research Conference in Thimphu, Bhutan. Six of those attendees were from the state of Vermont. We decided the time was ripe to import GNH concepts to the U.S., starting with our small but progressive New England home state.
In the spring of 2009, the Vermont-based, non-partisan, non-profit organization Gross National Happiness USA was established.

That fall, GNHUSA founders attended the fifth international GNH research conference in Brazil and, the following June 2010, hosted the first US-based conference on Gross National Happiness and other alternative indicators, at Champlain College in Burlington, VT.

In May of 2012, GNHUSA with co-sponsors organized Measure What Matters, a conference building a collaborative of data experts in Vermont. Since then the United Nations General Assembly has passed a resolution to develop and use alternative indicators in global development efforts. The UN also declared March 20th the “International Day of Happiness.” The United States has appointed a federally mandated commission that will oversee implementation of the new Key National Indicator System, designed to help the American people better assess the nation’s progress. The state of Vermont declared April 13th (President Jefferson’s birthday) “Pursuit of Happiness Day,” and became the first state to pass legislation enabling development of alternative indicators and to assist in making policy.
From August 25th to October 7th, two GNHUSA board members walked 594 miles, from Vermont to Washington DC, to collect statements and stories that will inform the development of Vermont’s well-being Indicators and, eventually, a happiness guidebook.


Where we are today?

GNHUSA is an organization with a big vision and big plans. We have been spreading GNH ideas in the public and with many other organizations. Our vision is for a happy and sustainable future. We believe that we will get what we measure. Our current measures of progress (GDP, for example) are faulty, limited and dangerous. We want to implement measures to expand beyond economic production and consumption measures to indicators that better reflect our values. GNHUSA appreciates the importance of research and the power of policy-making and collaborates in developing well-being indicators, tools and best practices. Ultimately, the American people must demand this shift to a true pursuit of Happiness.

We know in our hearts, and research has proven, that happiness and well-being involve many domains which include:

1) Psychological Well-being
2) Physical Health
3) Time Balance
4) Community Vitality
5) Education
6) Culture
7) Environment
8) Good Governance
9) Standard of Living

Luckily, Americans are optimistic and scrappy. We are entrepreneurial, creative and inspired to solve problems. We invite you to rediscover, with us, a true pursuit of happiness.

Happiness Trailblazers – Board Members

Paula Francis

Paula Francis

Paula is a co-founder & Vice President of GNHUSA, and chief Happiness Walker. She has been enamored with the idea of an economy grounded in happiness since first learning about the…

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Brian Kaminer

Brian is Vice President of GNHUSA.  He is the founder of Talgra and creator of Invest With Values. Talgra consults with people and organizations looking to align their money and…

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Jeannette

Jeannette Cabanis-Brewin

Jeannette is the Secretary of GNHUSA and principal of The WordSource. She has written about the human and organizational aspects of management for more than twenty years, and has contributed, as…

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Cheryl Lopriore

Cheryl Lopriore

Cheryl is the Treasurer of GNHUSA and a self- employed Certified Public Accountant. Her practice specializes in entity and individual taxation and small business accounting.  Prior to owning her own business,…

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Michael Moser

Michael is a researcher, facilitator and educator based in Vermont.  He coordinates the Vermont State Data Center, located at the University of Vermont’s Center for Rural Studies and is interested…

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Rob Moore

Rob Moore

Rob is a policy analyst based in Columbus, Ohio. He is passionate about helping state policymakers make better decisions by providing them with rigorous analysis that measures progress and success…

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Board Advisors

George H. Lewis

George H. Lewis is a world-renowned artist and global GNH Ambassador. George is regarded as one of the great philosopher polymaths of the modern era as expressed through his art and…

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Carl Polley

Carl Polley

Carl teaches Mandarin Chinese language and culture at Kapi‘olani Community College, within the University of Hawai‘i system, in Honolulu. He teaches all levels of Chinese, from beginner to high advanced.…

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Laura Musikanski

Laura Musikanski

Laura Musikanski is executive director the Happiness Alliance (happycounts.org). Laura was an invited participant at the 2012 UN High Level Meeting Well-being and Happiness: Defining a New Economic Paradigm as…

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Sharon Parker

Sharon Parker

Sharon Parker is recently retired from service as the Assistant Chancellor for Equity and Diversity at the University of Washington Tacoma, where she has worked since 2007, as the campus’…

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Ginny Sassaman

Ginny is a co-founder and previous president of GNHUSA. In 2011, she created the Happiness Paradigm Store and Experience, which expanded to include the Happiness Paradigm blog where she posts essays…

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Beth Allgood

Beth Allgood

Beth serves as US Campaigns Director for the International Fund for Animal Welfare. In that role, she assures the strategic development and implementation of IFAW’s US projects and campaigns with…

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Past Founding Board Members

Tom Barefoot

Tom Barefoot

Tom is co-founder of GNHUSA and recently served as Vice President. He attended the Loomis Chaffee School, did undergraduate work at Tufts University in Literature and Philosophy, studied and taught…

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