Kim McCleary Blue

President & CEO

(213) 312-9458

Kim McCleary Blue is the President & CEO of the Los Angeles World Affairs Council & Town Hall, the city’s most prominent nonprofit public speaker forum, which has hosted past presidents, key business leaders and cultural icons since 1937. Her career experience includes senior executive positions in the nonprofit and private sectors, with accomplishments resulting from her skills in public affairs, strategic planning, fundraising, program management, marketing and operations. Prior to joining LAWACTH, McCleary was Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer of New Visions Foundation, which focuses on providing excellent educational opportunities to underserved youth. McCleary also spent more than 20 years at the Los Angeles Times serving in most of the major operational management roles. She is widely known for The Times’ community outreach efforts that she led as Vice President of Public Affairs. She also served as President of the paper’s charitable foundations, The Times Mirror and Los Angeles Times Foundations, and has served in a leadership position on numerous Los Angeles nonprofit boards. She holds a B.A. from Stanford University and a M.B.A. from Pepperdine’s Graziadio School of Business and Management.


Alexander Messmann

Executive Vice President

(213) 725-9099 

Alexander Messmann has been with the Los Angeles World Affairs Council & Town Hall since 1987. He studied at universities in Germany and the United States and obtained a graduate degree in Public Administration from the University of Konstanz. Before starting his tenure at the Council, he had worked at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in New York and as a research assistant at the University of Konstanz.


Marian Shima

Vice President of Events & Development

(213) 312-9303 

Marian Shima is an award-winning executive with experience in marketing communications, public relations including events, public affairs, brand and relationship management, fundraising and development. In her role at LAWACTH, Marian is responsible for strategic development of livestreams and in-person events and fundraising-development for LAWACTH programs. She served as Vice President, Events & Public Affairs, at Town Hall Los Angeles prior to the merger of the two organizations. Her previous career experience include management positions at the Los Angeles Times and the Disneyland Resort, where she led high-profile events and strategic initiatives. 


Michele Stoll

Special Events & Programs Director

(949) 522-3561 

With over 20 years of experience creating award-winning special events, Michele brings her extensive knowledge of sponsorship marketing to the position of Programs Director. Her portfolio of work in the arts and entertainment industry includes Fortune 500 companies, international festivals and large-scale company launches. She has created over 200 marketing campaigns for non-profit organizations throughout the country and enjoys the process of building brand awareness through public and private events. Michele looks forward to bringing her skills to LAWACTH and working in the world affairs arena.


Rachel Kenderdine

Community Manager

(213) 328-3181 

Rachel Kenderdine serves as the Community Manager at the Los Angeles World Affairs Council & Town Hall. In this position, Rachel leads the strategic growth and development of the LAWACTH community through relationship-building and communications. Rachel oversees member relations, the High School Program, and serves as the livestream producer for all virtual events. Rachel's previous experience includes roles at nonprofits in the education and youth justice spaces. She has a B.A. from George Mason University and a Master's in Public Administration from the University of Southern California.


Katie Gilman

Membership & Communications coordinator

(213) 328-5243 

Katie Gilman is the Membership & Communications Coordinator for the Los Angeles World Affairs Council & Town Hall. As Membership & Communications Coordinator, Katie will work directly with members to provide support and create digital content to share on our website and social platforms. She is excited to bring her passion for public affairs and education along with her communication skills to this role. She graduated from the University of Southern California in the spring of 2022, where she received a B.A. in Communication. Her experience includes working closely with a nonprofit organization expanding arts programs for youth in her hometown of Portland, Maine, as well as being a summer intern for the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles.


Alysha Robinson

Programs & Special Events Coordinator

(213) 328-4861 

Alysha Robinson serves as the Programs & Special Events Coordinator for the Los Angeles World Affairs Council & Town Hall. In her role, she strives to generate events that elicit thought provoking conversations. She earned her Master’s degree in English with a focus in Composition and Rhetoric from CSU, Long Beach. She previously served as an educator and scholar within higher education. Notably, during her time as a scholar, she spoke at national conferences and engaged in research where she highlighted topics long overlooked within the field of Composition and Rhetoric. Additionally, she has a background in nonprofit event planning which she aided in developing at her alma mater. Alysha is excited to be working in World Affairs and hopes to bring a new perspective to the team.


Claire Krelitz

Consultant, strategic Communications & Digital production

(213) 328-5243 

Claire Krelitz is a strategic communications consultant for the LA World Affairs Council & Town Hall, where she advises on key projects in marketing, public affairs, and digital content. She previously served as the Communications Manager and Virtual Events Producer for the organization (2020-2022). In this role, she oversaw the organization’s marketing and communications, spearheaded the expansion into digital programming, and produced over 200 virtual events. Before joining LAWACTH, she worked on two nationally ranked podcasts at Crooked Media and is a graduate of Occidental College in Los Angeles, CA.


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