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.


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.


Christopher Iijima

Fundraising and Development Manager

(213) 312-9303 

In his role as the Fundraising and Development Manager of LAWACTH, Christopher Iijima heads the organization’s fundraising campaigns. Christopher is excited to leverage his previous experience in the nonprofit world – specifically in the fields of youth development and civic engagement – to assist in the organization’s continued growth. He holds a BA from Occidental College and a Master’s in Creative Writing from Antioch University of Los Angeles.


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 graduated from the University of Southern California 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.


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