Executive Vice President
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.
Programs and Events Manager
Spencer Gross is the Programs Manager for the Los Angeles World Affairs Council & Town Hall. Before joining LAWACTH he was the lead Program Coordinator for the East-West Center in Washington's flagship Asia Matters for America/America Matters for Asia initiative and led the Center's Young Professional Program. During his time with the East-West Center in Washington, he oversaw the research and writing of multiple Asia Matters publications including those on Korea, Japan, Taiwan, ASEAN, The Philippines, Asia, and a groundbreaking publication on public and elite attitudes in the United States towards the Indo-Pacific. Spencer received his B.A. in Political Science with a minor in History from The George Washington University and studied abroad at King's College London and the University of Cape Town. He received his Master's from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, DC where he concentrated in International Political Economy with a minor in Korea Studies and a specialization in emerging markets. Before attending Johns Hopkins Spencer led the Customer Success team at El Segundo-based educational technology startup GoGuardian, and was an English teacher in South Korea. Spencer has traveled extensively visiting over twenty countries and self-governing territories including North and South Korea, South Africa, and Argentina.
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.
Membership & Communications coordinator
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.