The Alaska World Affairs Council announces President and CEO Lise Kristiansen will be stepping down from her role after 16 years of distinguished leadership and dedicated service to the organization. The Alaska World Affairs Council is a focused educational organization which is dedicated to stimulating interest in world affairs and inspiring its members and community to be involved in global events shaping our daily lives and our future.

Under Lise’s innovative leadership, the Alaska World Affairs Council has implemented high-impact programs with over 550 world leaders including diplomats, NATO Commanders, policy makers, public officials, Presidents and Royalty. She thoughtfully challenged our next generation of global thinkers by spearheading the Council’s Speed Mentoring Program for local high school students, as well as cultivating the growth of events like the annual Academic WorldQuest Student Competition to send Alaska’s top competitive teams to the World Affairs Council of America’s National Competition in Washington, D.C. She has strategically led the organization through major challenges over the last sixteen years, while partnering with policy experts and multifaceted organizations around the globe. Her dedication to the organization has earned her national recognition from the National World Affairs Councils of America being named, Leader of the Year, out of the 94 Council Leaders around the United States.

The Alaska World Affairs Council extends its deepest gratitude for Lise and the growth of our organization, which culminated from her vision, passion, and steady leadership. The distinctive accomplishments of Lise reflect credit upon herself and the impact she has had in the State of Alaska and we wish her well in all of her future endeavors.

The Alaska World Affairs Council is now conducting an executive search to fill the position as Kristiansen will leave the role in February 2023. Want to learn more? General inquiries can be directed to Stefan Saldanha at and Jim Cantor at

About the Alaska World Affairs Council

The council was founded in 1958 by the late Evangeline Atwood with the conviction that better community education in world affairs is necessary for sound democratic citizenship. The Council does not take a stand on current-day issues but rather provides the population a wide spectrum of viewpoints and background information through its diverse range of programs and activities. The Alaska World Affairs Council is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit, non-partisan organization which is membership-based and is one of over 90 members of the World Affairs Councils of America.