John A. McKenna is a public affairs specialist in the mass media and nonprofit space. He is founder of KENNASCOPE, a consulting company operating at the intersection of content creation and social impact, launching MusicUnits which introduces, develops and promotes music therapy programs within healthcare and wellness centers.
Recently appointed Executive Director of Operation Respect, he will lead innovative efforts to promote peace-building and conflict-resolution through creative forms of expression, including music. He has served as Executive Director of the Playing For Change Foundation where he developed Instruments of Change – The Official Alliance in the Playing For Change Movement, securing over 30 partnerships including a multi-year agreement with UNICEF announced at the United Nations on the International Day of Peace. For A New Way of Life Re-Entry Project he directed the annual Justice on Trial Film Festival led by CNN Top Ten Hero Susan Burton.
John developed educational campaigns via a consortium of foundations, corporations and philanthropists united in boosting opportunities for inner-city schools and at-risk students, creating the Reaching Out Supporting Education (ROSE) Partnership, raising funds for capital improvements, faculty development and scholarships. He steered public relations for several film and television projects including “Cesar’s Last Fast,” the compelling account of Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers in competition at the Sundance Film Festival.
For ten years John built the base and raised the profile of global mass media trade associations, participating at the major film and television markets, festivals and conferences around the world. For the National Association of Television Program Executives he bridged partnerships with the emerging new-tech and digital-content industry, and as Director of Membership Development for the Independent Film & Television Alliance he successfully recruited over 100 member companies in his tenure.
John served as adviser for the Institute on Violence, Abuse and Trauma and the Advisory Board of Sanctuary of Hope, a groundbreaking project providing essential programs for youth emancipated from foster care. Additionally, he leads volunteer and fund-raising efforts in support of the Divine Mercy Orphanage in Tecate, Mexico. A graduate of UCLA, he was a member of the Political Science Honor Society and reported on world affairs for the Daily Bruin.