The 2019 St. Petersburg Conference on World Affairs was a huge success. The 3-1/2 Day event at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg drew hundreds of people to over 30 Panel Discussions. Speakers and panelists included distinguished diplomats, military, media, and academic experts discussing critical international issues of the day. Stay tuned for details about the 2020 St. Petersburg Conference on World Affairs scheduled for February 18 - 21, 2020.
Our Speakers
Each year the St. Petersburg Conference on World Affairs continues to improve the quantity and caliber of our high-profile panelists. 2019 was no exception. With over 30 Panel Discussions, the 2019 Conference featured speakers and panelists of intelligence officials, diplomats, media and academic experts for 3-1/2 days of discussions about critical international issues.
Raymond ArsenaultProfessor of Southern History, Author, Editor

Raymond Arsenault is the John Hope Franklin Professor of Southern History at the University of South Florida, St. Petersburg, where he has taught since 1980. A specialist in the political, social, environmental, and civil rights history of the American South, he has also taught at the University of Minnesota, Brandeis University, the University of Chicago, the Florida State University Study Abroad Center in London, and the Universite d'Angers, in France, where he was a Fulbright Lecturer in 1984-85. A native of Cape Cod, he was educated at Princeton University and Brandeis University, where he received his Ph.D. in 1981. He served as Associate Director of the Fulbright Commission Summer Institute in American Studies from 1980 to 1988, and he has lectured on American history and culture in a number of countries, including France, Great Britain, Belgium, Germany, Greece, Norway, Iceland, Turkey, Tunisia, and Jordan.

Dorothy DavisPresident of Dorothy Davis, Inc. Project management and consulting company

Dorothy Davis is President of Dorothy Davis Inc., an international project management and consulting company with expertise in design, management and implementation of strategic international, domestic and municipal cross-sector programs and special projects. The company interweaves public affairs, image building, marketing and communications to raise funds, influence policy, create effective coalitions that link global to local communities and increase visibility. Its slogan is "Building Bridges between People, Cultures and Business."

Eric LynnSenior Advisor Secretary of Defense, Policy Office Special Advisor on the Middle East Secretary of Defense

Eric Lynn served as a Senior Advisor to the Secretary of Defense and as Special Advisor on the Middle East in the Policy Office of the Secretary of Defense. He advised three U.S. Secretaries of Defense (Robert Gates, Leon Panetta and Chuck Hagel) at the Pentagon, as well as the Undersecretaries for Policy, focusing on National Security and a range of Middle East issues.

Lariana ForsytheInterim CEO

Lariana Forsythe joined CASA as its Interim CEO on June 5, 2017. (Interim status is a temporary designation being used while Florida Administrative Rule requirements are completed.) She has more than 20 years of nonprofit experience with the Boys & Girls Clubs, National Multiple Sclerosis Society and Special Olympics. Ms. Forsythe has held a variety of roles within these organizations, most recently serving as the VP/CDO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Phoenix.

Manu SamnotraAssistant Professor of Political Science

Manu Samnotra is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of South Florida. He received his B.A. in Economics and Politics from Ithaca College, in Ithaca, NY, an M.A. in Politics from the New School for Social Research in New York, NY, and his Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Florida, in Gainesville, FL. He has been living in the Tampa Bay area since 2015.

J.Michael FrancisProfessor, Author, Editor

Dr. J. Michael Francis received his PhD in History in 1998 from the University of Cambridge. Between 1997 and 2012, he taught at the University of North Florida. In 2012, Dr. Francis was named the Hough Family Chair of Florida Studies at the University of South Florida, St. Petersburg, and in 2016 he was appointed Chair of the Department of History and Politics at USFSP.

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