Save the date! Next Conference February 23 – 26, 2021
8th Annual Conference February 18 – 21, 2020
Join us for the St. Petersburg Conference on World Affairs! This year’s 3-1/2 day event begins with a Keynote Address at the Palladium, 5:00 pm Feb. 18, and ends with a Closing Address at Fox Hall - Eckerd College, 7:00 pm Feb. 21. Panel Discussions are daily 8:00 am – 5:00 pm, Feb. 19 – 21 at University of South Florida St. Petersburg (USFSP) Student Center and Kate Tiedemann College of Business. Admission is free and open to the public.
Expand Your World View………. Further!
The success of the Saint Petersburg Conference on World Affairs inspired Mayor Rick Kriseman last year to proclaim the creation of St Petersburg International Week to run concurrently with the conference. During the week of Feb 17 – 21 we will be offering additional activities in support of our program, including various international culinary and artistic events.
Speakers for 2020 Conference
Each year the St. Petersburg Conference on World Affairs continues to improve the quantity and caliber of our high-profile panelists. Here is a peek at some of them.
Daniela SoledadeVocalist and Guitarist

Born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, vocalist/guitarist Daniela Soledade grew up in a family of musicians with a direct line to the origins of Bossa Nova. Daniela’s grandfather was Paulo Soledade, who composed songs with legendary Brazilian artists Antonio Carlos Jobim, Vinicius de Moraes, Toquinho and Baden Powell. Her father, Paulinho Soledade is an artist and producer who learned guitar from Baden Powell himself and has worked with legends Ivan Lins and Gilberto Gil among others. As a child Daniela participated in studio recordings for multiple Brazilian artists and TV shows aired on Rede Globo. At age 14, she placed first in the entrance exam to attend the prestigious Music Conservatory Villa Lobos. Daniela settled in the United States in 2003 and is currently touring in support of her debut album “A Moment Of You” released in 2019 on Blue Line Music Records.

Janet KeelerInstructor in Journalism and Coordinator of the Graduate Food Writing and Photography Certificate Program

Janet K. Keeler is a journalism instructor and coordinator of the Graduate Food Writing and Photography Certificate Program at University of South Florida St. Petersburg. Her paper “Inhospitable Chairs: Everyday Insults that Negatively Impact Higher-Weight Individuals” was presented at the Sixth Annual Weight Stigma Conference in Leeds, England, in 2018. Keeler is a 35-year daily newspaper veteran with 15 years as the food editor at the Tampa Bay Times. She is a contributor for The Zest podcast on WUSF Public Media and is a judge for the annual James Beard Foundation journalism awards. Keeler is a doctoral candidate in Education Program Development at the University of South Florida and her research emphasis is on what university students learn when they study food writing.

Russell NeumanProfessor of Media Technology

W. Russell Neuman is a specialist in new media and digital education. He was the John Derby Evans Professor of Media Technology in Communication Studies and Research Professor at the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan and also taught at the University of Pennsylvania where he directed the Information and Society Program of the Annenberg Public Policy Center. He served as a Senior Policy Analyst in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy working in the areas of information technology, broadband policy and technologies for border security. His recent books include The Gordian Knot: Political Gridlock on the Information Highway (MIT Press, 1997), Media, Technology, and Society: Theories of Media Evolution (University of Michigan Press, 2010) and The Digital Difference: Technology and the Theory of Communication Effects (Harvard University Press, 2016). He was the Edward R. Murrow Professor of International Communication at the Fletcher School, Tufts University. He also taught at Harvard and Yale and was one of the founding faculty of the MIT Media Laboratory. His Ph.D. is from the University of California, Berkeley and his undergraduate degree is from Cornell University. Professor Neuman’s teaching and research focus on educational outcomes, online education, distance education and globalization.

Jim BittermannSenior International Correspondent

Jim Bittermann is CNN's Senior International Correspondent based in Paris. Since joining CNN in 1996, he has covered the death of Princess Diana in 1997, NATO air strikes on Kosovo in 1998, the earthquake in Turkey in 1999 and the World Cup soccer championships, among other stories.

Melike Eğilmezler BoylanSociologist Specializing in Contemporary Satire

Melike Eğilmezler Boylan is a Turkish sociologist specializing in contemporary satire. Her first book, Güldürme Beni! Mizah Üstüne Ciddi Söyleşiler (Don’t Make Me Laugh! Serious Conversations About Humor) is a collection of interviews with legendary Turkish writers, directors, actors, stand-up comedians and cartoonists, exploring their role in society. She has a PhD from Turkey’s Middle Eastern Technical University, an MA from Johns Hopkins School of International Studies and a BA from Marmara University in Istanbul. She has also worked for the World Bank and Turkish Government. Eğilmezler Boylan’s research interests include exploring the tension between repression and freedom of expression, humor traditions in Muslim societies and documenting creative social change.

Ronelia BaileyUSFSP Honors Program and the KTCOB Women and Leadership Initiative (WALI) Mentorship Program

Ronelia Bailey was born in the Caribbean island of Trinidad and she also lived in the island of St. Vincent before moving to the United States. Ronelia is a member of the Kate Tiedemann College of Business (KTCOB) at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg (USFSP). She is also a member of the USFSP Honors Program and the KTCOB Women and Leadership Initiative (WALI) Mentorship Program. Ronelia received her Associates degree from St. Petersburg College before transferring to USFSP to major in Global Business. Ronelia’s passion for collaborating and connectedness showed through in the various leadership positions she held while at SPC, including President of the Honors Program Student Consortium and Executive Board member of the Student Government Association. Her determination, tenacity, and heart to serve her community were birthed from her long battle with lupus and kidney failure. These life challenges uncovered her innate strengths. Ronelia now considers herself a global change agent with the goal of encouraging, inspiring and empowering others to succeed.