Keynote Address and Jazz Concert Feb. 12, 2019 at the Palladium Theater. Use Promo Code "World" to Save $10 off Concert Ticket! Order Tickets

February 12th–15th, 2019

The 2019 St. Petersburg Conference on World Affairs is a 3-1/2 Day event with over 30 Panel Discussions held at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg. Speakers and panelists include distinguished diplomats, military, media, and academic experts discussing critical international issues of the day at each annual conference.
Our Speakers
The 2019 St. Petersburg Conference on World Affairs will feature speakers and panelists of intelligence officials, diplomats, media and academic experts for 3-1/2 days of discussions about critical international issues.
Yolande MorrisonDirector

Yolande Morrison grew up in Jamaica. While in high school, she left the island with her mother and siblings to join her grandmother in Colorado Springs, who, for years, worked with the U.S. immigration system to permit sponsorship of her family. Yolande applied to the Youth Documentary Academy to tell her story: what does it mean to leave your homeland and everything you know and love to become a stranger in a strange land? Her film FINDING HOME recounts this story as a new immigrant and the challenges and successes involved in creating a new home. Yolande loves filmmaking and wants to study film, animation and audio production in college. She recently graduated from Widefield High School and lives with her family in Fountain, Colorado.

Curtis GrahamDirector/ Director of Photography

Raised in a Photographic family, Curtis started taking pictures at age 15. He attended Los Angeles Art Center College of Design, which started a career in Advertising Photography. Curtis has won many accolades for his work in advertising including: N.Y. Art Director Award, Norma Award, National Addys, and Clio Award. His work has appeared in many national publications such as: Town & Country, Esquire, W, Print, and Communication Arts.

Linda Weil-CurielFrench Attorney and Human Rights Activist

Linda Weil-Curiel is a French attorney and human rights activist who campaigns against female genital mutilation (FGM) and plays a vital role in the prosecution of perpetrators throughout France. She has played a leading role in La Commission pour l'Abolition des Mutilations Sexuelles (CAMS).

Noel CruzChef

After pursuing a Microbiology degree and Chemistry Minor at the University of Florida, Noel made the decision to look to the hospitality industry as his career of choice. While in college, Noel took his first kitchen job at Saddlebrook Resort and Tennis School in Wesley Chapel, Florida. There he spent his time cooking in the resort's banquet kitchen facilitating thousands of high-quality meals daily.

Pragati GhimireMedical and Public Health Professional

Pragati Ghimire-Aryal is a medical and public health professional with over ten years of experience in medicine, public health education and promotion, public health program design and evaluation, human development, women empowerment, health and quality of life outcome evaluation, public health research methods, healthcare data analysis. As senior director of community analytics and evaluation, she evaluates the effectiveness of community based programs that address social determinants of health; design and evaluate program pilots  to assess the impact of addressing unmet social needs like healthy food access, transportation, housing etc.  in the overall well-being of the individuals, healthcare utilization and costs, etc She has experience working in China, Nepal and the United States and is fluent in five languages. She has a medical degree from Fudan University School of Medicine (Shanghai, China) and a Masters of Public Health from the University of Nebraska, Omaha.

Paul KubicekProfessor of Political Science

Paul Kubicek is Professor of Political Science and Director of the International Studies Program at Oakland University in Rochester Michigan. He received his PhD from the University of Michigan in 1995. He has also taught in Turkey, Ukraine, and Austria, and was a Fulbright Scholar in Slovenia in 2007. Much of his research is on democratization, the European Union, Turkish politics and foreign policy, and post-communist Eastern Europe and Central Asia. He has published in journals such as Comparative Politics, Political Science Quarterly, Political Studies, and Democratization. His two most recent books are Political Islam and Democratization in the Muslim World (2015) and (co-editor) Democratic Consolidation in Turkey: Micro and Macro Challenges (2016). He also serves as a contributor to Freedom House's annual Freedom in the World report and is the editor of Turkish Studies.

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