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.
Ellen PragerMarine Scientist, President of Earth2Ocean, Inc and Author

Dr. Prager is a marine scientist and author, widely recognized for her expertise and ability to make science entertaining and understandable for people of all ages. She currently works as a freelance writer, consultant, and science advisor to Celebrity Cruises in the Galapagos Islands. She was previously the Chief Scientist for the Aquarius Reef Base program in Key Largo, FL, which includes the world’s only undersea research station, and at one time the Assistant Dean at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. Dr. Prager has built a national reputation as a scientist and spokesperson on earth and ocean science issues and is a sought-after speaker for public-oriented events. She has appeared on The Today Show and NBC News, Good Morning America, CNN, Fox News, CBS Early Show, The Weather Channel, in shows for the Discovery Channel and was a consultant for the Disney movie, Moana.

Neal WalkerDiplomat

Neal Walker worked on regional development in the Organization of American States for six years, and then worked 28 years for the United Nations. Hired in 1990 by the UN as a development specialist, his experience broadened in geographic, substantive and managerial terms. In the field, Walker led work in humanitarian response, in defense of human rights, in sustainable development, governance, elections and in the clean-up of toxic uranium waste. Walker was appointed by the United Nations Secretary-General as head of the United Nations Teams in Kyrgyzstan (2006), in Bangladesh (2011) and in war-torn Ukraine (2014 – 2018). Prior to that, he held senior field positions for the United Nations Development Program in Sudan, Equatorial Guinea, and Guatemala, as well as positions in UN Headquarters covering northeast Asia and Latin America. In 2018 Walker left the UN to become the Diplomat-in-Residence at Eckerd College. An alumnus of Eckerd, Walker now teaches courses on campus in the Sustainable Development Goals, disaster management, conflict prevention, human rights and on globalization. His teaching focuses on effective approaches to achieve human rights as well as peaceful, sustainable societies.

Josh CohenStudent in Politics and International & Global Studies with a minor in Social Justice & Social Policy

Josh Cohen is a senior at Brandeis University majoring in Politics and International & Global Studies with a minor in Social Justice & Social Policy. During the past Spring semester, Josh studied in Geneva, Switzerland and interned with the Centre for Civil and Political Rights (CCPR-Centre). CCPR-Centre is an organization that works closely with the UN Human Rights Committee and NGO’s that wish to participate in a specific country’s review process when they send delegations to a session of the Committee. The organization aids the NGO’s in putting together their report to be presented before the Committee, sometimes helping them organize private briefings with Committee members before a country’s delegation presents their report. After the session, CCPR-Centre aids the Committee and the NGO organize a post-session reviewal trip to the country in question, meeting with state officials and viewing human rights situations and requested improvements first-hand to ensure that the state is complying with the International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights. Josh’s role with the CCPR-Centre included taking notes of the Committee’s activities, tweeting about them during the session to the CCPR-Centre’s Twitter, and summarizing the Committee's discussions and their Concluding Observations to be posted to the CCPR-Centre’s website. Josh has also worked for the National Organization for Women and the Office of State Representative Ben Diamond (FL-68). Josh is a native of the Tampa Bay area and an avid Tampa Bay Rays fan.

David WilligInternational Attorney

David S. Willig holds Bachelor of Arts degree French Language & Literature from the University of South Florida, and received his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Miami School of Law. As a law student, he clerked in a Japanese law firm, and after becoming a member of the Florida Bar, he took the bar exam in Lyon, France and became a member of the Bar of Paris, France.

Tom FrazerChief Science Officer for the state of Florida

Thomas K. Frazer is Chief Science Officer for the state of Florida. He is also a Professor and Director of the School of Natural Resources and Environment at the University of Florida. Dr. Frazer holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Fisheries Biology from Humboldt State University and a Master’s Degree in Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences from the University of Florida. He earned his Ph.D. in Biological Sciences from the University of California, Santa Barbara. His research addresses contemporary and emerging environmental issues, and is, by nature, interdisciplinary. His work involves collaborators from disparate disciplines, and it includes sampling and experiments conducted across a wide range of spatial and temporal scales. During his tenure at the University of Florida, Dr. Frazer has received more than $14 million in research funding to address topics pertaining to water quantity and quality, nutrient dynamics, biogeochemical processes, fish population dynamics, food web interactions, and ecological restoration of degraded ecosystems. He has conducted field research in both freshwater and marine systems around the globe, and he is intimately familiar with a broad suite of environmental and natural resource issues (e.g., eutrophication of fresh, estuarine, and coastal waters; invasive species; and the ecological impacts of contemporary environmental change, including coral bleaching, ocean acidification, and sea level rise). Dr. Frazer has authored and/or co-authored more than 175 peer-reviewed publications, technical reports, and book chapters. He serves as Chief Specialty Editor for the Coral Reef Research section of Frontiers in Marine Science, and he regularly serves as a referee for leading international journals and granting organizations. Dr. Frazer currently serves as Chair of the Gulf of Mexico Fisheries Management Council. He is a member of APLU’s Board on Oceans, Atmosphere and Climate, and he previously served as member of the US EPA’s Oil Spill Research Strategy Review Panel. Other relevant professional service includes appointments to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Technical Advisory Committee on Marine Numeric Nutrient Criteria and Peer-Review Panel for Dissolved Oxygen Criteria.

Maria Novoa PinzonInternational Student

Maria Clara is an International Student from Bogota, Colombia and has work in the world of Globalization since April 2017. Some of her experiences come from working in the Center for International Programs in St Petersburg College, the InterCultural Advocacy Institute in Clearwater as an interpreter and a bilingual assistant for Clearwater High School. Maria Clara has also been awarded with a Global Citizen Certificate and received the opportunity to speak at the Women’s Leadership Conference on Global issues.