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.
Richard BriffaultColumbia Law School Professor of Legislation

Richard Briffault is the Joseph P. Chamberlain Professor of Legislation at Columbia Law School. His research, writing and teaching focus on state and local government law, the law of the political process, government ethics and property.

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.

Lynda SchusterJournalist, Reporter

As a former staff reporter for the Wall Street Journal, Lynda Schuster began her career in 1980 in the paper's Dallas bureau, covering agriculture in the Southwest. Soon after, she was named the Central America correspondent, reporting on the wars in El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras and Guatemala. In 1983, she became the Journal's Mexico bureau chief.

Michael RannebergerFormer Ambassador

Ambassador Michael Ranneberger is the President of World Insight Consulting, the firm he established following his retirement in 2016 from the Department of State. He is chairman of the board of Afridokta, Florida-based company, which is working to expand access to health care in Africa through its telemedicine platform. During his distinguished diplomatic career, he represented the United States in Latin America, Africa, Europe, and the Middle East.

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.

Scott BrownChief Economist

Scott Brown joined the Raymond James Equity Research Department in 1995 after two years as an economist in the firm's Fixed Income Research Department.  Before his arrival at Raymond James, he was manager of economic research at Pacific First Bank in Seattle and had previously been director of economic research at First Imperial Advisors in San Diego.  He also worked as an economist for the San Diego Gas & Electric Company.  Dr. Brown earned his doctorate in economics from the University of California at San Diego, where he studied time series analysis and forecasting under Nobel Laureates Robert F. Engle and Clive W.J. Granger.  Dr. Brown also holds an M.S. degree in statistics from the University of Illinois and a B.A. degree in mathematics from the University of California at Irvine.  Dr. Brown serves on the Economic Advisory Committee of the American Bankers Association. He is also a member of The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association's Economic Advisory Roundtable and has previously served as a member of the Governor's Council of Economic Advisors for the state of Florida. Dr. Brown has appeared on CNBC, Bloomberg TV, and Fox Business News, and is often quoted in the financial press.  

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