Save the Dates — February 18-21, 2020
Annual Conference - February 18-21, 2020
Join us for the eighth annual St. Petersburg Conference on World Affairs. The 3-1/2 Day will begin with the keynote address at the Palladium Theater, followed by three full days of panel discussions covering critical international issues at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg. Speakers and panelists include distinguished diplomats, military, media, and academic experts. Check back regularly as we add details about the 2020 St. Petersburg Conference.
Free Mini Conference - November 6, 2019
This year we added a mini-conference to give a taste of what to expect. It took place at Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital Research and Education Building. This free event offered two panel discussions on Artificial Intelligence anchored by featured speaker Dr. Nicolas Sabouret, noted academician and scholar at Université Paris-Saclay in France.
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.
David HunterDiplomat and Foreign Service Officer

David W. Hunter is a retired U.S. Diplomat, who served in South Korea (1992-96), India (1996-99), Ukraine (1999-2000), Pakistan (2001-02) and Spain (2003-04). Prior to joining the U.S. Foreign Service as a career Foreign Service Officer, Hunter worked in the Office of International Operations, at the U.S. Department of Commerce. In 1983 he was a Visiting Fellow at the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Johns Hopkins University. He published a book in 1991 "Western Trade Pressure on the Soviet Union" (MacMillan Academic Press: London, England). Hunter holds an M.Phil degree in International Relations from the London School of Economics (LSE), and speaks Russian, Spanish and some Korean.

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.

Alison BarlowExecutive Director of the St. Petersburg Innovation District

Alison Barlow is the Executive Director of the St. Petersburg Innovation District. Her role is to harness expertise in health science, marine science, education, and art to form unique collaborations. These multi-sector, cross discipline collaborations strive to identify innovative solutions that will grow the economic and social vibrancy of St. Petersburg and address key global issues.

Tom ShepardDirector

Tom has been directing and producing documentary films for nearly 20 years. His film SCOUT'S HONOR won two top awards at the Sundance Film Festival and broadcast nationally on the PBS program P.OV. He also directed and produced KNOCKING, a film about Jehovah's Witnesses, which broadcast nationally on the PBS series Independent Lens. His recent film WHIZ KIDS is a coming-of-age documentary about youth who find their voice through science. It also aired on PBS. Tom's collaboration with filmmaker Andy Abrahams Wilson resulted in THE GROVE about the AIDS epidemic and the politics of remembrance. Tom's films have received acclaim in dozens of publications including the New York Times, Washington Post, Boston Globe, Miami Herald, the San Francisco Chronicle, and Denver Post among others. Previously, Tom worked as an editor at National Public Radio for Linda Wertheimer. He teaches documentary in California and Colorado and is the former chairman of New Day Films. He graduated from Stanford University where he majored in biology and film.

Ronald Grigor SunyProfessor of History and Political Science

Ronald Grigor Suny is the William H. Sewell Jr. Distinguished University Professor of History at the University of Michigan, Emeritus Professor of Political Science and History at the University of Chicago, and Senior Researcher at the National Research University – Higher School of Economics in Saint Petersburg, Russia. The grandson of the composer and ethnomusicologist Grikor Mirzaian Suni and a graduate of Swarthmore College and Columbia University, he taught at Oberlin College (1968-1981), as visiting professor of history at the University of California, Irvine (1987), and Stanford University (1995-1996). He was the first holder of the Alex Manoogian Chair in Modern Armenian History at the University of Michigan (1981-1995), where he founded and directed the Armenian Studies Program. He was Charles Tilly Collegiate Professor of Social and Political History at the University of Michigan from 2005 to 2015 and director of the Eisenberg Institute of Historical Studies from 2009 to 2012.

Michael BiceConsultant & Lecturer, Digital Health Technologies

For twenty-five years, Mr. Bice served as a top level executive at leading academic medical centers and multi-state health systems, including the Rhode Island Hospital, Providence, RI; University of Massachusetts Medical Center, Worcester, MA; and Lutheran Health Systems, Fargo, ND. Additionally, Mr. Bice has had extensive consultancy experience with Marsh & McLennan, a global financial services company, helping healthcare clients identify and manage business risk. In this capacity, he has had international, as well as national clients. Beginning in 2010, he designed and launched a new, totally online graduate program in Health Informatics at Kent State University.

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