Cheyenne and Mari are from Luanda, Angola where they met and fell in love over ten years ago. Working together as musicians, performers, and business entrepreneurs in Angola, they faced intense harassment in their home country: neighbors cut their power, killed their dog and bullied them in public. Fleeing to Capetown, South Africa, they unsuccessfully tried to secure refugee status in that country. After their visas expired, they returned to Angola where a family member attempted to poison their food. Quickly, they were able to secure student visas to the United States and began a three-year adjudication process to apply for asylum in California.
Adam Smith Albion brings ten years of experience in the field of regional leadership organizations and twenty in the field of international relations and cross-cultural cooperation. He served as Director of the Central Eurasia Leadership Alliance (CELA) from its foundation in 2002 until the beginning of 2010. In 2010 he joined the effort to launch the Middle East Leadership Academy (MELA) and worked as its Regional Director until 2013. In the 1990s Adam was a Fellow of the Institute of Current World Affairs studying and writing about the Black Sea area and Central Eurasia. He subsequently worked as a journalist and analyst for Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), Freedom House, Jane’s Intelligence review, and other publications. For four years he was a senior associate at the EastWest Institute (EWI). As a member of the top team of World Monitors, an international business consultancy, he led consulting projects for Newmont Mining, Rio Tinto, Symbion Power and other companies.Adam was educated at Harvard University and Oxford University (Christ Church). He is a member of the advisory board of the Museum of Islamic Art (Pergamon Museum) in Berlin.
Mr. Alfredo Anthony retired from the United States Army as a lieutenant colonel after serving for 21 years as a career military intelligence officer. His military assignments included multiple tours in the Middle-East, Europe, South Korea, and the Continental United States. He has worked with the Iraqi National Counter-Terrorism Forces, the Organization for Security and Cooperation, Europe (OSCE), the United Nations Mission in Bosnia (UNMIBH), and the United Nations Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK).
Alfredo has been a guest-speaker at the University of Central Florida’s Defense Intelligence Agency-sponsored Center for Academic Excellence program, and a guest-lecturer for the National Security Strategy Class.
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.
Arsenault is the author or editor of eight books, including The Wild Ass of the Ozarks: Jeff Davis and the Social Bases of Southern Politics (1984); Crucible of Liberty: 200 Years of the Bill of Rights (1991); The Changing South of Gene Patterson: Journalism and Civil Rights, 1960-1968 (2002), co-edited with Roy Peter Clark; Paradise Lost? The Environmental History of Florida (2006), co-edited with Jack E. Davis; Freedom Riders: 1961 and the Struggle for Racial Justice (2006); and The Sound of Freedom: Marian Anderson, the Lincoln Memorial, and the Concert That Awakened America (2009). His most recent book, co-edited with Orville Vernon Burton, is Dixie Redux: Essays in Honor of Sheldon Hackney (2013). Freedom Riders, published by Oxford University Press, was awarded the 2007 Frank L. and Harriet C. Owsley Prize of the Southern Historical Association, as the most important book published in the field of Southern history in 2006. The abridged version of Freedom Riders, published in 2011, is the companion volume to the acclaimed American Experience documentary film Freedom Riders, which won three Emmys and a George Peabody Award. His latest book, Arthur Ashe: A Life, was just published by Simon & Schuster.
Andrew “Art” Arthur serves as Resident Fellow in Law and Policy for the Center for Immigration Studies, a Washington, DC-based research institute that examines the impact of immigration on American society.
He began his legal career through the Attorney General’s Honors Program as a clerk to Administrative Law Judge Joseph E. McGuire in the Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer at the United States Department of Justice, Executive Office for Immigration Review. After a two-year clerkship with Judge McGuire, he received a second Honors Program appointment as a Trial Attorney in the San Francisco District Counsel’s Office, and later the Baltimore District Counsel’s Office, of the former Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS).
In 1999, he was promoted to the INS’s General Counsel’s Office in Washington DC, first as an Associate General Counsel, and later as an Assistant General Counsel and Acting Chief of the INS National Security Law Division. In the General Counsel’s Office, Mr. Arthur supervised attorneys handling cases involving espionage, terrorism, and persecutors. He also advised the Attorney General, Deputy Attorney General, and INS Commissioner on issues relating to national security.
In July 2001, Mr. Arthur left the INS to become a Counsel on the House Judiciary Committee, where he performed oversight of immigration issues. After five years at House Judiciary, he was appointed to the immigration bench, serving for eight years as an Immigration Judge at the York Immigration Court in York, Pennsylvania.
At the beginning of the 114th Congress, Judge Arthur left the bench and came back to Capitol Hill, where he served as Staff Director of the National Security Subcommittee at House Oversight and Government Reform before taking retirement from federal service in September 2016.
He is a graduate of the University of Virginia (BA 1988), and of the George Washington University School of Law (JD 1992).
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.
Clarisse Barbier is currently a PhD candidate in Applied Anthropology at the University of South Florida. She teaches Cultural Anthropology at USF.
She has conducted two separate research projects in Burkina Faso, West Africa. The first one focused on early attachment of institutionalized orphans. The second was conducted between August 2017 and November 2018 on social exclusion of Mossi women accused of witchcraft. She obtained a Fulbright award in 2017 for her research in Burkina Faso.
From her days as a Peace Corps volunteer in Guatemala and subsequent service as Director, to her service as a reform-minded president of the New York City Council, Carol Bellamy has spent her entire life working for the public good.
Today, Bellamy is Chair of the Governing Board of the Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund, the first global effort to support local, community-level initiatives aimed at strengthening resilience against violent extremist agendas through job creation and empowering women and youth.
She was previously Executive Director of the UNICEF, President and CEO of World Learning, and Chair of the Board of Directors of the Global Partnership for Education. She is a member of the American University of Beirut Board of Trustees and is a former Fellow of the Harvard Institute of Politics. She has been awarded the Legion d’Honneur by the Government of France, and the Order of the Rising Sun in Japan.
Selisse is the Founder of Out & Equal Workplace Advocates, the world’s largest non-governmental organization specifically dedicated to creating safe and equitable workplaces for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. She is currently a consultant bringing years of experience in workplace equality, strategic planning and non-profit management to aid organizations and companies internationally.
For over 20 years as Out & Equal CEO, Selisse built the global LGBTQ workplace equality movement by creating a network of multi-national companies and governments to work toward LGBT education, empowerment, and visibility.
When Selisse founded Out & Equal, only 3% of Fortune 500 companies had LGBT protections. Through the work empowered by her vision and leadership, nearly ALL companies now protect their LGBTQ employees. In the past 20 years, Out & Equal has impacted more than 50 million people in over 60 countries and Selisse has brought the promise of equality to employees from every part of the globe – from India to Brazil, Mexico, Spain, Italy and beyond.
Selisse was awarded the Outstanding Hero Congressional Recognition from Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi; the Parks Award in Rome, Italy, the Bonham Center Award in Toronto, Canada and has been awarded with honors from universities, corporations, media institutions, and legislators around the world. She was also awarded the Legacy Leadership Award from the San Francisco Business Times, now named the Selisse Berry Leadership Award.
Selisse is the editor of Out & Equal at Work: From Closet to Corner Office, an anthology of personal stories of executive trailblazers who have transformed the workplace for LGBT people.
She has a Master’s degree in education from the University of Texas and a Master’s of Divinity degree in theology from San Francisco Theological Seminary.
Selisse serves on several non-profit boards focused on LGBTQ justice and equality. She recently joined the statewide board of Equality Florida, as well as Center Link, the umbrella organization for LGBT community centers in the US. Selisse is passionate about International LGBTQ issues and speaks at conferences and events around the globe. She is a board member of Safe Place International, an organization that provides support for LGBTQ refugees in Greece and other parts of the world. She is an avid traveler and currently lives in St Petersburg, Florida.
Joannie Marlene Bewa is a physician, and an international expert in public health from Benin Republic. She is currently enrolled as a Fulbright Scholar at the University of South Florida College of Public Health, specializing in public maternal and child health.
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.
He has lectured widely on corporate culture, and has taught University courses in health informatics, digital health technologies, health care policy, leadership ethics, and human resource management.
Mr. Bice has served on numerous state and national organizations, and on editorial boards of national journals. Mr. Bice served as a W. K. Kellogg Foundation Fellow from 1980-1983, in addition to his management duties.
He served as Executive-in-Residence and Acting Chair of the Department of Health Services Administration at the University of Florida from 1994-1995. And, from 2004-2005, he was the Department’s Program Director for Executive Education. In 1995, 2005, and again in 2009, he received the Department’s Excellence in Teaching Award. In 2013, he was honored as “The Friend of the Year” by the School of Library and Information Science at Kent State.
Currently, Mr. Bice serves on the following Tampa Bay community boards: St. Petersburg Free Clinic, Moffitt Cancer Center, and the Bon Secours St. Petersburg Health System.
He obtained his B.A. degree in Political Science from Binghamton University in 1968, and a Master of Health Administration degree from the University of Michigan in 1970.
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.
Bittermann joined CNN from ABC News, where he was a Paris news correspondent from 1990-1996. During his years with ABC, he covered a wide range of international events, including the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the Gulf War and the Middle East peace process and U.S. deployment in Somalia. His long-form projects at ABC included Betrayed in Blood, a report on the French AIDS-tainted blood scandal for PrimeTime Live and two half-hour special reports for Nightline with Ted Koppel, A Perfect Messiah and The Fashion Conspiracy.
From 1978-1990, Bittermann was a European correspondent for NBC News. Based in Rome from 1978-1979, he covered two Papal transitions and the travels of Pope John Paul II. From 1980-1990, he was based in Paris. While there, he reported on many of the decade's major international stories in Eastern Europe, Northern and Western Africa, the Middle East, the Philippines, Japan and the Soviet Union. He received a national news Emmy Award for his coverage of the 1988 Sudan famine.
Prior to NBC, Bittermann was a Toronto-based correspondent and producer for the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.'s newsmagazine. He also worked as a reporter for WKYC-TV in Cleveland, Ohio, from 1973-1975 after working one year for WQED-TV, a public television station in Pittsburgh.
In 1971-1972, Bittermann traveled the national presidential campaign staffs of Sen. Birch Bayh of Indiana and Sen. Edmund Muskie of Maine. He began his career in broadcast journalism in 1970 at WTMJ-TV in Milwaukee, after one year as a newspaper reporter with the Waukegan News-Sun in Waukegan, Ill.
His many honors include a CableACE Award for CNN's coverage of the civil war in Zaire. He has been a panel moderator at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, and a member of the jury for the French film competition Les Lumieres de Paris. Since 1998, Bittermann has been assistant adjunct professor of communication at the American University of Paris, teaching courses in broadcast news and documentary film, among other subjects.
Bittermann earned a bachelor's degree from Southern Illinois University, which in 1989 named him the Southern Illinois University's Journalism Alumnus of the Year. In 2000 he received the university's Alumni Achievement Award.
Dan Boylan worked on his first political campaign at the age of 11. By 18, he'd witnessed the protests in Tiananmen Square. His interest in documenting the world led to a journalism career covering state legislatures in Massachusetts and North Carolina, national security in Washington, and great-power politics as a foreign correspondent in Asia. After a Fulbright Fellowship studying free press in Indonesia, Dan taught journalism in Shanghai and Azerbaijan. Following 9/11, he served as a communications advisor to the U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. State Department and multiple foreign governments. Postings included Afghanistan and Iraq, where he directed the Multi-National Forces Iraq Media Operations Center in Baghdad during the final days of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and the trial of Saddam Hussein. After the Arab Spring, Dan led efforts to support the Syrian opposition’s strategic communications fight against Bashar al-Assad and ISIS. Today, from his base on Capitol Hill, Dan lectures on investigative journalism, political polarization, global strategic communications, media history, and street art. Dan was recently recognized for his reporting on Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election with a Gerald R. Ford Journalism Prize for Distinguished Reporting on the Presidency, and a Society for Professional Journalists award. As a filmmaker, his work was shown at the Cannes Film Festival and he has also been on radio and TV stations including National Public Radio, the BBC and C-Span. He advises governments, militaries, NGOs, and corporations around the world
Christian Bréchot, MD, PhD joined the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine part time as Senior Associate Dean for Research in Global Affairs, Associate Vice President for International Partnerships and Innovation, and Professor in the Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Internal Medicine. He is also executive director of the Tampa-based Romark Laboratories Institute for Medical Research. Since 2017, Dr. Brechot has served as President of the Global Virus Network, a network of 48 research centers worldwide, headquartered in Baltimore.
Before serving as president of the Pasteur Institute from 2013 to 2017, Dr. Bréchot was vice president of medical and scientific affairs at Institut-Merieux, a company that develops new approaches to fight infectious diseases and cancers. He also served as the general director of Inserm, the French national agency for biomedical research from 2002 to 2007. As professor of hepatology and cell biology at Necker School of Medicine, Paris Descartes University, he led the clinical department of liver diseases at Necker-Enfants Maldes Hospital from 1997 to 2001.
Authoring more than 400 articles in medical and scientific journals, Dr. Bréchot was ranked by the Institute for Scientific Information as the 4th most cited author on the topic of hepatitis C. He has been recognized as an inventor on 18 patents, and helped create three biotechnology companies: Rarecells, ALFACT Innovation, and The Healthy Aging Company.
Dr. Bréchot’s research activities have focused on viral hepatitis: hepatitis B (HBV) and C (HCV), particularly with regard to their role in liver cancer (Hepatocellular carcinoma: HCC) and to the molecular mechanisms that drive liver regeneration and cancer (in particular, cell cycle deregulation and the impact of oxidative stress). He has been the member of numerous scientific committees and societies and has received prestigious awards.
Kent Brown was Ambassador to the Republic of Georgia from 19922-95. Before that, he served on the US Conventional Arms Negotiating team, and in addition served in Prague, Moscow, and at NATO in Brussels.
Mr. Bruetsch brings wide ranging experience working both with the European and Swiss military as well as the private sector. In his most recent role, he served as a House commander and team leader with ALTHEA, the European Union military peacekeeping mission in Bosnia & Herzegovina. While serving in Bosnia, Mr. Bruetsch was responsible for operational leadership and development of reports for his area.
Mr. Bruetsch’s previous military assignments have ranged from diplomatic coordination and unit leadership to data analytics and statistical analysis of cooperative multilateral military operations for the Swiss Army. While with the Swiss Defense Attaches’ Office, he carried out research projects on Russian security and military policy.
His private sector experience includes consulting projects in digital resilience and cyber risks for large organizations. He is skilled in Open Source intelligence, a key factor for rapid decision making in both the private and public sectors.
He holds degrees in Behavioral Science as well as International Politics and Intelligence. His dissertation centered on the role of the KGB in the August 1991 Coup attempt in the Soviet Union.
Nickolas resides in Switzerland, speaks four languages and has traveled extensively around the world
Virginie Butin, co-founder and curriculum director of the De la Fontaine Trilingual Montessori School in Tampa, Florida, has focused the better part of her career on childhood education. Holding a French degree in business and management, Ms. Butin spent 15 years prior to her work in early childhood education, working for the French Customs and Excise service.
Ms. Butin turned her attention towards childhood education, with an interest in alternative pedagogies and multilingual immersion, after her daughter was born.
Following the philosophy of Montessori, a pedagogy which advocates that the initial six years of a child’s life are crucial for the child’s language development, Ms. Butin created the first bilingual Montessori school in Metz, Lorraine, France in 2016. The school opened with a French teacher, an English teacher and an assistant, in a single mixed-aged primary classroom, Ms. Butin’s brainchild welcomed 25 children. Following a successful first year, the school expanded with the opening of an elementary classroom and a second primary classroom staffed by 10 bilingual Montessori professionals. Just two years later, at the start of the 2018-2019 school year, the bilingual Montessori school in Metz welcomed 65 children staffed by 10 bilingual Montessori professionals.
Deeply passionate about the importance and advantages of multilingual learning in early childhood education, Ms. Butin, in collaboration with co-founder, Anne Breton, opened the flagship trilingual Montessori school in Tampa Bay in January 2019, De la Fontaine Trilingual Montessori School.
Born in France, Emmanuel moved to St. Petersburg, Florida with his family when he was 12 years old. Living in Florida a love for tennis and sailing quickly developed. Emmanuel remains enthusiastically involved in both sports as he looks forward to competing in international catamaran racing for many years to come. Emmanuel eventually went on to get a degree from the University of Florida, Go Gators! And today, Emmanuel and Montserrat Cerf, are active supporters of the local art and philanthropy community in Tampa Bay.
As the Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Polypack, Inc., Emmanuel Cerf inspires his team to drive global sales, increase overall market share, and implement the strategic planning that defines Polypack as a leader in innovation and customer satisfaction. By developing an international network of sales teams and service providers Emmanuel has established Polypack as a premier global manufacturer with sales in over 100 countries.
After serving on the PMMI Board of Directors for over 8 years, Emmanuel will serve as chair for the next two, helping the world’s most successful packaging and processing association, with close to 1,000 members, establish a large international footprint.
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.
Marcia S. Cohen holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education from Roosevelt University of Chicago, a Masters degree in Music Composition from Northwestern University, and received her Juris Doctor degree from Stetson University College of Law in 1984. Since becoming a member of The Florida Bar, she has practiced almost exclusively in the area of labor and employment law with a concentration in employment discrimination and sexual harassment, and has the distinction of having had a successful case before the U.S. Supreme Court. Ms. Cohen currently serves as Legal Counsel to the National Organization for Women (NOW).
A former appointee to The Florida Bar Special Committee on Gender Equality, Ms. Cohen was Chair of the Equal Opportunities Law Section of The Florida Bar. She is a member of the Labor and Employment Law Section, as well as the Animal Law Section, of The Florida Bar.
Ms. Cohen has been a guest lecturer on U.S. civil rights and employment discrimination law at the University of Paris at Nanterre, and was an Adjunct Professor at Stetson University College of Law and the University of South Florida. She is a member of the Legal Panel of the Pinellas County Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union and was the recipient of its Gardner Beckett Civil Rights Award. She has been both a planner and panelist at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg Conference on World Affairs.
Marcia Cohen has spoken widely on women’s legal rights and US equal pay law, including the Millennia2015 Conference at UNESCO in Paris, at Hunter College in New York City, and the Institute for Science and Human Values conference at Columbia University in New York. She was a delegate of the Destree Institute of Namur, Belgium at the UN Conference on the Status of Women, and received the Woman of Achievement award from the Stetson University College of Law chapters of NOW, the ABA, and the Florida Association for Women Lawyers.
Musically, Ms. Cohen has been a jazz vocalist for a number of years. She sings weekly in St. Petersburg, Florida, and in Paris, France.
Dorothy Davis is President of Dorothy M. Davis Consulting, an international consulting and project management company that streamlines complex issues into manageable and sustainable solutions. She was born in Liberia of pioneer U.S. Foreign Service parents of American, Caribbean and Native American lineage. She grew up in Tunisia, Nigeria, Switzerland, and the U.S.A. She has worked extensively across Europe, Africa, the Caribbean, China and Japan.
Ms. Davis is the founding UN Representative for the Congressional Black Caucus Institute (CBBCI). Among a host of international projects, she created and managed the Global Goodwill Ambassador Program of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) during the administration of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. Actor/Humanitarian Danny Glover was UNDP’s first Global Goodwill Ambassador. She subsequently created the foundation for the Africa regional component of UN Secretary General Ban ki-Moon’s Campaign to End Violence Against Women (Africa UNiTE) for UNIFEM (now UN Women).
Soon after Hurricane Katrina, Ms. Davis orchestrated and managed a unique partnership between UNDP and the State of Louisiana and the City of New Orleans through Lt. Governor and then Mayor Mitch Landrieu highlighting creative economy as an economic development vehicle. It resulted in New Orleans and the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival being the only American city featured in the Creative Economy Corridor of the UN Pavilion at the Shanghai World Expo in 2010.
Ms. Davis was a founding member of the Sirleaf Market Women’s Fund of Liberia and eventual Chair of its International Board of Directors during the Ebola epidemic. She was the Gender representative on the African Union Diaspora Task Team in New York City.
Ms. Davis received her Bachelor’s degree in broadcasting and film with a minor in political science from Boston University and her M.S. degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.
In May 2015, she was honored with the 21 Leaders of the 21st Century 2015 Award from Womens eNews in the category of Seven Who Interrupt Legacy Narratives as a Transcontinental Developer of African Economic Justice. In April 2014, she received the Global Poverty Award from the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.
Ms. Davis also manages and curates her father’s extensive 55,000 image legacy as a pioneer photographer, journalist and U.S. Foreign Service Officer for the Griffith J. Davis Photographs and Archives. Currently, Mr. Davis’ never before seen photographs of and letters with Harlem Renaissance writer Langston Hughes are being exhibited —“Griff Davis-Langston Hughes, Letters and Photographs, 1947-1967: A Global Friendship”-- at the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts in Tampa, Florida until April 19, 2020.
Alan DeLisle is currently the City Development Administrator for the City of St. Petersburg. Five departments report to him, including Planning & Development Services, Economic & Workforce Development, Real Estate & Property Management, Transportation & Parking Management and Enterprise Facilities Department. The position reports to the Mayor. Alan has spent over 25 years in the economic development and public policy field. He has specialized in public-private economic development partnerships that transform communities, expand commerce and help to create jobs for local residents. He has managed Economic Development City Departments for Buffalo, New York, and Durham, North Carolina, has served as Executive Director of not-for-profit Development Corporations in Buffalo and Louisville, Kentucky, led the Durham Workforce Development Board and has served as Durham’s Assistant City Manager. Alan has planned, organized, negotiated and executed several public-private partnerships that resulted both in redevelopment and new construction. In Durham, he was part of the team that helped to transform old tobacco factories into multi-use commercial hubs and was the City’s project manager for the very successful Durham Performing Arts Center. Throughout his career, Alan has helped to develop office parks, neighborhood revitalization projects, brownfields, retail, tourism, streetscapes, multi-use transportation centers, business development initiatives, cultural/arts projects, workforce outcomes and commercial and housing financing products. Alan earned his BA in Communications/Journalism from St. John Fisher College in Rochester, New York in 1982. He continued his education at the State University of New York Albany (SUNY-A) by earning a Master’s degree in Political Science with a concentration in State and Local Government in 1985. Mr. DeLisle is also a Certified Economic Development professional by the International Economic Development Council.
Under Bruce's leadership, Eberle Associates has received numerous regional, national, and international awards for excellence in direct mail fund raising. But more important by far, Eberle Associates has become the most efficient and effective direct mail fund raising agency in the nation.
Bruce is a past member of the Board of Directors of the Direct Marketing Association of Washington and currently serves as a member of the Executive Committee of the Free Speech Foundation, an association that champions the rights of nonprofit organizations through legislative and legal action.
In addition to his professional responsibilities, Bruce serves as a Trustee of Joe Gibbs' Youth For Tomorrow New Life Foundation, as a board member of the CHARIS Institute and as Vice President of Time of Grace ministry. He also served four terms on the Board of Regents of Wisconsin Lutheran College. He has previously served as President of God's Word to the Nations Bible Society. Bruce gave the 1994 commencement address at Wisconsin Lutheran College and was given the 1994 Pro Gloria Dei Award at the commencement ceremony. In 2000 he received the Nehemiah award from Youth for Tomorrow.
A graduate of the University of Missouri and a veteran, Bruce and his wife, Kathi, have two children, Elizabeth and Matthew.
Thomas N. Edmonds is a veteran Republican media consultant and strategist. He is a past president of both the International Association of Political Consultants (IAPC) and American Association of Political Consultants (AAPC). He is also a recipient of the AAPC’s prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award.
Mr. Edmonds is the co-author of two books on politics and public policy, producer of the official documentary on Ronald Reagan, and has won over 100 awards for political commercials. He has spoken on the impact of American style political campaigns on democracies in numerous venues around the world including Austria, France and, most recently, Oxford University’s Rothermere Institute of American Studies.
Melike Eğilmezler Boylan
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.
Dr. Saskia Estupiñán-Day is a public health dentist with worldwide experience including all of the countries of the Americas as well as many countries in Africa, Asia and Europe. She has provided leadership in scientific and academic communities and is a leading worldwide authority in the development of oral health strategies, implementation of national programs, international technical cooperation, and management of research programs. She has conceived and implemented major innovations in public health dentistry research and programs including fluoridation, atraumatic restorative treatment, and the application of cost-effectiveness analysis and policy support to national programs.
A salient characteristic of her combined approach to research, management and cost-effectiveness, as an emphasis on evidence-based research and programming. Over decades of involvement with the World Health Organization/Pan American Health Organization (WHO/PAHO), she led the development of highly strategic program innovations developed under Dr. Estupiñán-Day’s leadership at PAHO, major outcome improvements that resulted in: significant caries reduction in almost every country of the Americas; improved cost-effectiveness; expanded coverage; capacity development; transfer of technology; and improved sustainability. During a post hoc evaluation of her landmark public health dentistry work in salt fluoridation, her program was credited with having prevented as many as 300 million caries and saving families the associated costs. The program continues to produce multiples of the stream of benefits (and earned her the moniker among her colleagues as the “Johnny Appleseed of salt fluoridation”).
During her career Dr. Estupiñán-Day has advised over 50 ministries of health as well as international agencies, the U.S. National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control, foundations, research entities and private sector partners. She has authored and co-authored nearly 50 publications; served as Associate Editor of professional journals; and participated in or led major scientific and technical sessions in most regions of the world. She is a committed educator, having served as visiting professor and adjunct professor in major universities (Temple University, NYU College of Dentistry, Harvard School of Dental Medicine, Harvard Medical School and others) and has served as a preceptor and mentor to over 40 students.
On the personal side, Dr. Estupiñán-Day is a sports enthusiast. Her primary sports interest is in track in field, as she became a national champion in her native Ecuador at the age of 15, as an avid runner, and eventually returning to her love of hurdling as a member of the USA Track and Field Team, Masters, winning the USA national gold medals in 80 meter hurdles and 300 meter hurdles and competing the World Masters Athletic Championship in Italy. She makes her home in St. Petersburg, FL.
Dr. Felice teaches courses in international political economy, international law, international organization, and human rights. His research and scholarship focuses on normative issues of rights and justice within our global society. Dr. Felice previously served as a representative to the United Nations for a human rights non-governmental organization. He is the author of Taking Suffering Seriously, The Ethics of Interdependence: Global Human Rights and Duties, The Global New Deal and How Do I Save My Honor?.
Dr. Felice was named the 2006 Florida Professor of the Year by the prestigious Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The U.S. Professors of the Year Program, administered by the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), is the only national initiative specifically designed to recognize excellence in undergraduate teaching and mentoring.
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.
Pierre Guerlain is Professor emeritus of American Studies at Université Paris-Nanterre, France. His fields of research are US foreign policy, US politics and social movements, Discourse Analysis, and Intercultural Studies. Professor Guerlain has done a lot of work on “anti-Americanism” and the image of the US abroad. He has also published a number of articles on social and political movements in the US. Professor Guerlain’s book about the mutual perceptions of the Americans and the French is titled Miroirs transatlantiques: la France et les Etats-Unis entre passions et indifférences. It was published by L’Harmattan in 1996.
Prior to moving to Miami, Ms. Harper held two consecutive positions in Global Affairs Canada in Ottawa: Director General and Senior Arctic Official (2013-16) and Director General, Trade and Technical Barriers (2009-13). In 2004, she had been posted to the Embassy of Canada in Washington, DC, where she became Minister (Economic) in 2008. She had previously been Ambassador in Montevideo, Uruguay (2001-04), after having held trade positions in Yaounde', Paris and Buenos Aires. Before joining the Government of Canada, Ms. Harper taught at both Cambrian College in Sudbury, and George Brown College in Toronto.
Susan has two children, who keep her academic, financial management and diplomatic skills honed.
Dr. Alex Harris is an academician, humanitarian, singer/songwriter and a Cross the Line Music/SONY-Orchard recording artist. Beyond his billboard hits, 4 # 1 singles, and traveling the world Dr. Harris is co-founder of the Arts Conservatory for Teens (ACT).
ACT utilizes the performing visual arts and creative critical thinking to educate, empower and enrich the lives of youth and teens, especially disadvantaged and 'high- risk’ youth and teens.
Dr. Harris earned his Bachelor of Arts in Human Services and Psychology at LaGrange University, his Master’s in both and Social Work from Boston University, extended graduate study in Adolescent Counseling at Harvard University, and his doctoral degree in Organizational Leadership and Curriculum Development at Nova Southeastern University. He did extended graduate study in Adolescent Counseling at Harvard University.
Dr. Harris firmly believes in an artist’s social responsibility and it is his ACT institution that provides the platform for that social responsibility. He has made it his duty to empower the youth of socioeconomically challenged communities worldwide. Dr. Harris has traveled around the world performing, consulting, and speaking in places like South Korea, Iceland, Jamaica, and Bermuda.
His speaking work has focused on the power of the arts, as it relates to its ability to transcend cultures, age, and racial boundaries into a place of inclusivity for all people, regardless of race, age, faith/creed, orientation or socioeconomic status.
Chip is a Senior Security Consultant at Pondurance, LLC with over 10 years of experience conducting Digital Forensics/Incident Response investigations and Penetration Testing for a wide range of clientele. His focus is primarily centered on Threat Hunting and Response, Host Based Analysis, and Incident Handling. Chip is able to accomplish full Chain of Custody and Acquisition of digital evidence to deliver meaningful results and convey risk. A versatile skillset allows him to accurately respond to incidents ranging from insider threat to malware outbreaks. Additionally, Chip is able to assess a network in a proactive manner to identify vulnerabilities that may leave a company at risk to cyber attacks, and guide the client through remediation to improve the overall security posture of the organization.
A native of Germany, Norma Henning started her professional life in Public Affairs for the U.S. Army in Germany and came to the United States as an Army wife in 1986. She taught English and German in South Korea, had two children and then started her university studies in the United States, earning the Distinguished Journalism Graduate designation from the Hall School of Journalism at Troy State University in Alabama in 1993 and a Juris Doctor (Cum Laude) from the University of Florida College of Law in 1996, earning Book Awards in Constitutional Law and Trial Advocacy.
She has been practicing law in Florida since 1996, concentrating on business and family immigration and foreign direct investment but never losing her passion for public interest work and advocacy. In 2003, the Federal Republic of Germany appointed Ms. Henning Honorary Consul for Western Florida, a position in which she gets to combine her interest in transatlantic relations and diplomacy with service to the substantial population of German nationals in Florida. After years with large law firms, she formed the Henning Law Firm, P.A. in 2006 where she concentrates on advising small and medium sized companies entering the US market. She is the recipient of the Silver Cross of Honor of the German armed forces and a graduate of the Civilian Leadership Course at the German Naval Academy.
Since Jan. 2017, Ms. Henning has worked with the Council of American Islamic Relations (CAIR-Florida) as a civil rights and immigration attorney to bridge cultural divides, create better understanding and protect the rights of marginalized communities.
Dr. Hernandez is assistant professor of pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and medical director of the Johns Hopkins All Children’s Healthy Weight Initiative. She completed her medical school, residency and fellowship training at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She additionally completed a Master in Public Health with an emphasis on nutrition at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health during her fellowship in general academic pediatrics.
As medical director of the hospital’s Healthy Weight initiative, Dr. Hernandez has developed and grown innovative and evidence-based approaches to promote healthy lifestyles that target the current pediatric obesity epidemic within our institution and our community. As one of few pediatricians certified in obesity-medicine nationally and regionally, she has led a multidisciplinary weight management clinic, Healthy Steps, based at Johns Hopkins All Children’s since 2012. With the support of her interprofessional team, the Healthy Steps clinic has provided tailored, patient-centered recommendations to children ages 0-21 years of age who have weight-related medical issues, including low self-esteem, anxiety/depression, hypertension, elevated cholesterol, diabetes and other health conditions. She also has been an ongoing advocate for reducing weight-related stigma within the health care setting as well as within schools. By engaging with community partners including our community division and school-based health clinics, exciting new community-based programs including Health Squads, the First Steps/Fit4Allkids Program and Fit4Allteens Program have continued to engage at-risk children in the Tampa Bay region while connecting them to the outstanding specialty care provided by Johns Hopkins All Children’s for those requiring additional medical care.
Dr. Hernandez is widely published in various medical journals including the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) for her pediatric obesity-based and other academic research. Her current research focuses on enhancing pediatric obesity screening and prevention efforts within our community as well as implementing innovative mobile-health technology with teens and families to promote improved lifestyles and weight loss. Dr. Hernandez additionally served as director of Medical Education at Johns Hopkins All Children’s from 2012-2018 where she successfully led efforts to develop a newly-accredited, educationally focused pediatric residency program as well as newly accredited fellowship programs based at the hospital. She is additionally a nationally invited speaker on issues related to pediatric health disparities, cultural competence and graduate medical education. Dr. Hernandez’s educational, research and clinical efforts have helped Johns Hopkins All Children’s obtain more than $800,000 in funding for clinical and community efforts related to pediatric obesity to date, with the goal of continuing programmatic and research efforts in the coming years.
An accomplished public speaker and published author, Greg is responsible for developing and implementing Gemini Industries’ strategic communications efforts. Prior to assuming his current position, Greg led the Gemini Industries Sovereign Challenge Program contract team to numerous accolades while assisting U.S. Special Operations Command to build stronger and more effective relationships with allies and partners. Before joining Gemini, Greg served for 25 years as a Foreign Service Officer. Greg’ overseas assignments included Libya, Afghanistan, Bahrain, Yemen, Syria, and The Gambia, and while in Washington, DC, he worked on a range of global, regional, and bilateral issues. In his final overseas assignment as Deputy Chief of Mission during the September 11, 2012 tragedy in Benghazi, Greg led the successful efforts to save the lives of over 30 Americans who were fending off multiple terrorist attacks while ensuring the safety of 250 American and Libyan employees in Tripoli. While with Gemini and during his diplomatic career, Greg received over 25 awards for exemplary service to his country and company.
Greg holds Master’s Degrees in Applied Economics and Modern Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Michigan and Bachelor’s Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from Bethany College, West Virginia.
Dr. Hozic’s research is situated on the intersections of cultural studies, international political economy and international security. She is the author of Hollyworld: Space, Power and Fantasy in the American Economy (Cornell University Press, 2002) and (with Jacqui True) Scandalous Economics: Gender and Politics of Financial Crises (Oxford University Press, 2016) as well as of dozens of peer-reviewed articles and chapters in edited volumes. Dr. Hozic has received multiple Fulbright Awards, a John D. and Katherine T. MacArthur Fellowship in Global Security, Open Society Fellowship and many other grants and awards.
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.
Dave Jones is a 35-year veteran of the weather industry and worked as an on-air meteorologist for NBC4 WRC-TV, the NBC Owned and Operated TV station in Washington, DC for nearly a decade in the 1990s. He also appeared multiple times on the NBC Today Show, NBC Europe and CNBC Asia. While working for NBC, Dave developed the FIRST television weather website in the nation in 1995 and launched a new era in communicating NASA data to the public. The website, “WeatherNet4” positioned NBC4 in Washington, DC and NBC across the nation as a broadcast leader and early innovator of Internet technology.
In 2001, Dave then founded StormCenter Communications, Inc. and spent many years funding research that led to an exclusive technology, developed under the Federal Government’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, that enables the sharing of trusted data across any platform, in real-time, improving situational awareness and decision making across multiple sectors, agencies and organizations. This revolutionary technology leads to more effective decision making for a wide variety of markets including military, intelligence, and civil agencies and can address issues such as climate resilience planning, energy and transportation, food, agriculture, healthcare, cyber and homeland security.
Because of StormCenter’s SBIR success, the company was selected as a Tibbitts Award Winner by the Small Business Administration for exceptional performance under the SBIR program. “Winning the Tibbetts award from the Small Business Administration (SBA) is affirmation that dedication and focus of the StormCenter team has accomplished what was previously thought as impossible, enabling true interoperability between disparate common operating pictures (COPs). This has led to a technology that is now ready to be integrated into markets and products that desperately need to share information across platforms to save lives and protect property”, said Jones.
Dave also continues to pursue his passion of climate change impact communication and co-organizes the National Glen Gerberg Weather and Climate Summit that brings together TV meteorologists and scientists to advance TV meteorologist's understanding and communication of extreme weather impacts and climate science to build a more resilient nation. Streaming to more than 2 million viewers, the Summit is gaining visibility as more extreme events impact more citizens and future Regional Summits are in the planning stages. As a past president of the Federation of Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP Federation), Dave continues to participate in this unique, data focused, organization by co-chairing the ESIP Disaster Lifecycle Cluster and has recently helped develop Operational Readiness Levels for trusted data to drive decision making. DHS, FEMA and other agencies are looking to adopt ORLs as a basis of trust for making rapid decisions that save lives and property.
William Jordan served for 30 years (1981-2011) as a political officer in the U.S. Foreign Service specializing in the Arab world and France. His overseas assignments included Dhahran, Saudi Arabia; Tunis, Tunisia; Damascus, Syria; Amman, Jordan; Paris, France; and Algiers, Algeria, where he served in his final posting was as Deputy Chief of Mission. His responsibilities in the Arab world included reporting and analyzing foreign policy trends, especially as they related to the United States, as well as internal politics, human rights conditions, and the rise of radical Islamist forces. From 1997-2001, Mr. Jordan was the reporting officer in Paris for labor issues and internal politics. He returned to Paris in 2007-2009 to work on the Near East and North Africa as well as Russia (including during and after the 2008 Georgia crisis).
Since retiring in Paris, Mr. Jordan has become an independent analyst, with frequent appearances on France 24, BBC radio, Radio France International, and CNN International. He has also lectured on foreign affairs at the French Ecole militaire and at the Paris campus of New York University.
Mr. Jordan's foreign languages include Arabic and French.
Brahim Kas is a doctoral researcher in political science at the University of Paris 8 Saint-Denis. His research focuses on Saudi Arabia and the new balances in the Middle East, exploring the internal and external challenges of the House of Al Saud, and the construction of its new bilateral relations, among others, with Moscow, Tel Aviv, Beijing where he conducted a field study in April 2016.
After studying science applied to economics at the University of Paris-Ouest-Nanterre, Mr. KAS pursued a career as a consultant in networks & telecoms before joining the civil service as an executive position at the Ministry of National Education in Paris where he was able to lead some reflections on Islam and secularism.
After being admitted to the Ecole Nationale d'Administration (ENA), Mr. KAS resumed his studies by obtaining a Master II in Geopolitics and Strategic Foresight with a specialization module in Economic Intelligence at the Institut de Relations Internationales et Stratégiques in Paris (IRIS Sup).
Bilingual French-Arab Algerian, he also holds an intensive diploma in Arabic from INALCO, where he is pursuing a degree in Arabic language and civilization. He has published several articles and produced several TV programs on the Middle East and North Africa, regions he has frequented on numerous occasions. His last field study (April 2019), allowed him to travel to Lebanon, Israel, the Palestinian Territories and Jordan where he recently participated in an international symposium co-organized by the Royal Institute for Inter Faith Studies and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation on 29-30 September 2019.
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.
Laura Klein, jazz pianist and composer, was born in New York City and started playing piano as a child, studying at the Manhattan School of Music. After receiving a degree in classical music from SUNY Buffalo, she started playing in a soul band and never looked back. She went on to study jazz at Berklee School of Music, performing at clubs and venues in the Boston/New England area. Klein relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1984, where she has been actively performing and teaching ever since.
Klein has recorded her own compositions with FivePlay Jazz Quintet, the jazz sextet Triceratops, and vibraphonist Ted Wolff. She appears extensively with her own groups and other ensembles at Northern California clubs, concert halls, and festivals. A program of her compositions was produced and recorded by Jim Bennett and broadcast on KCSM-FM’s “In the Moment” series, and she was featured on KCSM's "Desert Island Jazz". Along with her husband, guitarist/composer/arranger Tony Corman, Klein co-leads FivePlay Jazz Quintet,whose three recordings have received national and international airplay. FivePlay’s performance of Klein's composition, “Glow In the Dark”, was featured on the soundtrack of the documentary, “The Grant Green Story”. Klein's recordings include: FivePlay Jazz Quintet, Five of Hearts, Five and More, Cerulean Blue (with Ted Wolff), Triceratops, and Jenny Ferris’ Day In, Day Out.
Klein is an AmSAT and STAT Certified Teacher of the Alexander Technique. She has had a private practice in Berkeley since 1987, and is an Associate Professor of the Alexander Technique at the California Jazz Conservatory.
Lillian Koziol is a Yoga teacher living in St. Pete. Prior to her move to Florida, she worked in the field of International Banking for both Irving Trust Company and Manufacturer’s Hanover Trust Company in New York and London. She has an in-depth knowledge of foreign exchange trading and international banking systems.
Since 2003, she has been bringing the benefits of yoga to the elderly, and children and people with physical challenges. She has been on staff at FAU and is certified by Duke University, School of Integrated medicine.
John Lamb is an American jazz double bassist who was a member of the Duke Ellington Orchestra. Born in Vero Beach, Florida, he grew up as a child who loved playing music, specializing in the tuba. He left high school to join the United States Air Force as a musician in their military band and was stationed in Texas and Montana, where the long winters left him ample time to practice. When the band's usual string bass player was unavailable for a gig, the bandmaster asked Lamb if he could fill in, leading to his becoming the band's new string bassist. He credited his tuba experience with giving him the "feel" to pick up the string bass quickly, even without any prior experience.
Lamb joined Duke Ellington's orchestra in 1964 and toured with them for three years. He was more of a fan of Miles Davis and Red Garland when he was with Ellington, later saying, “I was very young and very cocky. I thought I knew more than Duke at that time...I have more time today to reflect on the things that were accomplished back then, and the places we traveled to and all the wonderful people that we met. So one has to be careful what one does in his young years, because if they’re fortunate to live long, it all comes back.” In 1966 Lamb performed with Ellington and Sam Woodyard for artist Joan Miró at the Fondation Maeght in Saint-Paul-de-Vence.
Lamb later moved to St. Petersburg, Florida and taught music in public schools as well as St. Petersburg College, where Alphonso Johnson was one of his students. Lamb has been awarded the Jazz Club of Sarasota’s “Satchmo Award” for service to jazz.
London, U.K born jazz pianist and composer, Simon Lasky, relocated to Tampa, Florida in Fall 2018 on the award of a Fellowship to study with Grammy nominated jazz composer Chuck Owen at The University of South Florida. Simon’s composition ‘Close To Ecstasy’ won the 2018 British Composer Award in the ‘Jazz Composition for Small Ensemble’ category. His London band – The Simon Lasky Group – have released two albums of Simon’s compositions on 33Jazz Records and have performed at London’s leading jazz venues. Simon’s music has been broadcast on BBC radio, NPR and leading jazz radio stations across Europe, the BBC describing Close To Ecstasy as “a joyous exuberant piece, brilliantly crafted on all levels, and with great textural and melodic writing.” Simon performs with the leading jazz musicians in the Central Florida area, is currently completing his Masters in Jazz Studies at The University of South Florida and is a host/DJ on ‘All Night Jazz’ on WUSF 89.7FM.
Willy LeBihan has over 25 years of language education experience and is the Co-Founder and Head of School of both The French American School of Tampa Bay, located in St. Petersburg, and L’Ecole Française du Maine in South Freeport, Maine.
Willy was born near Paris, but spent most of his childhood near Quimper, a medieval city in the region of Brittany. Studying geology in graduate school in Ireland, he met his future wife, Elizabeth, an American, and they eventually married and settled in Maine, pursuing careers in education. Willy and Elizabeth decided that they would raise their three children in a home where French would be the language spoken, particularly by Willy. Their children all grew up bilingual and this served as the impetus to open a French school in 2002 – L’Ecole Française du Maine, which continues to serve the population of the Greater Portland, Maine region. The school is fully accredited with the French Ministry of Education and for their educational contributions, Willy and Elizabeth were each awarded the prestigious Chevalier des Palmes Académiques, a French Knighthood Order of Chivalry presented to academics and educators. Willy has also served as President of the American Association of Teachers of French (AATF) Maine Chapter and on the Board of the Foreign Language Association of Maine.
After many years of visiting St. Petersburg on family vacations, Willy and Elizabeth purchased a home here and soon realized that there are no language immersion schools in the area, and that the closest French schools are in Miami and Atlanta. They founded The French American School of Tampa Bay (FASTB) in 2017, and opened the doors in the fall of 2018, drawing students from all over the Tampa Bay region. FASTB is experiencing steady growth in its second year and is on track to receive full accreditation with the French Ministry this year.
Isabelle Leymarie has balanced her life by immersing herself in both the creative and analytical fields. Both a jazz pianist and musicologist, Isabelle Leymarie holds a Ph.D. in ethnomusicology from Columbia University. She has taught Afro-American music at Livingston College, History of jazz and Black music of Latin America and the Caribbean at Yale, History of salsa at the New School for Social Studies, Puerto Rican music at Boricua College; and harmony and rhythm training at the Conservatoire Nadia and Lili Boulanger and the Bill Evans Piano Academy in Paris. She has produced several documentary films and radio programs and written many books on jazz and Latin music.
In addition to communicating through music, Isabelle Leymarie studied linguistics at the Sorbonne and completed doctoral studies in development economics at the Institute of International Studies in Geneva (Switzerland). Leymarie holds a Ph.D. from Columbia University, has translated over forty books and other texts from English, Spanish, German, and Portuguese into French, and has written several of her own books in three different languages (French, English and Spanish). She has lived in Switzerland, France, the United States, Canada, Senegal, and Japan.
As Radio Free Asia’s former President, Libby Liu transformed the news organization to meet the needs of its audiences living in some of the world’s worst media environments in the 21st century. Serving in that role since 2005, Ms. Liu oversaw the expansion of RFA’s operations to increase its focus and coverage within its six target countries, including China, Vietnam, Burma, and North Korea, while ensuring that the company utilized every available platform to reach people living in closed countries under authoritarian rule. With federal funding granted through the U.S. Agency for Global Media, Ms. Liu created the Open Technology Fund in 2012, a global internet freedom technology program housed within RFA, which has had a long history of success combating and overcoming internet censorship since the advent of the Great Firewall of China. OTF goes beyond RFA’s remit by serving citizens anywhere in the world where governments denies access, censors content, interferes with or monitors online activity. OTF supports the development of tools to enable understanding, access, and security for journalists, activists, researchers, and ordinary citizens living in repressive places.
Ms. Liu holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of California-Berkeley, an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a JD from the University of Pennsylvania Law School.
Eric Lynn served as a Senior Advisor to the Secretary of Defense and as Special Advisor on the Middle East in the Policy Office of the Secretary of Defense. He advised three U.S. Secretaries of Defense (Robert Gates, Leon Panetta and Chuck Hagel) at the Pentagon, as well as the Undersecretaries for Policy, focusing on National Security and a range of Middle East issues.
In multiple roles, Eric worked personally for the Secretary of Defense and served as Senior Policy Advisor to General John Allen. While working in the Pentagon, Eric traveled overseas over 50 times with Secretaries of Defense and others for engagements with the heads of state and military leadership. Notably, Eric served as the Secretary's lead on the Iron Dome counter rocket system since its inception in 2009. He was the Secretary of Defense's representative to the State Department's Israeli-Palestinian negotiations team.
A St. Petersburg, Florida native, Eric has worked extensively in National Security policy and U.S. politics. Eric served as Middle East Policy Advisor to President Barack Obama in 2007- 2008. He advised President Obama on national security, Middle East policy and coordinated outreach to the Jewish community nationwide.
Previously, Eric practiced law as an attorney in Florida and Washington DC, working on public policy, litigation, and regulatory work. He served on senior policy staff in Congress, as a top advisor on foreign policy and defense. Eric led international Congressional delegations and advised Members of Congress on a range of legislative issues within the Energy and Commerce Committee.
Since leaving the Department of Defense, Eric runs a strategic consulting business, serving clients with such diverse needs as national security strategy, international dynamics, and business strategy. This includes work with current and former Military Leadership and high ranking international officials.
Eric studied International Relations, History and Business at Northwestern University, studied at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and holds a law degree from Georgetown University. He and his wife, Tracy, have two young children.
John Maguire was named Director of International Relations and Cooperation of France Medias Monde in September 2013. Prior to that, from March 2012 to September 2013, he was Director of International Development, Audiovisuel Exterieur de la France; from May 2010 to March 2012 he served as Director of International Affairs, Radio France Internationale and from 2004 to 2010 he was head of RFI's International Training Department. Before that he spent six years as Managing Editor of RFI's English service.
Michael is an experienced CEO, corporate director, and global business advisor with broad experience serving companies throughout Asia, Europe and the United States. The National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) has awarded him its highest credential of Board Leadership Fellow® for five years in a row and has featured him as a speaker and author on emerging corporate governance, multicultural management, and global issues at many of its conferences.
From 2007 to 2016, Michael served as non-executive chairman of the board of healthcare services and logistics company AA International, the parent company of Asia Assistance, based in Kuala Lumpur, with operations in eight other countries throughout the Asia-Pacific region. After the sale of five of the operating entities to French insurance giant AXA in 2016, Michael was appointed chairman of the remaining independent companies, including AA International Indonesia, a healthcare and insurance services provider based in Jakarta.
In 2016 Michael was elected chairman of the supervisory board of the Paris-based International Assistance Group S.A.S. (IAG). IAG is a commercial alliance of 150+ independent companies with a combined staff of more than 7,500 that provide medical and security services on five continents. The IAG board has nine members from nine different countries. After his two-year term concluded in October of 2018, Michael was asked to continue to serve on the board’s executive committee. He stepped down in October of 2019 after 10 years of service on IAG’s supervisory board.
Since January of 2011, Michael has served as one of four independent directors on the board of Commonwealth Trust Company, Delaware’s largest non-deposit trust company with more than $12 billion in assets under administration.
In addition to his board service, over the past ten years as CEO of Global Kompass Strategies, Michael has served as a global business advisor to corporations and government clients in the United States, Europe, and Asia. He works closely with CEOs and senior leadership teams on business development, cybersecurity and strategic planning. He also advises boards of directors and audit committees on effective risk management measures, corporate governance, geographic expansion, and emerging digital technology issues.
Michael gained extensive expertise in the areas of risk management, corporate governance, and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act when former FBI Director Louis J. Freeh asked him to serve as President of his new global risk management firm, Freeh Group International Solutions, in early 2008. Applying his entrepreneurial and international business experience, Michael was integral in developing the firm’s early business relationships and engagements with several Fortune 500© and Global 500© corporations. He also assisted with the group's strategy and business development efforts in Europe.
Michael grew up in Berlin and emigrated to the United States soon after witnessing the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. He had the opportunity to lead a fast-growing technology company before being recruited to lead a new start-up venture in late 1999. Michael served for seven years as co-founder and chief executive of the health services company MediGuide and led its business development initiatives in the United States, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region.
Michael holds a Master’s degree from the University of Virginia and a Bachelor’s degree from the University of New England. He is a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO) and the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) and holds the CERT Cybersecurity Oversight certificate from the Software Engineering Institute at Carnegie Mellon University.
Following his personal passions, Michael serves on the national board of the American Cancer Society where he is a member of the audit committee and chairs the governance committee. From 2005 to 2014 he served on the board of the Delaware Theatre Company, including four years as chairman.
Brittany J. Maxey-Fisher belongs to the firm Maxey-Fisher PLLC. Brittany manages the firm’s intellectual property practice. In addition to managing the day-to-day aspects of the firm, Brittany has gained extensive experience in counseling clients in a wide range of intellectual property issues. Her practice includes representing clients in patent, trademark, trade dress, and copyright matters, including domestic and international trademark protection, intellectual property licensing and agreements, and technology transactions. Brittany has state and federal litigation experience in connection with patents, trademarks, and copyrights. She also has an extensive practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the Patent Trial Appeal Board and the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. Brittany received her Bachelor’s degree in Biological Science in 2001 from the University of Mississippi and her J.D. in 2007 from Stetson College of Law.
Working with clients in a broad range of industries, both nationally and internationally, Andrew is a business and transactions lawyer with significant experience advising individuals and business entities, many of which are identified with renewable energies, green builds, and sustainable business initiatives. His collaborative approach enables him to effectively and efficiently counsel clients in various areas, including: Business organizations, Mergers and acquisitions, Private securities, Franchising and distribution, Debt financing, Joint ventures, Commercial contracts, Trade, and Cross-border business expansion.
Clients also regularly look to Andrew for advice regarding corporate governance matters and shareholder disputes.
As a member of the firm’s international practice group, Andrew provides representation to clients involved in cross-border and global business, both inbound and outbound. In doing so, he draws on his experience and relationships developed as a member of both the Ontario Bar and the Florida Bar. Maintaining a solutions-oriented mindset, he co-founded Cross Border Partners Advisory Services, which provides project management and consulting services to businesses seeking to expand their platforms through exports or direct investment. This compliments Andrew's law practice and allows him to provide comprehensive support to his clients’ efforts.
From 2005 to 2012, Andrew served as Honorary Consul of Canada for Florida, pursuant to the Government of Canada's "Enhanced Representation Initiative." He continues to provide services to facilitate trade and investment activities through the Canadian Consulate General at Miami, assisting Canadian businesses with interests in Florida, and U.S. firms desiring to do business in Canada. He founded the Canada-Tampa Bay Chamber of Commerce. In recognition of his efforts on behalf of Canada, Andrew was awarded the Governor General's Visit Medallion.
Prior to joining Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP, Andrew was a partner for many years with an international law firm where he served as global desk partner for the Florida market.
Outside the office, Andrew enjoys spending time with his family, engaging in community service, and fly fishing whenever the opportunity presents.
Gary Mitchum is presently a Professor of Physical Oceanography and the Associate Dean
in the College of Marine Science at the University of South Florida. He received his PhD
from the Department of Oceanography at the Florida State University in 1984, and spent
11 years in the Department of Oceanography at the University of Hawaii as a member of
the research faculty and the Director of the University of Hawaii Sea Level Center. He has
published on a wide variety of topics in ocean physics, but his research interests primarily
emphasize short-term climate variability, ranging from season-to-season changes to year-
to-year changes to long-term sea level rise. Over the past decade or so he has spent a
substantial amount of time advising local, regional and state decision makers and
practitioners on sea level change issues.
In the first 15 years of her career, Ann Morrison rose from fact-checker to executive editor of FORTUNE magazine, a Time Inc. magazine. In 1994, the company named her chief editorial executive of its Asiaweek magazine in Hong Kong, where she remained until 2000. That year Time Inc. transferred her to London, where she became co-editor (with her husband Donald Morrison) of the European edition of TIME. In 2008 and 2009, she was a lecturer in the Global Business Journalism Program at Tsinghua University in Beijing. In 2011 and 2012, she taught media management at Sciences-Po in Paris, in addition to freelancing for various publications. She now serves on the Advisory Committee of the American Library in Paris, and continues to freelance as a writer and an editor on subjects ranging from French beauty secrets to Chinese culture. A graduate of the College of New Rochelle, she holds graduate degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and the London School of Economics.
Donald Morrison is an author, journalist and educator. In a long career at TIME magazine, he served as editor of its World section in New York, its Asian edition in Hong Kong and its European edition in London. He has taught at New York University's London Center, Tsinghua University in Beijing and the Institut d'etudes politiques (Sciences Po) in Paris.
Mr. Morrison is the author, co-author or editor of books on subjects as diverse as Chinese democracy, the Obama presidency and photojournalism. His "The Death of French Culture," a 2009 French best-seller, was published in the U.S. and the U.K. in 2010. He is currently Europe Editor of the London-based magazine PORT, as well as a columnist and advisory board member at The Berkshire Eagle. His weekly podcast commentary is featured on NPR's Robin Hood Radio, Podcasts.com and other news outlets. He has written for The New York Times, The Financial Times, Le Monde, Le Point, The New Republic, Smithsonian and Quartz. Mr. Morrison holds degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and the London School of Economics. He is married to Ann Morrison, former Executive Editor of Fortune magazine and Editor of Asiaweek.
Rasha Mubarak is a Palestinian-American Muslim community activist, consultant, political strategist, and leader, who was named “10 People Making Orlando a Better Place to Be” by Orlando Weekly and Florida Young Democrats’ “2019 Florida Young Democrat of the Year”. Born in Brooklyn, NY and raised in the heart of Central Florida, Rasha is a grassroots organizer and political advocate for national, statewide, and local political candidates and campaigns around civil rights, human rights, interfaith work, immigration rights, and Black and Brown liberation.
Rasha has 15+ years in advocacy, organizing, non-profit management, campaign work, and program development. As a bilingual progressive organizer and political strategist specializing in campaigns, engagement, education and mobilization-- she is uniquely qualified in campaign skills, political communication, community organizing, fundraising and stakeholder engagement. With a huge network of diverse communities locally and nationally, Rasha always looks to add value with her skills, social capital, and ability to influence and build coalitions toward increasing advocacy and political engagement within low propensity voters and historically marginalized communities
Cheyenne and Mari are from Luanda, Angola where they met and fell in love over ten years ago. Working together as musicians, performers, and business entrepreneurs in Angola, they faced intense harassment in their home country: neighbors cut their power, killed their dog and bullied them in public. Fleeing to Capetown, South Africa, they unsuccessfully tried to secure refugee status in that country. After their visas expired, they returned to Angola where a family member attempted to poison their food. Quickly, they were able to secure student visas to the United States and began a three-year adjudication process to apply for asylum in California.
In an industry that likes to conveniently pigeonhole even its most innovative and adventurous artists, Nate Najar stands out with his all-encompassing embrace of the transcendent possibilities of jazz. Inspiring growing numbers of fans with his distinctive approach of playing acoustic classical guitar with right hand classical technique, the multi-faceted composer and performer scored a Top Ten Billboard Jazz single, recorded tribute projects to his idol Charlie Byrd and the music of Brazil; and has performed hundreds of trio dates throughout the US, Europe and Australia. 2010 saw Najar release Groove Me on Woodward Avenue Records. A collaboration with Tony Award winning vocalist Melba Moore, Groove Me reached into the top 10 of the Billboard Jazz chart. A St. Petersburg, FL native who began playing guitar at age eight and considers Django Reinhardt, Wes Montgomery and Charlie Byrd his primary influences, Najar’s full length recordings on Candid Records – including 2012’s Blues For Night People: The Nate Najar Trio Remembers Charlie Byrd – earned him accolades from critics and influential jazz voices alike. Nate’s most recent album, American Melodies, is a duet project with bassist Tommy Cecil, released in 2020 on Blue Line Music Records.
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.
Gen. John Nicholson
With over 36 years of active duty service in the U.S. Army, General John Nicholson’s six years deployed in Afghanistan make him one of America’s most combat seasoned four-star generals. He is the longest-serving commander of the Afghan War, having led the 41-nation NATO-led Resolute Support Mission and United States Forces-Afghanistan for two and a half years. His leadership and close relations with Afghan leaders were key to brokering the first ceasefire in the 17-year war and helped enable the launch of the current peace initiative.
General Nicholson served over twelve years in various NATO commands to include four assignments as a General Officer and developed close, effective relationships with the security leadership of NATO Allies and Coalition partners. As a Ranger and Paratroop infantry officer, he commanded units at all levels from company command in the 75th Ranger Regiment to division command of the 82nd Airborne Division. From 2014 to 2016, he commanded NATO’s Allied Land Command in Izmir, Turkey.
Following retirement from active duty in November 2018, General Nicholson became the President of the Pentagon Federal Credit Union Foundation which supports U.S. veterans, service members and their families. He is an Adjunct Faculty member on leadership with Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School and is a member of Harvard’s Belfer Center ‘Elbe Group’ which sustains a Track Two dialogue between retired American and Russian senior officials in the military and intelligence fields. He is also a senior mentor to rising US general officers through the National Defense University and a frequent speaker on national security and leadership with various national and international audiences.
Maria Novoa Pinzon
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.
As an aspiring hardworking professional, she is currently a junior studying Psychology with a minor in Leadership studies at USFSP. She works on campus at the Office of Global Initiatives as a student assistant and is the President of the International Club. In addition, she is in the path to become an Industrial Organizational Psychologist and help companies boost their performance. Even though her passion is psychology, she enjoys sharing her culture and growing from different cultures. https://mnovoa2.wixsite.com/website
Elizabeth Scott Osborne
Scott is a lawyer, writer, teacher, and international development professional; she focusses on gender equity and education. She has worked with non-profits for over three decades, living in seven countries in Africa, Asia, and Europe, and traveling to 35 more. Scott created and produced a play, SPOILED, about violence and masculinity in India and the US; designs curricula for an educational venture; is writing a book about the lives of girls and nuns in a shelter home in India; and consults regularly with non-profits working in developing countries. She serves on the board of the UN Women USA, is President of the Gulf Coast Chapter of UN Women, and selects grantees for Dining for Women.
Scott is a native New Yorker and an adopted Floridian. She holds a BA Summa Cum Laude from the University of Pennsylvania, an MPA in International Development from Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, and a JD from the New York University School of Law. She holds teaching certifications in Montessori and English as an Additional Language. She was a US Peace Corps Volunteer in West Africa. www.elizabethscottosborne.com
Madhu is a Chemistry Instructor and Organic Chemistry Lab coordinator at University of South Florida St. Petersburg. She started working at USF St. Petersburg in 2010. Since then she taught variety of courses in chemistry and developed few courses in chemistry. She conducted Study Abroad India Program on Sustainable development and energy Harvesting from Ambient Sources. Madhu received USF Mobility Award in 2016. She received VIVA Teaching Award for working with students with Disability.She established MOU between USF and Indian School of Mines in 2017, with a view to increasing ties and exchanges between the two institutions. Her recent research work
DICHALCOGENIDE TITANIUM OXIDE NANOMATERIALS FOR DISINFECTION received PATENT approval in 2019 and adopted by few countries for water filtration.
George Peirce joined the faculty at Stetson University College of Law in January 2017 after 36 years of legal experience in the public and private sectors. He served as Stetson's Culverhouse Distinguished Practitioner in Residence for two and a half years and taught courses in international and national security law, civil procedure, federal courts, and trial advocacy.
Before joining the faculty, George served for more than 12 years as the Defense Intelligence Agency’s General Counsel. He and his staff provided advice and representation on all legal matters affecting DIA’s worldwide intelligence mission during global counterterrorism operations. While at DIA, he taught a national security law seminar as an adjunct professor at George Washington University Law School.
Before coming to DIA, George served for eight years in the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division, where he brought civil actions against polluters of our land, air and water resources, resulting in recoveries for the United States valued at over $260 million.
As an Army Reserve Colonel, he volunteered for active duty after the 9/11 terrorist attacks and served for a year as the Principal Deputy Staff Judge Advocate for U.S. Joint Forces Command. He and his colleagues advised the command on the many novel legal issues raised by initial combat operations against al Qaeda and the Taliban.
Earlier in his career, George was an associate at the Washington, D.C. law firm of Steptoe & Johnson, where he focused on litigation, international law, and ethics. He began his legal career as an Army judge advocate, with assignments that included criminal prosecution with the 1st Infantry Division, duty at a strategic intelligence outpost in Turkey, and service at the Pentagon with the Army’s International Affairs Division and the Army General Counsel’s Office, where he dealt with ramifications of the Iran-Contra affair.
Before leaving active duty for the Army Reserve, George also served on the International Law faculty at the Army JAG School. His service in the Army Reserve included duty in Panama, Germany and in Belgium at the headquarters of the NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe.
George holds a B.S. degree from West Point, a J.D. from Harvard Law School, and an M.S. in Strategic Intelligence from the National Intelligence University, and is also a graduate of the Army War College. He has published articles on international law involving arms control, the law of war, and the law of the sea, and has given presentations on intelligence law and ethics at Georgetown University, Johns Hopkins University, the National Defense University, the University of South Florida, and the University of Oxford.
Craig Pittman is a native Floridian and, according to the Florida Heritage Book Festival, a Florida literary legend. Born in Pensacola, he graduated from Troy State University in Alabama, where his muckraking work for the student paper prompted an agitated dean to label him "the most destructive force on campus." Since then he has covered a variety of newspaper beats and quite a few natural disasters, including hurricanes, wildfires and the Florida Legislature. Since 1998, he has covered environmental issues for Florida's largest newspaper, the Tampa Bay Times, winning state and national awards. He is the author of four books, including The Scent of Scandal: Greed, Betrayal, and the World's Most Beautiful Orchid, which is the only book ever classified as "True Crime/Gardening," and Oh, Florida! How America's Weirdest State Influences the Rest of the Country, which won the gold medal for Florida non-fiction from the Florida Book Awards. His fifth book, Cat Tale: The Wild, Weird Battle to Save the Florida Panther will publish in January. He lives in St. Petersburg with his wife and two children.
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.
Dr. Prager focuses much of her time on bringing earth and ocean science to the public through writing, working with the media, creating innovative partnerships, and speaking events. Her upcoming publication Dangerous Earth: What We Wish We Knew About Volcanoes, Hurricanes, Climate Change, Earthquakes and More will take an engaging look at what scientists wish they knew about some of the planet’s most powerful forces. In October 2019 her next adventure novel for middle graders, Escape Galapagos, will be released. While full of fast-paced adventure and humor, the book also integrates science, conservation, and fun learning into the story. It is the first book in a series entitled The Wonder List Adventures published by Tumblehome Inc. The first book in her previous middle grade series, The Shark Whisperer, has been called “an underwater Harry Potter”. Dr. Prager’s previous popular science book, Sex, Drugs, and Sea Slime: The Oceans’ Oddest Creatures and Why They Matter, took an entertaining look at marine biodiversity, its relevance to the average person, and why ocean life and resources are now at risk. Ocean advocate Carl Safina says of the book, “A great book for beginners and one even experts can learn from and enjoy—this is possibly the best general book ever written on creatures of the deep.” It has also been called hilarious, tastefully salacious, and fascinating. She has written articles for scientific journals, public-oriented magazines, and several other books including Chasing Science at Sea: Racing hurricanes, stalking sharks, and living undersea with ocean experts and The Oceans. Dr. Prager has also published a series of children’s books with the National Geographic Society, the first SAND received the 2000 Parents Choice Award, it was followed by Volcano and then Earthquakes.
Dr. Prager has participated in research expeditions to places such as the Galapagos Islands, Papua New Guinea, Caribbean, Bahamas, and the deep waters of the Florida Reef tract. She obtained a BA from Wesleyan University, Connecticut, a MS from the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, and in 1992, a PhD from Louisiana State University.
In 1992, as a faculty scientist at Sea Education Association (SEA) in Woods Hole, MA, Dr. Prager taught oceanography to undergraduates, teachers, and senior citizens in a unique educational program in which classroom learning is supplemented by extensive hands-on experience at sea aboard tall sailing ships. She later became the resident director of the National Undersea Research Center in the Bahamas. In 1997, she joined the U.S. Geological Survey where she split her time between scientific research in marine geology, oceanography, and coral reefs and public education. During 1998, the International Year of the Ocean (YOTO), Dr. Prager co-chaired the subcommittee on research, exploration, and education for the National Ocean Conference presided by the President and Vice President. Dr. Prager was a member and then Chairman of the Ocean Research and Resources Advisory Panel for the federal government and was hired by the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy to help write their report to Congress and the President. She continues to focus her efforts on developing innovative and entertaining ways to share her passion for the oceans and the environment with others.
Allison Quatrini is an Assistant Professor of Political Science and International Relations and Global Affairs at Eckerd College. She holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Her research interests focus on China, specifically its authoritarian state, and the politics of festivals and holidays. She is also interested in interpretive research methodology and the role of field-work in Political Science. Allison's research has been funded by the David I. Boren Fellowship, the Sigur Center for Asian Studies at GWU, and the Institute for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies at GWU.
Gilles Raguin is a medical doctor, trained in internal medicine and infectious diseases, and a global health specialist with more than 20 years of experience with governmental and non-governmental organizations
Until recently, he was the director of the health department at EXPERTISE FRANCE, the French international agency for technical assistance (2006-2017) as well as a consultant in the department of infectious diseases at Hospital Saint Antoine in Paris.
He is also committed to humanitarian medicine, having spent nearly 10 years working for Medecins du monde, an international medical NGO, as a volunteer first, then a vice president and finally a director of international operations for 3 years (2002-2005).
Dr Raguin has also worked as an independent consultant for the French Agency for Development (AFD), the World Food Program and the Belgian Red Cross (2005-2007).
Combining a very good knowledge of global health actors and funders with a strong experience in humanitarian aid and technical expertise, Dr Raguin is particularly experienced in the fields of infectious diseases, global health security and humanitarian health in resource limited countries.
Bernd Reiter is a full professor of comparative political science and director of the Institute for the Study of Latin America and the Caribbean at the University of South Florida (USF). He has experience as an instructor, researcher, institute director, study abroad director, and graduate program administrator.
USF is a research 1 university, currently ranked 44 among public universities in the U.S. and #104 among all American universities, with $568 million in annual expenditures.
Reiter has received the Distinguished Alum Award from the Political Science Department of the Graduate Center, City University of New York (2019), the William R. Jones Outstanding Mentor Award from the Florida Education Fund (2019), the Florida Education Fund President’s Award (2016), the USF Faculty Global Achievement Award (2015), and the USF Status of Latinos Faculty Award (2014).
Reiter has published over 50 books, book chapters, and peer-reviewed articles on topics related to democracy, race, citizenship, and decolonization. He is the editor of the Routledge Decolonizing the Classics Special Book Series and has presented his work at numerous national and international conferences, including the 2018 World Social Forum.
François Savatier is a science journalist. A former researcher in physics, he focuses today on the sciences of the past, including archaeology, prehistory, paleoanthropology and geology, as an editor at Pour la Science, the French edition of Scientific America.
Dr. Stephan K. Schindler is Professor of German Studies at the University of South Florida,
Tampa. He studied at the Heinrich-Heine-Universität in Düsseldorf, Germany, and received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Irvine. His research areas include 18th- and 21st-century German cultural history; German Cinema; Holocaust Studies; critical theory, psychoanalysis, and soccer.
He is the author of Eingebildete Körper: Phantasierte Sexualität in der Goethezeit (Imagined Bodies: Fantasized Sexuality in the Age of Goethe, 2001) and Das Subjekt als Kind. Die Erfindung der Kindheit im Roman des 18. Jahrhunderts (The Subject as Child: The Invention of Childhood in the 18th-Century Novel, 1994). He co-edited The Cosmopolitan Screen: German Cinema and the Global Imaginary, 1945 to the Present (2007), Gegenwartsliteratur: Ein germanistisches Jahrbuch (Contemporary Literature: A German Studies Yearbook, 2002-2010), and Knowledge, Science, and Literature in Early Modern Germany (1996). He has published articles on 18thcentury pornography, literature and terrorism, Weimar cinema, postmodern poetics, gender constructions in literature and film, Holocaust film, German soccer, German Hip Hop, and Luther.
Prior to joining the faculty at USF, he taught at Princeton University, at the Eberhard Karls
Universität in Tübingen, Germany, and for 20 years at Washington University in St. Louis. In
1997, he received the Best Article Award from the German Studies Association/German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). He is currently working on a monograph analyzing the German concept of “Heimat” (home, homeland) in the 21st century.
Mark Schulman, Ph.D. is a public opinion pollster and was co-founder/CEO of one of the
nation’s largest survey research/polling firms, SRBI. He has worked extensively with the news
media, major corporations, foundations, and government. For news organizations he has tracked
presidential job ratings, political campaigns, analyzed election results, and probed policy issues.
He served as Time magazine’s pollster for almost ten years. He was also on the ABC News
Election Decision Desk for many years. He has been widely interviewed in the news media,
including Time magazine, CNN, Fox News, the BBC, Vice Media/HBO, and many public radio
Schulman was 2002-2003 president of the American Association for Public Opinion Research
(AAPOR). He is the past president of the New York Chapter of AAPOR and received the
chapter’s Achievement Award. He was on the editorial board and served as a section editor of
Public Opinion Quarterly, the leading academic journal in its field.
Schulman received his B.A. from Washington College, Chestertown, Md., where he is member
emeritus of the Board of Visitors and Governors. He holds a M.A. at the University of
Wisconsin, Madison and a Ph.D. from Rutgers University. He also serves on the Board of
Governors of the New School University College of Performing Arts.
Carole Anne Seidelman
Carole Anne Seidelman grew up outside of New York City, where she now is based. With a degree from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in linguistics, having done graduate work there as well in Romance linguistics, she has lived and worked in four countries, in international tourism and education. She speaks five languages, studies others regularly, has her own multi-lingual tour company, and compares languages to windows: if you only speak one language, then you are in a room with just one window.
Aaron Sharockman is the executive director of PolitiFact, the largest fact-checking organization in the United States. Aaron leads the growth and development of PolitiFact, manages its outreach and news partnerships, and oversees new initiatives and product development. Aaron has been with PolitiFact since 2010 and served most recently as the editor of PunditFact, a website dedicated to checking claims by pundits, columnists, bloggers and the hosts and guests of talk shows. Aaron was a 2016-17 Reynolds Fellow at the University of Missouri and taught a class on political fact-checking at the University of Missouri School of Journalism.
Mary Shedden is news director at WUSF Public Media, where she oversees a team of broadcast and digital journalists covering 13 counties on Florida's west coast.
For more than two decades, Shedden worked as a journalist at several Florida newspapers, reporting on health, business and education. She's been at WUSF since 2013, where she previously served as editor of the Health News Florida journalism collaborative.
Her journalism has been recognized by numerous times, including a 2016 national Edward R. Murrow Award. Her work also has been honored by groups including the Florida Associated Press Broadcasters and the Society of Professional Journalists in Florida and the Southeastern region.
Don Shemanski joined the faculty of Penn State's College of Information Sciences and Technology as a Professor of Practice in 2008, after serving for 23 years in the U.S. State Department as a Foreign Service Officer. Don's last position at the State Department was as Counselor for Global Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Berlin, where he headed the office responsible for issues such as counter-terrorism, nuclear nonproliferation and international judicial assistance.
Don has also had a number of other postings in Washington and abroad, including tours in Italy, Pakistan, Cyprus and Germany. His assignments have included serving as coordinator for State Department refugee assistance programs for the former Yugoslavia, delegate to the U.S. Delegation to the Vienna CSCE Follow-up Meeting, Deputy Special Envoy to the Afghan Mujahedin and Alternate U.S. Delegate to the foundation, “Remembrance, Responsibility, and the Future,” which administered payments to former World War II-era forced and slave laborers of the Nazi regime.
His foreign languages include German, Italian, and Greek.
A lawyer by training, Don spent three years as an associate attorney with an international law firm in New York City prior to joining the U.S. State Department. At Penn State, Don teaches courses in Internet and Privacy Law as well as courses that focus on intelligence analysis and the threat of terrorism and crime.
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.
Liz Shephard is the CEO of LifeCity, L3C, a for-benefit company that helps organizations measure and market their impact. Liz created LifeCity to help build a more equitable and sustainable economy in New Orleans, but is now bringing these tools to communities all over the country. In May of 2017, LifeCity won the SBA's state-wide Sustainable Business Champion Award and Liz was also recognized as one of the Top 50 Business Women of the year in 2015 in New Orleans (CityBusiness). Trained as both a facilitator and LEED Green associate, Liz and her company help businesses and communities maximize both social and environmental impact while growing profits. Liz holds a B.A. in Psychology and Environmental Studies from Carleton College, where she graduated with Honors and Distinction. Outside of work, Liz plays in a band, Mid City Soul, enjoys runs on the greenway, and her spiritual practice in meditation and contemplative prayer.
Andreas Siegel is a career diplomat with a broad range of international experience in strategic, political, economic and cultural affairs. He holds both a (postgraduate) diploma of the College of Europe, Bruges/Belgium and a Master degree of French, English and American literature/linguistics of the University of Freiburg/Germany.
Andreas has had a long-time connection and affinity with the United States: he was an AFS exchange student in Michigan during the Bi-Centennial year 1975/1976. In the early 1990ies he served as a Vice-Consul at the German Consulate General in Boston, Mass.
Before coming to Florida in July 2019, Andreas headed the German Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Prior to that he was Head of the Strategic Planning Division for External Cultural Policy in the Directorate General for Culture and Communication at the Federal Foreign Office in Berlin.
From 2010 to 2013 he was posted in Brussels/Belgium as First Counsellor at the Permanent Representation to NATO, coordinating in particular arms control and counter-terrorism matters. Prior to this, he worked for 6 years in Strasbourg/France, first as Deputy Chief of Mission at the Permanent Representation to the Council of Europe (CoE) , then – on leave from the Foreign Service – as Director of Strategic Planning, reporting directly to the Secretary General of the CoE. From 2001 to 2004, Andreas led a working unit in the European Directorate General in Berlin, serving as the German spokesperson for European cultural policy and coordinating German cross-border cooperation with neighboring countries.
During the first years of his career, Andreas occupied two posts in (the then capital) Bonn and three abroad: after two years of diplomatic training, he started off as a desk officer for Poland at the Foreign Office to move on to Boston/USA as Vice-Consul. He then spent three years in Lilongwe/Malawi (South-Eastern Africa) as Deputy Head of Mission and Chargé d’affaires. Back to Bonn, he worked at the Federal Chancellery, dealing with international strategic issues. Another assignment led him to Rabat and Casablanca/Morocco, where he served as Head of the economic section of the Embassy and Consul General, respectively.
Phillip Smyth is a 2018-2019 Soref Fellow at The Washington Institute. He has studied Shia Islamist militarism in the Middle East as a researcher at the University of Maryland, and created the blog Hizballah Cavalcade. He is the author of the 2015 Institute monograph The Shiite Jihad in Syria and Its Regional Effects.
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.
M. Scott Solomon is Associate Professor and Director of the School of Interdisciplinary Global Studies at the University of South Florida-Tampa. He received his Ph.D. from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University in 2002. Prior to joining the University of South Florida in 2005 he taught at the New School University, New York University, and Lingnan University in Hong Kong, where he served as The Lingnan Foundation Teaching Scholar. His research interests include globalization, international political economy, and migration. In addition to authoring numerous book chapters and articles, he is the co-author (with Martin Griffiths and Steven Roach) of Fifty Key Thinkers in International Relations (Routledge) and (with Mark Rupert) of Globalization and International Political Economy: The Politics of Alternative Futures (Rowman & Littlefield). His current research centers on international migration, particularly issues of state initiated migration policies for remittance generation, policy responses to brain-drain, and medical migration.
James “Jimmy” Story is the Chargé d’ Affaires, for the Venezuela Affairs Unit, located at the United States Embassy in Bogota, Colombia.
Most recently, Mr. Story served as Chargé d’ Affaires at the United States Embassy in Caracas, Venezuela, until the temporary suspension of operations and the withdrawal of diplomatic personnel due to security concerns.
Previously, Mr. Story served as Consul General in Rio de Janeiro. Other recent positions include Director of the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) Office for the Western Hemisphere, Director of INL Office in Bogota, Colombia, and Senior Civilian Representative in Southeastern Afghanistan.
A career Senior Foreign Service Officer, Mr. Story has also served in Sao Paulo as the Deputy Principal Officer and Political-Economic Chief; Brasilia as the Regional Environmental Affairs Director for South America; Washington D.C. in the Office of Marine Conservation in the OES Bureau; Maputo Mozambique as Economic-Political officer; Guadalajara, Mexico as a Consular Officer; and at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations as the Ambassador’s staff assistant. He is the recipient of numerous State Department and interagency awards including the Superior and Meritorious Honor Awards, the Department of the Army Superior Civilian Service Award, and the Warren Christopher Award for Outstanding Achievement in Global Affairs.
Mr. Story grew up in the small town of Moncks Corner, South Carolina and graduated with a B.A./B.Sc. in interdisciplinary studies from South Carolina College at the University of South Carolina. He also received a M.Sc. in Foreign Service from Georgetown University. He speaks Portuguese and Spanish. He is married to Susan West Story, and they have one son, James McKelvey “Mac” Story.
Ronald Grigor Suny
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.
He is the author of The Making of the Georgian Nation (Indiana University Press, 1988, 1994); The Soviet Experiment: Russia, the USSR, and the Successor States (Oxford University Press, 1998, 2011)” A History of the Armenian Genocide (Princeton University Press, 2015) and several other works. He is also the editor of Transcaucasia, Nationalism and Social Change: Essays in the History of Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia (Michigan Slavic Publications, 1983; University of Michigan Press, 1996) A Question of Genocide: Armenians and Turks at the End of the Ottoman Empire (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011). He is currently working on a co-authored history of Russia entitled Russia’s Empires; a two-volume biography of Stalin; and a series of historiographical essays on Soviet history.
Professor Suny has served as chairman of the Society for Armenian Studies, and on the editorial boards of Slavic Review, International Labor and Working-Class History, International Journal of Middle East Studies, The Armenian Review, Journal of the Society for Armenian Studies, Armenian Forum, and Ab Imperio. He was elected President of the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies for the year 2006. He has appeared numerous times on the McNeil-Lehrer News Hour, CBS Evening News, CNN, Voice of America, and National Public Radio, and has written for the New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Nation, New Left Review, Dissent, and other newspapers and journals.
He has twice been a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford (2001-2002, 2005-2006) and has received both the National Endowment for the Humanities Grant and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship. In 2005 the Middle East Studies Association awarded Professor Suny and his co-organizer, Professor Fatma Muge Goçek of the University of Michigan, its academic freedom prize for their work in bringing Armenian and Turkish scholars together to further study of the Armenian Genocide. In 2013 Professor Suny was awarded the ASEEES 2013 Distinguished Contributions to Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies Award and in 2014 the Berlin Prize, Anna-Marie Kellen Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin.
Professor Suny’s intellectual interests have centered on the non-Russian nationalities of the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union, particularly those of the South Caucasus (Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia). The “national question” was an area of study that was woefully neglected for many decades until peoples of the periphery mobilized themselves in the Gorbachev years. His aim has been to consider the history of imperial Russia and the USSR without leaving out the non-Russian half of the population, to see how multi-nationality, processes of imperialism and nation-making shaped the state and society of that vast country. This in turn has led to work on the nature of empires and nations, studies in the historiography and methodology of studying social and cultural history, and a commitment to bridging the often-unbridgeable gap between the traditional concerns of historians and the methods and models of other social scientists.
Ron Suny was married to pianist Armena Marderosian (1949-2012), had a son Grikor Martiros Suni (1978-1980), and has two daughters, Dr. Sevan Siranoush Suni and Anoush Tamar Suni.
Ann Sussman, RA, an architect, author and researcher is passionate about understanding how buildings influence people emotionally. Her book, Cognitive Architecture, Designing for How We respond to the Built Environment (2015), co-authored with Justin B. Hollander, won the 2016 Place Research Award from the Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA). A frequent speaker, she has given more than 80 lectures at regional conferences, colleges and universities, including keynoting architecture events in Houston, Cincinnati and Nashville in 2017, and presenting at Greenbuild/Berlin in 2018 and Greenbuild/Amsterdam in 2019
The 3rd son of Howard A. Tibbs and Betty (Clark) Tibbs was born in Ohio and is one of four sons to his parents. Philip’s elementary and High school education was from the Newark, Ohio school system. A graduate of Vincennes, University and The Ohio State University, B.Sc., with graduate studies at the University of Michigan, in the School of Public Health- SPH. He has a wide range of interests in history, science, politics, the environment and the workings of human mind/physiology and what the future will bring for the world we live in. Mr. Tibbs is active in political, civil and human rights organizations and has helped within those groups to affect positive change. He is an officer and manages the operations of an information technology firm TIS, Inc. based in the USA with offices in other locations. His firm has formed associations with Fortune 100& 500 firms. He is a lecturer on the topic of his father Howard Arthur Tibbs and mother Betty (Clark) Tibbs and their time during era of the 1940’s and World war two and the experiences that both of them have left as a legacy. The lecture touches on complex issues revolving around social, political, ethnicity, musical styles (in particular his father's tenor saxophone prowess) of that era, human interactions, the US Military and legal rulings that have shaped the nation into the form it is today.
John Tressler received his BS in Physics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and PhD in Optical Physics from the University of Arizona with a focus on computer image processing. He worked for Hughes, Harris, Kodak and Honeywell as a Senior Research Scientist before forming his own company to design and install Smart Home Automation systems.
Robin is an independent documentary filmmaker and an avid walker. In 2018, she crossed Northern Spain on foot along the Camino de Santiago where she experienced the ways that walking helps us to slow down, pay attention, and connect with community. Home in Colorado, she is a Walking Movement Leader with Walk2Connect. She is also a visual storyteller creating documentary films. Her newest release is Sweet Home Monteverde, the story of Alabama Quakers who, in 1950, left Alabama in search of a life of pacifism. They found it in a remote cloud forest in Costa Rica, a country that had just abolished its army.
Brian Turnbull, PhD is a Visiting Instructor of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences at the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee in comparative politics and American government. His research agenda focuses on the use of gender quotas to improve representational equality in the global South. His current book manuscript, “Women Who Only Serve Chai: Gender Reservations and Autonomy in India”, is based on qualitative interviews with city councilors in Jaipur, India and explores the challenges to building representation through gender quotas for women within a patriarchal society. He received his PhD in political science from the University of Kansas. Prior, he received his MA in security studies from Georgetown University.
Rob van der Meer
Brigadier General (ret.) Rob van der Meer is a public health physician who served in the Netherlands Army for 38 years in various operational and staff positions. Among others he served as Company Commander of a Field Hospital, Medical Plans Officer at Army Corps HQ, Staff Officer for the Army Surgeon General and Commander Joint Health Forces. He was deployed to Afghanistan as Commander Netherlands Forces Afghanistan. He served from 2009 – 2012 as Chairman COMEDS (Committee of Chiefs of Medical Services in NATO), NATO’s most senior medical advisor. His final position was Surgeon General of The Netherlands Armed Forces.
General van der Meer is a graduate of the Free University Amsterdam and received his public health training in Utrecht.
He is the recipient of the medal of honour of the NATO International Reserve Medical Officers Association and has been knighted to Knight in the Order of Orange-Nassau. He has a fellowship of the New Westminster College, Vancouver B.C.
Since his retirement from the Army (2013) he founded Meer Health and did some consultancy. Among others he works for Motek Medical, concerning Computer Assisted Rehabilitation Environment (CAREN) and chairs the yearly DiMiMed Conference in Düsseldorf, Germany. Since 2015 he works as Physician Secretary to the Royal Medical Association in Utrecht. General van der Meer is a volunteer in the Dutch Red Cross and Board Member of the Regional Council The Hague of the Dutch Red Cross.
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.
Throughout his career, Walker has been accompanied in all posts by his wife Gabriela Rodrigo Walker, a geologist and climate change specialist, and by their two children, Neal Scott and Fay Carolyn.
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).
Linda Weil-Curiel has since 1992 has been involved in campaigning for the greater representation of women from all countries within the Olympic sporting movement.
Linda M. Whiteford holds a Doctorate degree in Anthropology as well as a Masters degree in Public Health, and another Masters degree in Anthropology. She is an Emerita Professor and a Founding Co-Director of the World Health Organization Collaborating Center for Non-Communicable Disease at USF, and is also co- creator of the Social Marketing for Social Change Certification Program. Dr. Whiteford has consulted for WHO, PAHO, USAID, the World Bank, and the Canadian Agency for International Development, among other international development agencies. She has received National Science Foundation (NSF) research awards, School for Advanced Research Seminar Awards, The Sol Tax Award for Distinguished Service to Anthropology, and selected as Scholar of the Year by various universities. Dr. Whiteford’s research and consulting has occurred in Cuba, Bolivia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Argentina, Ghana, Cameroon, and Malaysia, as well as in other countries. Previously she was Vice Provost for Program Development and Review, Associate Vice President for Global Strategies and International Affairs, and Associate Vice President for Strategic Initiatives at the University of South Florida, and is a highly sought-after speaker, the author of numerous articles, and eight books. Currently she is actively engaged in the University College London project, RReal, applying qualitative methods to global health care, and with the Global Rapid Response Team working with highly infective diseases.
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.
Throughout his legal career, he has practiced international private law, including business and property law, litigation, estates and successions, immigration law and numerous assignments as an international law expert in courts in Florida, France and New York. Mr. Willig was Chair of the International Law Section of the Florida Bar, and remains a member of the Section.
He was among the first to qualify to be a Civil-Law Notary after passage of the Florida legislation creating this new type of notary, different from a Notary Public and more similar to those notaries practicing in “civil-law” jurisdictions such as France, most of continental Europe, and several countries in South and Central America. He is a director of the National Association of Civil Law Notaries (NACLN), and the “informal” ambassador for NACLN to the International Union of Notaries.
David Willig has always maintained a strong interest in languages, both personally and professionally. At the National Institute of Oriental Languages and Civilizations in France, he audited advanced courses in Japanese, while matriculated in first-year courses in Korean and Indonesian, at the same time completing two “brevets” in legal translation from the Institute of Comparative Law of the University of Paris II for English and Spanish. He is fluent, even at a professional level, in a number of languages, and has studied many more.
Since his retirement from the federal government in December 2016, Dr. Yamashita has been serving as an Executive Mentor and Coach for the U.S Agency for International Development (USAID). In this capacity he has travelled to various USAID Missions in Latin America, providing support to senior managers and the staff on matters ranging from leadership skills, strategic direction, and engagement with other U.S. government agencies, such as the State Department. During his over 25 year career, Yamashita served as a USAID Foreign Service Officer, attaining the rank of Career Minister, the highest rank in the Senior Foreign Service at USAID. Immediately prior to his retirement, Yamashita served as a White House Senior Executive Service Appointee as the Associate Director for Global Operations at Peace Corps. In this role, Yamashita was responsible for all operational aspects of Peace Corps programs and offices in over 60 countries supporting over 7,000 volunteers. Prior to this appointment, Yamashita was the U.S. State Department Coordinator for Economic Assistance, Rule of Law and Law Enforcement at Embassy/Kabul. In this Ambassador-rank position, Yamashita directed policy and operational coordination across 13 US Departments, Agencies, and Offices operating in Afghanistan on matters related to economic and development assistance, law enforcement, and rule of law. He was the principal point of contact for NATO and US military assistance in Afghanistan. Yamashita is one of the few three-time Mission Directors at USAID, having served in Kosovo, Colombia, and Afghanistan. In Afghanistan, he was the first Mission Director to serve two consecutive years after USAID re-started its operations in 2002. In this role he oversaw the surge in development personnel from 250 to 500 and an annual program budget of over $2.0 billion. He was instrumental in starting the first ever Women’s Empowerment program in Afghanistan and the largest of its kind in USAID worldwide. In Colombia Yamashita was instrumental in starting the first-ever dedicated program for Afro-Colombians and Indigenous Colombians. In South Africa as Director of the Health Office, Yamashita and his team started the USAID’s first HIV/AIDS program for the country. This program and the Regional Corridors program that Yamashita directed were key inputs into the design and creation of the PEPFAR program. Yamashita brings over 35 years of development experience in policy and field operations across all major regions of the world. In addition to his leadership in policy and program matters, he has been instrumental in inspiring and empowering staff by serving as mentor and coach. He has been recognized for his service and accomplishments, including a Presidential Rank Meritorious Award in 2008.
Gregor Zore grew up in Ljubljana, Slovenia (then Yugoslavia) and was trained in economics at the University of Ljubljana. In 1976 he became a diplomat of former Yugoslavia and after 1991 of his native Slovenia, ending his diplomatic career in 2001 as Slovenia's ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva. Until retirement in 2012 he directed projects in South East Europe for the Geneva Center for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF). With his wife Edith Hunt he lives in Bonita Springs, Fl. and also spends time in New York and Ljubljana.