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.
5:00 PM, February 18, 2020
The Palladium Theater at St. Petersburg College
253 5th Ave N.St. Petersburg FL 33701
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.
7:00 PM, February 21, 2020
4200 54th Avenue, SouthSt. Petersburg FL 33711
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
Dorothy Davis is President of Dorothy Davis Inc., an international project management and consulting company with expertise in design, management and implementation of strategic international, domestic and municipal cross-sector programs and special projects. The company interweaves public affairs, image building, marketing and communications to raise funds, influence policy, create effective coalitions that link global to local communities and increase visibility. Its slogan is "Building Bridges between People, Cultures and Business."
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.
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.
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?.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
Aida A. Hozic is an Associate Professor of International Relations at the University of Florida. Originally from Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, she received her M.A. in International Affairs from The Johns Hopkins-SAIS in 1989 and her PhD from the University of Virginia in 1998. Her research is situated at the intersection of political economy, cultural studies, and international security. She is the author of Hollyworld: Space, Power and Fantasy in the American Economy (Cornell University Press, 2002) and a number of articles in journals and edited volumes. Her work has been supported by the John D. and Katherine T. MacArthur Foundation, IREX, Institute for Turkish Studies, Open Society Institute, University of Florida Humanities Fund and many other fellowships. For three years (2008-2010), she co-directed a State Department program on U.S. foreign policy for foreign scholars at the University of Florida.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
As Radio Free Asia’s President, Libby Liu has 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 has overseen 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 utilizes 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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 M. Whiteford holds a PhD and MA in Anthropology, and a Master’s degree in Public Health. She is a Professor of Anthropology and Founding Co-Director of the World Health Organization Collaborating Center for Social Marketing for Social Justice at USF. She helped establish the dual degree program between the USF department of anthropology and the College of Public Health; and graduate certificates in ‘Health, Water, and Culture’ with USF anthropology and the Colleges of Engineering and Public Health; a graduate certificate in Medical Anthropology; helped establish the USF Centers for Community and Public Scholarship, Sustainability, and USF World. In addition, she has represented USF internationally in Ghana, Cambodia, Thailand, China, Exeter, Dubrovnik, and London.
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.
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.
Alison Barlow is the Executive Director of the St. Petersburg Innovation District. Her role is to harness expertise in health science, marine science, education, and art to form unique collaborations. These multi-sector, cross discipline collaborations strive to identify innovative solutions that will grow the economic and social vibrancy of St. Petersburg and address key global issues.
Rear Admiral (lh) (ret.) Adriaan Hopperus Buma is a public health physician who served in the Netherlands Navy for 38 years in various Fleet, Marine Corps and Joint Command and Staff functions. Among others he served as Medical Plans Officer at NATO HQ in Northwood (UK), Dep. AFOR Medical Advisor (Albania) and Senior Medical Officer on St. Martin after Hurricane Luis. As Senior Fleet Surgeon he was in charge of the national medical planning for UN missions to Eritrea (UNMEE) and Liberia (UNMIL). He was Commanding Officer of the joint deployable surgical teams which brought him to Iraq and Afghanistan. His final position was Inspector-General Military Health Care.
Bob Devin Jones, a native of Los Angeles, has been a theatre worker for over forty years. He began as an actor performing in Shakespeare Festivals, including Oregon, Berkeley, Illinois, Idaho, and in St. Petersburg - American Stage’s Shakespeare in the Park. He is co-founder and Artistic Director of The Studio@620, currently in its 15th year.
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).
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.
Marguerite Moritz is Professor Emerita and UNESCO Chair in International Journalism Education at the University of Colorado, Boulder. She made her first trip to China in 1981as a Gannet Fellow in Asian Studies and over the span of her career has been a visiting scholar at major universities in Shanghai, Xian and Beijing. Her workshops and seminars on China Through TIME examine the magazine’s impact on perceptions of China during the reign of founder Henry Luce and are underwritten by CU’s Center for Asian Studies.
After over 33 years in the private practice of law in Hartford, CT, Bob came to St. Petersburg where he spent 8 years as the president of The Appleton Group, which developed and ran a network of over 270 law and accounting firms located in 100 countries. In that position, Bob not only interacted with member firms around the world, but also led semi-annual conferences in Europe, N. America, S. America and Asia