The 2019 St. Petersburg Conference on World Affairs was a huge success. The 3-1/2 Day event at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg drew hundreds of people to over 30 Panel Discussions. Speakers and panelists included distinguished diplomats, military, media, and academic experts discussing critical international issues of the day. Stay tuned for details about the 2020 St. Petersburg Conference on World Affairs scheduled for February 18 - 21, 2020.
Our Speakers
Each year the St. Petersburg Conference on World Affairs continues to improve the quantity and caliber of our high-profile panelists. 2019 was no exception. With over 30 Panel Discussions, the 2019 Conference featured speakers and panelists of intelligence officials, diplomats, media and academic experts for 3-1/2 days of discussions about critical international issues.
Ann MorrisonWriter, Editor

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.

Tom ShepardDirector

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

Marguerite MoritzProfessor Emerita

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.

Sarah HowardCurator of Public Art

Sarah Howard is the Curator of Public Art and Social Practice, and Research Associate at the Institute for Research in Art, administering the USF Public Art Program and contributing to program initiatives at both the USF Contemporary Art Museum and Graphicstudio. With two decades of experience as a researcher, artistic collaborator, project manager and cultural event producer in Tampa Bay, Howard works with national and local partners galleries, city agencies and civic organizations to organize and produce community-based projects and public art installations exploring the intersection of art, politics and social justice. Trained as an artist, Howard received a Bachelor of Fine Arts at Virginia Commonwealth University and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of South Florida. Howard has served on the Board of Directors for Tempus Projects since 2012, and local arts education organization Community Stepping Stones since 2017.

Michael BurchProfessor of Political Science

Michael Burch (Ph.D. in Political Science, University of Colorado at Boulder; M.A. in Security Policy, George Washington University) currently teaches at Eckerd College, emphasizing the role of rebel and criminal actors in shaping globalization with a focus on the Middle East and Africa. Recent publications examine how rebel groups fund conflict and how the international community decides to support rebel groups during civil war. He is currently researching the use of violence against journalists and also why certain communities engage in xenophobic violence in sub-Saharan Africa. Before working at Eckerd, he taught at Wabash College, worked in Washington, DC and completed fieldwork in Ghana, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Susan HarperConsul General of Canada in Miami

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.

Hosted in Beautiful
St. Petersburg, FL