Save the Dates — February 18-21, 2020
8th Annual Conference February 18 – 21, 2020
Join us for the St. Petersburg Conference on World Affairs! This year’s 3-1/2 day event begins with a Keynote Address at the Palladium, 5:00 pm Feb. 18, and ends with a Closing Address at Fox Hall - Eckerd College, 7:00 pm Feb. 21. Panel Discussions are daily 8:00 am – 5:00 pm, Feb. 19 – 21 at University of South Florida St. Petersburg (USFSP) Student Center and Kate Tiedemann College of Business. Admission is free and open to the public.
Expand Your World View………. Further!
The success of the Saint Petersburg Conference on World Affairs inspired Mayor Rick Kriseman last year to proclaim the creation of St Petersburg International Week to run concurrently with the conference. During the week of Feb 17 – 21 we will be offering additional activities in support of our program, including various international culinary and artistic events.
Speakers for 2020 Conference
Each year the St. Petersburg Conference on World Affairs continues to improve the quantity and caliber of our high-profile panelists. Here is a peek at some of them.
John LambAmerican Jazz Bassist

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.

Russell NeumanProfessor of Media Technology

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.

Aaron  SharockmanExecutive Director of PolitiFact

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.

Kent BrownFormer Ambassador to the Republic of Georgia

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.

Laura KleinJazz pianist and composer

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.

François SavatierScience Journalist

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.