February 20-23, 2018
University of South Florida St. Petersburg University Student Center

The conference will begin with the Keynote Address on February 20th at 6:30 PM.

Panels will be February 21-23, 2018 from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM.

All panels will be held in the USFSP University Student Center unless stated otherwise.

If you are planning on attending, please take a moment to let us know by using our sign up form on our website. Complimentary parking available in the USFSP parking garage.

We look forward to seeing you!

If you have a topic that you would like to submit for consideration, please click here.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

6:30 PM / Keynote Address: American Foreign Policy: Challenges and Opportunities

(Speaker: U.S. Ambassador Thomas R. Pickering; Introduced by Douglas L. McElhaney, U.S. Ambassador (ret.))

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

8:30 AM / Welcoming Remarks

(Speakers: Martin Tadlock, Regional Chancellor of USF St. Petersburg; Rick Kriseman, Mayor of St. Petersburg; Diane Seligsohn, President of St. Petersburg Conference on World Affairs)

9:00 AM / Is the Iran nuclear treaty a model for dealing with North Korea?

(Speakers: Pickering, Enos, Due; Moderator: Maguire)

9:00 AM / Why pollsters fail to predict election outcomes.

(Speakers: Zogby, R. Neuman, Rakar, Heckman; Moderator: T.Edmonds)

10:20 AM / What on earth are U.S. troops doing in Africa?

(Speakers: H. Cohen, Huddleston, Canavan, Jordan; Moderator: Anthony)

10:20 AM / Should we foist our concepts of human rights on others?

(Speakers: Dowell, Kramer, Van Pelt, Ely-Raphel; Moderator: Roelofs)

10:25 AM / Update from Moscow: News and Analysis with Ilgiz Yanbukhtin.


11:30 AM / Engaged citizens! Protect your democracy!

(Speakers: Kramer, LaSister, Bouketo, Ely-Raphel; Moderator: Wallace)

11:30 AM / Is health care a right or a commodity?

(Speakers: Raguin, Roelofs, Ghimire-Aryal, Buma, Bewa; Moderator: Raguin)

11:35 AM / Film: “The Reagan Legacy,” Screening and commentary with producer Tom Edmonds.


2:00 PM / Jerusalem as Israel’s capital: Upsetting the apple cart?

(Speakers: Pickering, Jordan, Smith; Moderator: Mortimer)

2:00 PM / After Mugabe, Maduro, and the Castros: What comes next?

(Speakers: Huddleston, Mantilla, Canavan, H.Cohen; Moderator: Sattin)

2:05 PM / Student Career Forum: “So you want to work overseas? How to launch an international career.” (Diane Seligsohn, Trudy Bower, Marcia Cohen, Ray Gallon, and William Dowell)


3:10 PM / Is this a watershed moment for relations between the sexes?

(Speakers: Van Pelt, Elmaleh, Shore, Maguire, Bouketo; Moderator: Shore)

3:10 PM / Can intelligence agencies protect us from terrorists?

(Speakers: Anthony, Pierce, Hoskinson, J.Edmonds; Moderator: Benyon)

3:15 PM / Book Talk: Ambassador Vickie Huddleston: Our Woman in Havana: A Diplomat’s Chronicle of America’s Long Struggle with Castro’s Cuba


Thursday, February 22, 2018

9:00 AM / Are China and Russia today’s expansionist powers?

(Speakers: Pickering, Enos, Alexopoulos, J.Edmonds; Moderator: Schaefer)

9:00 AM / Trade, aid, or investment? Growth in the developing world.

(Speakers: Jury, Benyon, Weiss; Moderator: Paroo )

9:05 AM / Multimedia Presentation: “Griff Davis: Pioneering African-American Foreign Service Officer and Photojournalist.” Daughter Dorothy Davis tells his story.


10:20 AM / Afghanistan and Iraq: Let’s declare victory and go home.

(Speakers: Berg, Fox, Marks, Due; Moderator: Buma)

10:20 AM / Arts Mecca: International cultural tourism in the Sunshine City.

(Speakers: Francis, Shepherd, Weymouth, Bridges; Moderator: Sussingham )

11:30 AM / Give Trump a grade on his foreign policy.

(Speakers: Guerlain, Hoskinson, H. Cohen, Jordan; Moderator: Ely-Raphel)

11:30 AM / How do we make our education systems more relevant?

(Speakers: Tadlock, R. Neuman, LaPolla, S. Neuman, Rowen; Moderator: Rowen)

2:00 PM / Syria, Assad, and the Russians: Should we make up?

(Speakers: Jordan, Maguire, J.Edmonds, Guerlain; Moderator: Jordan)

2:00 PM / How’d we get hooked? The opioid pandemic and what to do about it.

(Speakers: Raguin, Sheehan,Tuite,Petersen, Bewa; Moderator: Paroo)

2:05 PM / Book Talk: John Zogby, We are many, we are one: Neo-tribes and neo-analytics in twenty first century America.


3:10 PM / Crimes against humanity: Whatever happened to never again?

(Speakers: Szczepinska, Bouketo, Setkic, Mortimer; Moderator: Radetsky)

3:10 PM / Cyberspace: Is the next war already under way?

(Speakers: J.Edmonds, Hoskinson, Shemanski, Marks; Moderator: Maguire)

Friday, February 23, 2018

9:00 AM / War vs. diplomacy: Which one, when?

(Speakers: Canavan, H. Cohen, Berg, Skinner; Moderator: Guerlain)

9:00 AM / Breaking news: “We interrupt this conference to bring you the latest….”

(Speakers: Dowell, Maguire, Zogby, Lakshmanan, Dlouhy; Moderator: Lakshmanan)

10:20 AM /What motivates humanitarian intervention?

(Speakers: Raguin, Fox, Buma, Roelofs; Moderator: Dowell)

10:20 AM / Brain Gain: Peace, Prosperity, and Other Virtues of Global Education

(Speakers:Baker, R. Neuman, Benchekroun, Gallon; Moderator: Tadlock)

11:30 AM / Can Europe shore up its fragmenting democracies and its faltering union?

(Speakers: Mortimer, Benyon, Rakar, Gallon, Maguire; Moderator: Gallon)

11:30 AM / NATO: How firm is the U.S. commitment?

(Speakers: Geerdes, Skinner, Shemanski, Marks; Moderator: Skinner)

2:00 PM / Is America still the “shining city on a hill?” Moral Beacon and Immigrant Dream?

(Speakers: Guerlain, Shore, Syed, T.Edmonds; Moderator: Davis)

2:00 PM / Trade barriers are good for business.

(Speakers: Sondhi, Dowell, Benyon; Moderator: Amblard)

3:10 PM / Rethinking Puerto Rico in the wake of Maria.

(Speakers: Irrizary, LaSister, Sago, Calo; Moderator: Calo)

3:10 PM / Is secular democracy headed for history’s dustbin?

(Speakers: Mortimer, Enos, Syed, Jordan; Moderator: Syed)

International Careers Luncheons

College students who are interested in international careers are cordially invited to the International Careers Luncheons shown below:

  • Luncheon 1: Feb 21st, 12:30 PM / CIA

  • Luncheon 2: Feb 22nd, 12:30 PM / State Department

  • Luncheon 3: Feb 23rd, 12:30 PM / Peace Corps

  • College of Business Auditorium: Feb 21st, 2:05 PM / Student Career Forum: “So you want to work overseas? How to launch an international career.” (Speakers: Diane Seligsohn, Trudy Bower, Marcia Cohen, Ray Gallon, and William Dowell)

Luncheon and recruiting presentations will be held in the small ballroom on the second floor of the USFSP Student Center. Food and seating are limited, but we will accommodate as many students as possible.