Save the date! Next Conference February 23 – 26, 2021
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.
Allison QuatriniAssistant Professor of Political Science and International Relations and Global Affairs

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.

Neal WalkerDiplomat

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.

Liz ShephardCEO of LifeCity

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.

Gregor ZoreDiplomat

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.

Emmanuel CerfVice President of Sales and Marketing for Polypack, Inc.

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.

Adam AlbionDirector of South East Asia Leadership Academy

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.