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.
William FeliceProfessor of International Political Economy, Law, International Organization, and Human Rights.

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?.

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.

Janet KeelerInstructor in Journalism and Coordinator of the Graduate Food Writing and Photography Certificate Program

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.

Libby LiuCEO, Open Technology Fund

As Radio Free Asia’s former President, Libby Liu 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 oversaw 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 utilized 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.

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.

Alan DeLisleCity Development Administrator for the City of St. Petersburg

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.