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.
Janel BrownDirector of Special Operations

Janel Brown is the Director of Special Operations and International Solutions for Radiant Solutions, a geospatial intelligence company specializing in providing predictive analytics, data enrichment, and geospatial big data powered by the highest resolution commercial imagery satellites available in the world. Janel leads Radiant Solutions' special operations and international business practice for all international, combatant command, and special operations customers.

Bruce MableyCanadian Diplomat and Professor

Bruce Mabley is a retired Canadian diplomat having served abroad in Paris, Islamabad, Cairo, Amman and Ankara. Dr. Mabley has also taught Philosophy and Political Science at Laval, McGill, Carleton and Concordia universities. He holds a Doctorat in Philosophy (thesis: La pensée politique d'Albert Camus) from Université Laval in Québec City. In 2003, he was accepted in the Faculty of Law to perform post-doctoral work in Islamic Law and Politics until 2006.

Margaret MillerProfessor of Art and Art History

Margaret Miller is a Professor in the School of Art and Art History and Director of the Institute for Research in Art at the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida. The Institute for Research in Art is dedicated to organizing and presenting exhibitions and commissioning works by internationally significant emerging and acclaimed artists. Miller holds an MA degree from the University of Hawaii in Asian Art History. Since 1978 she has served as Director of the USF Contemporary Art Museum, and in 2001 was appointed to also serve as Director of Graphicstudio, USF's renowned art production atelier. The Contemporary Art Museum, Graphicstudio and USF's Public Art Program form the Institute for Research in Art in the College of The Arts. During her tenure at USF she has taught at both the undergraduate and graduate levels and curated numerous exhibitions with accompanying catalogues.

Laura ReileyRestaurant Critic, Author, Multiple Award Nominee and Paul Hansell Award Winner

Laura Reiley is the Tampa Bay Times' restaurant critic and a former critic for the San Francisco Chronicle and the Baltimore Sun. She is the author of four books in the Moon Handbook series: Florida Gulf Coast; Walt Disney World and Orlando; Tampa and St. Petersburg; and the Paradise Coast. She has cooked professionally and is a graduate of the California Culinary Academy. In 2017 she was a Pulitzer and James Beard finalist and won the Paul Hansell Award for Distinguished Achievement in Florida Journalism.

J.Michael FrancisProfessor, Author, Editor

Dr. J. Michael Francis received his PhD in History in 1998 from the University of Cambridge. Between 1997 and 2012, he taught at the University of North Florida. In 2012, Dr. Francis was named the Hough Family Chair of Florida Studies at the University of South Florida, St. Petersburg, and in 2016 he was appointed Chair of the Department of History and Politics at USFSP.

Ellen PragerMarine Scientist and Author

Dr. Prager is a marine scientist and author, widely recognized for her expertise and ability to make science entertaining and understandable for people of all ages. She currently works as a freelance writer, consultant, and science advisor to Celebrity Cruises in the Galapagos Islands. She was previously the Chief Scientist for the Aquarius Reef Base program in Key Largo, FL, which includes the world's only undersea research station, and at one time the Assistant Dean at the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. Dr. Prager has built a national reputation as a scientist and spokesperson on earth and ocean science issues and is a sought after speaker for public-oriented events. She has appeared on several shows such as: The Today Show and NBC News, Fox News, CNN, the Discovery Channel and was a consultant for the Disney movie, Moana.

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