Save the Dates — February 18-21, 2020
Annual Conference - February 18-21, 2020
Join us for the eighth annual St. Petersburg Conference on World Affairs. The 3-1/2 Day will begin with the keynote address at the Palladium Theater, followed by three full days of panel discussions covering critical international issues at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg. Speakers and panelists include distinguished diplomats, military, media, and academic experts. Check back regularly as we add details about the 2020 St. Petersburg Conference.

Free Mini Conference - November 6, 2019
This year we added a mini-conference to give a taste of what to expect. It took place at Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital Research and Education Building. This free event offered two panel discussions on Artificial Intelligence anchored by featured speaker Dr. Nicolas Sabouret, noted academician and scholar at Université Paris-Saclay in France.
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.
Ken YamashitaExecutive Mentor and Coach for the U.S Agency for International Development

Since his retirement from the federal government in December 2016, Dr. Yamashita has been serving as an Executive Mentor and Coach for the U.S Agency for International Development (USAID). In this capacity he has travelled to various USAID Missions in Latin America, providing support to senior managers and the staff on matters ranging from leadership skills, strategic direction, and engagement with other U.S. government agencies, such as the State Department. During his over 25 year career, Yamashita served as a USAID Foreign Service Officer, attaining the rank of Career Minister, the highest rank in the Senior Foreign Service at USAID. Immediately prior to his retirement, Yamashita served as a White House Senior Executive Service Appointee as the Associate Director for Global Operations at Peace Corps. In this role, Yamashita was responsible for all operational aspects of Peace Corps programs and offices in over 60 countries supporting over 7,000 volunteers. Prior to this appointment, Yamashita was the U.S. State Department Coordinator for Economic Assistance, Rule of Law and Law Enforcement at Embassy/Kabul. In this Ambassador-rank position, Yamashita directed policy and operational coordination across 13 US Departments, Agencies, and Offices operating in Afghanistan on matters related to economic and development assistance, law enforcement, and rule of law. He was the principal point of contact for NATO and US military assistance in Afghanistan. Yamashita is one of the few three-time Mission Directors at USAID, having served in Kosovo, Colombia, and Afghanistan. In Afghanistan, he was the first Mission Director to serve two consecutive years after USAID re-started its operations in 2002. In this role he oversaw the surge in development personnel from 250 to 500 and an annual program budget of over $2.0 billion. He was instrumental in starting the first ever Women’s Empowerment program in Afghanistan and the largest of its kind in USAID worldwide. In Colombia Yamashita was instrumental in starting the first-ever dedicated program for Afro-Colombians and Indigenous Colombians. In South Africa as Director of the Health Office, Yamashita and his team started the USAID’s first HIV/AIDS program for the country. This program and the Regional Corridors program that Yamashita directed were key inputs into the design and creation of the PEPFAR program. Yamashita brings over 35 years of development experience in policy and field operations across all major regions of the world. In addition to his leadership in policy and program matters, he has been instrumental in inspiring and empowering staff by serving as mentor and coach. He has been recognized for his service and accomplishments, including a Presidential Rank Meritorious Award in 2008.

Brahim KasDoctoral Researcher in Political Science

Brahim Kas is a doctoral researcher in political science at the University of Paris 8 Saint-Denis. His research focuses on Saudi Arabia and the new balances in the Middle East, exploring the internal and external challenges of the House of Al Saud, and the construction of its new bilateral relations, among others, with Moscow, Tel Aviv, Beijing where he conducted a field study in April 2016.

Linda WhitefordProfessor of Anthropology and Founding Co-Director of the World Health Organization Collaborating Center for Social Marketing

Linda M. Whiteford holds a PhD and MA in Anthropology, and a Master’s degree in Public Health. She is a Professor of Anthropology and Founding Co-Director of the World Health Organization Collaborating Center for Social Marketing for Social Justice at USF. She helped establish the dual degree program between the USF department of anthropology and the College of Public Health; and graduate certificates in ‘Health, Water, and Culture’ with USF anthropology and the Colleges of Engineering and Public Health; a graduate certificate in Medical Anthropology; helped establish the USF Centers for Community and Public Scholarship, Sustainability, and USF World. In addition, she has represented USF internationally in Ghana, Cambodia, Thailand, China, Exeter, Dubrovnik, and London.

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.

Norma HenningAttorney

A native of Germany, Norma Henning started her professional life in Public Affairs for the U.S. Army in Germany and came to the United States as an Army wife in 1986. She taught English and German in South Korea, had two children and then started her university studies in the United States, earning the Distinguished Journalism Graduate designation from the Hall School of Journalism at Troy State University in Alabama in 1993 and a Juris Doctor (Cum Laude) from the University of Florida College of Law in 1996, earning Book Awards in Constitutional Law and Trial Advocacy.

Ann MorrisonEditor

In the first 15 years of her career, Ann Morrison rose from fact-checker to executive editor of FORTUNE magazine, a Time Inc. magazine. In 1994, the company named her chief editorial executive of its Asiaweek magazine in Hong Kong, where she remained until 2000. That year Time Inc. transferred her to London, where she became co-editor (with her husband Donald Morrison) of the European edition of TIME. In 2008 and 2009, she was a lecturer in the Global Business Journalism Program at Tsinghua University in Beijing. In 2011 and 2012, she taught media management at Sciences-Po in Paris, in addition to freelancing for various publications. She now serves on the Advisory Committee of the American Library in Paris, and continues to freelance as a writer and an editor on subjects ranging from French beauty secrets to Chinese culture. A graduate of the College of New Rochelle, she holds graduate degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and the London School of Economics.

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