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.
Robin TruesdaleIndependent Documentary Filmmaker

Robin is an independent documentary filmmaker and an avid walker. In 2018, she crossed Northern Spain on foot along the Camino de Santiago where she experienced the ways that walking helps us to slow down, pay attention, and connect with community. Home in Colorado, she is a Walking Movement Leader with Walk2Connect. She is also a visual storyteller creating documentary films. Her newest release is Sweet Home Monteverde, the story of Alabama Quakers who, in 1950, left Alabama in search of a life of pacifism. They found it in a remote cloud forest in Costa Rica, a country that had just abolished its army.

David WilligInternational Attorney

David S. Willig holds Bachelor of Arts degree French Language & Literature from the University of South Florida, and received his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Miami School of Law. As a law student, he clerked in a Japanese law firm, and after becoming a member of the Florida Bar, he took the bar exam in Lyon, France and became a member of the Bar of Paris, France.

Stephan SchindlerProfessor of German Studies

Dr. Stephan K. Schindler is Professor of German Studies at the University of South Florida,

Gregory HicksCommunications Director of Gemini Industries

An accomplished public speaker and published author, Greg is responsible for developing and implementing Gemini Industries’ strategic communications efforts. Prior to assuming his current position, Greg led the Gemini Industries Sovereign Challenge Program contract team to numerous accolades while assisting U.S. Special Operations Command to build stronger and more effective relationships with allies and partners. Before joining Gemini, Greg served for 25 years as a Foreign Service Officer. Greg’ overseas assignments included Libya, Afghanistan, Bahrain, Yemen, Syria, and The Gambia, and while in Washington, DC, he worked on a range of global, regional, and bilateral issues. In his final overseas assignment as Deputy Chief of Mission during the September 11, 2012 tragedy in Benghazi, Greg led the successful efforts to save the lives of over 30 Americans who were fending off multiple terrorist attacks while ensuring the safety of 250 American and Libyan employees in Tripoli. While with Gemini and during his diplomatic career, Greg received over 25 awards for exemplary service to his country and company.

Ray ArsenaultJohn Hope Franklin Professor of Southern History at the University of South Florida, St. Petersburg

Raymond Arsenault is the John Hope Franklin Professor of Southern History at the University of South Florida, St. Petersburg, where he has taught since 1980. A specialist in the political, social, environmental, and civil rights history of the American South, he has also taught at the University of Minnesota, Brandeis University, the University of Chicago, the Florida State University Study Abroad Center in London, and the Universite d'Angers, in France, where he was a Fulbright Lecturer in 1984-85. A native of Cape Cod, he was educated at Princeton University and Brandeis University, where he received his Ph.D. in 1981. He served as Associate Director of the Fulbright Commission Summer Institute in American Studies from 1980 to 1988, and he has lectured on American history and culture in a number of countries, including France, Great Britain, Belgium, Germany, Greece, Norway, Iceland, Turkey, Tunisia, and Jordan.

Jim BittermannSenior International Correspondent

Jim Bittermann is CNN's Senior International Correspondent based in Paris. Since joining CNN in 1996, he has covered the death of Princess Diana in 1997, NATO air strikes on Kosovo in 1998, the earthquake in Turkey in 1999 and the World Cup soccer championships, among other stories.