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.
Virginie ButinCo-founder and Curriculum Director of the De la Fontaine Trilingual Montessori School

Virginie Butin, co-founder and curriculum director of the De la Fontaine Trilingual Montessori School in Tampa, Florida, has focused the better part of her career on childhood education. Holding a French degree in business and management, Ms. Butin spent 15 years prior to her work in early childhood education, working for the French Customs and Excise service.

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 HunterDiplomat and Foreign Service Officer

David W. Hunter is a retired U.S. Diplomat, who served in South Korea (1992-96), India (1996-99), Ukraine (1999-2000), Pakistan (2001-02) and Spain (2003-04). Prior to joining the U.S. Foreign Service as a career Foreign Service Officer, Hunter worked in the Office of International Operations, at the U.S. Department of Commerce. In 1983 he was a Visiting Fellow at the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Johns Hopkins University. He published a book in 1991 "Western Trade Pressure on the Soviet Union" (MacMillan Academic Press: London, England). Hunter holds an M.Phil degree in International Relations from the London School of Economics (LSE), and speaks Russian, Spanish and some Korean.

John TresslerPhD in Optical Physics

John Tressler received his BS in Physics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and PhD in Optical Physics from the University of Arizona with a focus on computer image processing. He worked for Hughes, Harris, Kodak and Honeywell as a Senior Research Scientist before forming his own company to design and install Smart Home Automation systems.

Carole Anne SeidelmanInternational Tour Operator

Carole Anne Seidelman grew up outside of New York City, where she now is based. With a degree from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in linguistics, having done graduate work there as well in Romance linguistics, she has lived and worked in four countries, in international tourism and education. She speaks five languages, studies others regularly, has her own multi-lingual tour company, and compares languages to windows: if you only speak one language, then you are in a room with just one window.

William JordanU.S. Foreign Service Political Officer

William Jordan served for 30 years (1981-2011) as a political officer in the U.S. Foreign Service specializing in the Arab world and France. His overseas assignments included Dhahran, Saudi Arabia; Tunis, Tunisia; Damascus, Syria; Amman, Jordan; Paris, France; and Algiers, Algeria, where he served in his final posting was as Deputy Chief of Mission. His responsibilities in the Arab world included reporting and analyzing foreign policy trends, especially as they related to the United States, as well as internal politics, human rights conditions, and the rise of radical Islamist forces. From 1997-2001, Mr. Jordan was the reporting officer in Paris for labor issues and internal politics. He returned to Paris in 2007-2009 to work on the Near East and North Africa as well as Russia (including during and after the 2008 Georgia crisis).