Keynote Address and Jazz Concert Feb. 12, 2019 at the Palladium Theater. Use Promo Code "World" to Save $10 off Concert Ticket! Order Tickets

February 12th–15th, 2019

The 2019 St. Petersburg Conference on World Affairs is a 3-1/2 Day event with over 30 Panel Discussions held at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg. Speakers and panelists include distinguished diplomats, military, media, and academic experts discussing critical international issues of the day at each annual conference.
Our Speakers
The 2019 St. Petersburg Conference on World Affairs will feature speakers and panelists of intelligence officials, diplomats, media and academic experts for 3-1/2 days of discussions about critical international issues.
Lariana ForsytheInterim CEO

Lariana Forsythe joined CASA as its Interim CEO on June 5, 2017. (Interim status is a temporary designation being used while Florida Administrative Rule requirements are completed.) She has more than 20 years of nonprofit experience with the Boys & Girls Clubs, National Multiple Sclerosis Society and Special Olympics. Ms. Forsythe has held a variety of roles within these organizations, most recently serving as the VP/CDO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Phoenix.

Robert WhiteheadFormer Ambassador

Ambassador Robert E. Whitehead retired in December, 2016 after a 33-year career in the United States Department of State. His final posting was U.S. Ambassador to the Togolese Republic. Prior to that he served as Chief of Mission/Charge d'affaires in Khartoum, Republic of Sudan from 2009-2012 and as the first U.S. Consul General in Juba, South Sudan in 2006. During his career. Whitehead served in an array of positions in mostly African countries, including the Democratic Republic of Congo (then called Zaire), Zambia and Zimbabwe. He undertook assignments of varying length in four other Central Africa countries, including a period as Charge in Kigali, Rwanda in 1994 after the civil war.

Judy  HeimannForeign Service Officer, Writer

Judith M. Heimann is a retired Senior Foreign Service Officer and a non-fiction writer. One of the first Foreign Service spouses to become a diplomat in her own right, Judy spent most of her adult life abroad chiefly in Western Europe but also in Southeast Asia (the location of most of her books) and Central Africa. She has had a long and varied career. Judy followed closely and reported on the development of the political aspects of the European Union, starting in the early 1980s until 2011, her last assignment to an EU presidency country. In the course of assignments to cover the internal politics in, respectively, Belgium, France and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, she helped promote efforts to eliminate the trafficking of conflict diamonds, helped find and document the reasons for the rapid growth of the Airbus Industry and kept Washington informed of the (failed) efforts of the Mobutu regime's peaceful dissidents to obtain the democratic structures they sought. Her 2016 book, Paying Calls in Shangri-La: Scenes from A Woman's Life in American Diplomacy (Ohio University Press), was nominated for the Academy of Diplomacy's Douglas Dillon award for the best book of 2016-2017 on the art of diplomacy. She is currently working on a book of her personal memories of working-level American diplomacy abroad, primarily in the pre-internet era. She speaks French, Dutch and Indonesian/Malay.

Manu SamnotraAssistant Professor of Political Science

Manu Samnotra is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of South Florida. He received his B.A. in Economics and Politics from Ithaca College, in Ithaca, NY, an M.A. in Politics from the New School for Social Research in New York, NY, and his Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Florida, in Gainesville, FL. He has been living in the Tampa Bay area since 2015.

Don ChambersProfessor of Physical Oceanography

Dr. Don P. Chambers is a Professor of Physical Oceanography at the University of South Florida College of Marine Science, and is an internationally recognized expert in the field of sea level science. He specializes in using satellite observations to understand the mechanisms driving sea level change, both globally and regionally. He served as a Lead Author on the 5th Climate Assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), published in September 2013 and is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union.

Emmanuel RouxRestaurateur

Emmanuel Roux was born in Tunisia where his parents had a farm. He grew up between Tunisia, France and the UK. Roux studied hotel management in Switzerland before serving the French Navy and traveling the world.

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St. Petersburg, FL