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.
Neal WalkerDiplomat

Neal Walker worked on regional development in the Organization of American States for six years, and then worked 28 years for the United Nations. Hired in 1990 by the UN as a development specialist, his experience broadened in geographic, substantive and managerial terms. In the field, Walker led work in humanitarian response, in defense of human rights, in sustainable development, governance, elections and in the clean-up of toxic uranium waste. Walker was appointed by the United Nations Secretary-General as head of the United Nations Teams in Kyrgyzstan (2006), in Bangladesh (2011) and in war-torn Ukraine (2014 – 2018). Prior to that, he held senior field positions for the United Nations Development Program in Sudan, Equatorial Guinea, and Guatemala, as well as positions in UN Headquarters covering northeast Asia and Latin America. In 2018 Walker left the UN to become the Diplomat-in-Residence at Eckerd College. An alumnus of Eckerd, Walker now teaches courses on campus in the Sustainable Development Goals, disaster management, conflict prevention, human rights and on globalization. His teaching focuses on effective approaches to achieve human rights as well as peaceful, sustainable societies.

Ronelia BaileyUSFSP Honors Program and the KTCOB Women and Leadership Initiative (WALI) Mentorship Program

Ronelia Bailey was born in the Caribbean island of Trinidad and she also lived in the island of St. Vincent before moving to the United States. Ronelia is a member of the Kate Tiedemann College of Business (KTCOB) at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg (USFSP). She is also a member of the USFSP Honors Program and the KTCOB Women and Leadership Initiative (WALI) Mentorship Program. Ronelia received her Associates degree from St. Petersburg College before transferring to USFSP to major in Global Business. Ronelia’s passion for collaborating and connectedness showed through in the various leadership positions she held while at SPC, including President of the Honors Program Student Consortium and Executive Board member of the Student Government Association. Her determination, tenacity, and heart to serve her community were birthed from her long battle with lupus and kidney failure. These life challenges uncovered her innate strengths. Ronelia now considers herself a global change agent with the goal of encouraging, inspiring and empowering others to succeed.

Dorothy DavisPresident of Dorothy Davis, Inc. Project management and consulting company

Dorothy Davis is President of Dorothy M. Davis Consulting, an international consulting and project management company that streamlines complex issues into manageable and sustainable solutions. She was born in Liberia of pioneer U.S. Foreign Service parents of American, Caribbean and Native American lineage. She grew up in Tunisia, Nigeria, Switzerland, and the U.S.A. She has worked extensively across Europe, Africa, the Caribbean, China and Japan.

Kent BrownFormer Ambassador to the Republic of Georgia

Kent Brown was Ambassador to the Republic of Georgia from 19922-95. Before that, he served on the US Conventional Arms Negotiating team, and in addition served in Prague, Moscow, and at NATO in Brussels.

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.

Libby LiuCEO, Open Technology Fund

As Radio Free Asia’s former President, Libby Liu transformed the news organization to meet the needs of its audiences living in some of the world’s worst media environments in the 21st century. Serving in that role since 2005, Ms. Liu oversaw the expansion of RFA’s operations to increase its focus and coverage within its six target countries, including China, Vietnam, Burma, and North Korea, while ensuring that the company utilized every available platform to reach people living in closed countries under authoritarian rule. With federal funding granted through the U.S. Agency for Global Media, Ms. Liu created the Open Technology Fund in 2012, a global internet freedom technology program housed within RFA, which has had a long history of success combating and overcoming internet censorship since the advent of the Great Firewall of China. OTF goes beyond RFA’s remit by serving citizens anywhere in the world where governments denies access, censors content, interferes with or monitors online activity. OTF supports the development of tools to enable understanding, access, and security for journalists, activists, researchers, and ordinary citizens living in repressive places.