Save the Dates — February 18-21, 2020
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.
Aaron  SharockmanExecutive Director of PolitiFact

Aaron Sharockman is the executive director of PolitiFact, the largest fact-checking organization in the United States. Aaron leads the growth and development of PolitiFact, manages its outreach and news partnerships, and oversees new initiatives and product development. Aaron has been with PolitiFact since 2010 and served most recently as the editor of PunditFact, a website dedicated to checking claims by pundits, columnists, bloggers and the hosts and guests of talk shows. Aaron was a 2016-17 Reynolds Fellow at the University of Missouri and taught a class on political fact-checking at the University of Missouri School of Journalism.

Nickolas BruetschHouse commander and team leader with ALTHEA

Mr. Bruetsch brings wide ranging experience working both with the European and Swiss military as well as the private sector. In his most recent role, he served as a House commander and team leader with ALTHEA, the European Union military peacekeeping mission in Bosnia & Herzegovina. While serving in Bosnia, Mr. Bruetsch was responsible for operational leadership and development of reports for his area.

Dan  Boylan National Security Reporter

Dan Boylan worked on his first political campaign at the age of 11. By 18, he'd witnessed the protests in Tiananmen Square. His interest in documenting the world led to a journalism career covering state legislatures in Massachusetts and North Carolina, national security in Washington, and great-power politics as a foreign correspondent in Asia. After a Fulbright Fellowship studying free press in Indonesia, Dan taught journalism in Shanghai and Azerbaijan. Following 9/11, he served as a communications advisor to the U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. State Department and multiple foreign governments. Postings included Afghanistan and Iraq, where he directed the Multi-National Forces Iraq Media Operations Center in Baghdad during the final days of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and the trial of Saddam Hussein. After the Arab Spring, Dan led efforts to support the Syrian opposition’s strategic communications fight against Bashar al-Assad and ISIS. Today, from his base on Capitol Hill, Dan lectures on investigative journalism, political polarization, global strategic communications, media history, and street art. Dan was recently recognized for his reporting on Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election with a Gerald R. Ford Journalism Prize for Distinguished Reporting on the Presidency, and a Society for Professional Journalists award. As a filmmaker, his work was shown at the Cannes Film Festival and he has also been on radio and TV stations including National Public Radio, the BBC and C-Span. He advises governments, militaries, NGOs, and corporations around the world

Linda Weil-CurielAttorney

Linda Weil-Curiel is a French attorney and human rights activist who campaigns against female genital mutilation (FGM) and plays a vital role in the prosecution of perpetrators throughout France. She has played a leading role in La Commission pour l'Abolition des Mutilations Sexuelles (CAMS).

Russell NeumanProfessor of Media Technology

W. Russell Neuman is a specialist in new media and digital education. He was the John Derby Evans Professor of Media Technology in Communication Studies and Research Professor at the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan and also taught at the University of Pennsylvania where he directed the Information and Society Program of the Annenberg Public Policy Center. He served as a Senior Policy Analyst in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy working in the areas of information technology, broadband policy and technologies for border security. His recent books include The Gordian Knot: Political Gridlock on the Information Highway (MIT Press, 1997), Media, Technology, and Society: Theories of Media Evolution (University of Michigan Press, 2010) and The Digital Difference: Technology and the Theory of Communication Effects (Harvard University Press, 2016). He was the Edward R. Murrow Professor of International Communication at the Fletcher School, Tufts University. He also taught at Harvard and Yale and was one of the founding faculty of the MIT Media Laboratory. His Ph.D. is from the University of California, Berkeley and his undergraduate degree is from Cornell University. Professor Neuman’s teaching and research focus on educational outcomes, online education, distance education and globalization.

Libby LiuPresident of Radio Free Asia

As Radio Free Asia’s President, Libby Liu has 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 has overseen 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 utilizes 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.