Save the Dates — February 18-21, 2020
Annual Conference - February 18-21, 2020
Join us for the eighth annual St. Petersburg Conference on World Affairs. The 3-1/2 Day will begin with the keynote address at the Palladium Theater, followed by three full days of panel discussions covering critical international issues at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg. Speakers and panelists include distinguished diplomats, military, media, and academic experts. Check back regularly as we add details about the 2020 St. Petersburg Conference.
Free Mini Conference - November 6, 2019
This year we added a mini-conference to give a taste of what to expect. It took place at Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital Research and Education Building. This free event offered two panel discussions on Artificial Intelligence anchored by featured speaker Dr. Nicolas Sabouret, noted academician and scholar at Université Paris-Saclay in France.
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.
Stephan SchindlerProfessor of German Studies

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

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.

Alison BarlowExecutive Director of the St. Petersburg Innovation District

Alison Barlow is the Executive Director of the St. Petersburg Innovation District. Her role is to harness expertise in health science, marine science, education, and art to form unique collaborations. These multi-sector, cross discipline collaborations strive to identify innovative solutions that will grow the economic and social vibrancy of St. Petersburg and address key global issues.

Ken YamashitaExecutive Mentor and Coach for the U.S Agency for International Development

Since his retirement from the federal government in December 2016, Dr. Yamashita has been serving as an Executive Mentor and Coach for the U.S Agency for International Development (USAID). In this capacity he has travelled to various USAID Missions in Latin America, providing support to senior managers and the staff on matters ranging from leadership skills, strategic direction, and engagement with other U.S. government agencies, such as the State Department. During his over 25 year career, Yamashita served as a USAID Foreign Service Officer, attaining the rank of Career Minister, the highest rank in the Senior Foreign Service at USAID. Immediately prior to his retirement, Yamashita served as a White House Senior Executive Service Appointee as the Associate Director for Global Operations at Peace Corps. In this role, Yamashita was responsible for all operational aspects of Peace Corps programs and offices in over 60 countries supporting over 7,000 volunteers. Prior to this appointment, Yamashita was the U.S. State Department Coordinator for Economic Assistance, Rule of Law and Law Enforcement at Embassy/Kabul. In this Ambassador-rank position, Yamashita directed policy and operational coordination across 13 US Departments, Agencies, and Offices operating in Afghanistan on matters related to economic and development assistance, law enforcement, and rule of law. He was the principal point of contact for NATO and US military assistance in Afghanistan. Yamashita is one of the few three-time Mission Directors at USAID, having served in Kosovo, Colombia, and Afghanistan. In Afghanistan, he was the first Mission Director to serve two consecutive years after USAID re-started its operations in 2002. In this role he oversaw the surge in development personnel from 250 to 500 and an annual program budget of over $2.0 billion. He was instrumental in starting the first ever Women’s Empowerment program in Afghanistan and the largest of its kind in USAID worldwide. In Colombia Yamashita was instrumental in starting the first-ever dedicated program for Afro-Colombians and Indigenous Colombians. In South Africa as Director of the Health Office, Yamashita and his team started the USAID’s first HIV/AIDS program for the country. This program and the Regional Corridors program that Yamashita directed were key inputs into the design and creation of the PEPFAR program. Yamashita brings over 35 years of development experience in policy and field operations across all major regions of the world. In addition to his leadership in policy and program matters, he has been instrumental in inspiring and empowering staff by serving as mentor and coach. He has been recognized for his service and accomplishments, including a Presidential Rank Meritorious Award in 2008.

Chip HendersonSenior Security Consultant

Chip is a Senior Security Consultant at Pondurance, LLC with over 10 years of experience conducting Digital Forensics/Incident Response investigations and Penetration Testing for a wide range of clientele. His focus is primarily centered on Threat Hunting and Response, Host Based Analysis, and Incident Handling. Chip is able to accomplish full Chain of Custody and Acquisition of digital evidence to deliver meaningful results and convey risk. A versatile skillset allows him to accurately respond to incidents ranging from insider threat to malware outbreaks. Additionally, Chip is able to assess a network in a proactive manner to identify vulnerabilities that may leave a company at risk to cyber attacks, and guide the client through remediation to improve the overall security posture of the organization.

John LambAmerican Jazz Bassist

John Lamb is an American jazz double bassist who was a member of the Duke Ellington Orchestra. Born in Vero Beach, Florida, he grew up as a child who loved playing music, specializing in the tuba. He left high school to join the United States Air Force as a musician in their military band and was stationed in Texas and Montana, where the long winters left him ample time to practice. When the band's usual string bass player was unavailable for a gig, the bandmaster asked Lamb if he could fill in, leading to his becoming the band's new string bassist. He credited his tuba experience with giving him the "feel" to pick up the string bass quickly, even without any prior experience.

Hosted in Beautiful
St. Petersburg, FL