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.
Gregory HicksCommunications Director of Gemini Industries

An accomplished public speaker and published author, Greg is responsible for developing and implementing Gemini Industries’ strategic communications efforts. Prior to assuming his current position, Greg led the Gemini Industries Sovereign Challenge Program contract team to numerous accolades while assisting U.S. Special Operations Command to build stronger and more effective relationships with allies and partners. Before joining Gemini, Greg served for 25 years as a Foreign Service Officer. Greg’ overseas assignments included Libya, Afghanistan, Bahrain, Yemen, Syria, and The Gambia, and while in Washington, DC, he worked on a range of global, regional, and bilateral issues. In his final overseas assignment as Deputy Chief of Mission during the September 11, 2012 tragedy in Benghazi, Greg led the successful efforts to save the lives of over 30 Americans who were fending off multiple terrorist attacks while ensuring the safety of 250 American and Libyan employees in Tripoli. While with Gemini and during his diplomatic career, Greg received over 25 awards for exemplary service to his country and company.

Josh CohenStudent in Politics and International & Global Studies with a minor in Social Justice & Social Policy

Josh Cohen is a senior at Brandeis University majoring in Politics and International & Global Studies with a minor in Social Justice & Social Policy. During the past Spring semester, Josh studied in Geneva, Switzerland and interned with the Centre for Civil and Political Rights (CCPR-Centre). CCPR-Centre is an organization that works closely with the UN Human Rights Committee and NGO’s that wish to participate in a specific country’s review process when they send delegations to a session of the Committee. The organization aids the NGO’s in putting together their report to be presented before the Committee, sometimes helping them organize private briefings with Committee members before a country’s delegation presents their report. After the session, CCPR-Centre aids the Committee and the NGO organize a post-session reviewal trip to the country in question, meeting with state officials and viewing human rights situations and requested improvements first-hand to ensure that the state is complying with the International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights. Josh’s role with the CCPR-Centre included taking notes of the Committee’s activities, tweeting about them during the session to the CCPR-Centre’s Twitter, and summarizing the Committee's discussions and their Concluding Observations to be posted to the CCPR-Centre’s website. Josh has also worked for the National Organization for Women and the Office of State Representative Ben Diamond (FL-68). Josh is a native of the Tampa Bay area and an avid Tampa Bay Rays fan.

Brittany Maxey-FisherPatent Attorney

Brittany J. Maxey-Fisher belongs to the firm Maxey-Fisher PLLC. Brittany manages the firm’s intellectual property practice. In addition to managing the day-to-day aspects of the firm, Brittany has gained extensive experience in counseling clients in a wide range of intellectual property issues. Her practice includes representing clients in patent, trademark, trade dress, and copyright matters, including domestic and international trademark protection, intellectual property licensing and agreements, and technology transactions. Brittany has state and federal litigation experience in connection with patents, trademarks, and copyrights. She also has an extensive practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the Patent Trial Appeal Board and the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. Brittany received her Bachelor’s degree in Biological Science in 2001 from the University of Mississippi and her J.D. in 2007 from Stetson College of Law.

Ronald Grigor SunyProfessor of History and Political Science

Ronald Grigor Suny is the William H. Sewell Jr. Distinguished University Professor of History at the University of Michigan, Emeritus Professor of Political Science and History at the University of Chicago, and Senior Researcher at the National Research University – Higher School of Economics in Saint Petersburg, Russia. The grandson of the composer and ethnomusicologist Grikor Mirzaian Suni and a graduate of Swarthmore College and Columbia University, he taught at Oberlin College (1968-1981), as visiting professor of history at the University of California, Irvine (1987), and Stanford University (1995-1996). He was the first holder of the Alex Manoogian Chair in Modern Armenian History at the University of Michigan (1981-1995), where he founded and directed the Armenian Studies Program. He was Charles Tilly Collegiate Professor of Social and Political History at the University of Michigan from 2005 to 2015 and director of the Eisenberg Institute of Historical Studies from 2009 to 2012.

Rasha MubarakCommunity activist, Consultant, Political Strategist, and Leader

Rasha Mubarak is a Palestinian-American Muslim community activist, consultant, political strategist, and leader, who was named “10 People Making Orlando a Better Place to Be” by Orlando Weekly and Florida Young Democrats’ “2019 Florida Young Democrat of the Year”. Born in Brooklyn, NY and raised in the heart of Central Florida, Rasha is a grassroots organizer and political advocate for national, statewide, and local political candidates and campaigns around civil rights, human rights, interfaith work, immigration rights, and Black and Brown liberation.

Raquel HernandezAssistant professor of pediatrics and medical director of the Johns Hopkins All Children’s Healthy Weight Initiative

Dr. Hernandez is assistant professor of pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and medical director of the Johns Hopkins All Children’s Healthy Weight Initiative. She completed her medical school, residency and fellowship training at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She additionally completed a Master in Public Health with an emphasis on nutrition at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health during her fellowship in general academic pediatrics.