The 2019 St. Petersburg Conference on World Affairs was a huge success. The 3-1/2 Day event at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg drew hundreds of people to over 30 Panel Discussions. Speakers and panelists included distinguished diplomats, military, media, and academic experts discussing critical international issues of the day. Stay tuned for details about the 2020 St. Petersburg Conference on World Affairs scheduled for February 18 - 21, 2020.
Our Speakers
Each year the St. Petersburg Conference on World Affairs continues to improve the quantity and caliber of our high-profile panelists. 2019 was no exception. With over 30 Panel Discussions, the 2019 Conference featured speakers and panelists of intelligence officials, diplomats, media and academic experts for 3-1/2 days of discussions about critical international issues.
Bruce MableyCanadian Diplomat and Professor

Bruce Mabley is a retired Canadian diplomat having served abroad in Paris, Islamabad, Cairo, Amman and Ankara. Dr. Mabley has also taught Philosophy and Political Science at Laval, McGill, Carleton and Concordia universities. He holds a Doctorat in Philosophy (thesis: La pensée politique d'Albert Camus) from Université Laval in Québec City. In 2003, he was accepted in the Faculty of Law to perform post-doctoral work in Islamic Law and Politics until 2006.

Kathy StultsImpact and Engagement Director

Kathy has spent 43 consecutive years working with at risk youth in school settings including opening up a school for girls rescued from sex trafficking in 2015. She has been a volunteer for the Rocky Mountain Women's Film Institute (RMWFI) for 18 years. She started the Youth Outreach Program for the Institute and it continues to bring filmmakers and youth together in the Pikes Peak region. Kathy also serves as the Chair of the Development Committee for the RMWFI and is looking forward to bringing this experience to the Youth Documentary Academy.

Allison QuatriniAssistant Professor of Political Science

Allison Quatrini is an Assistant Professor of Political Science and International Relations and Global Affairs at Eckerd College. She holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Her research interests focus on China, specifically its authoritarian state, and the politics of festivals and holidays. She is also interested in interpretive research methodology and the role of field-work in Political Science. Allison's research has been funded by the David I. Boren Fellowship, the Sigur Center for Asian Studies at GWU, and the Institute for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies at GWU.

Lynda SchusterJournalist, Reporter

As a former staff reporter for the Wall Street Journal, Lynda Schuster began her career in 1980 in the paper's Dallas bureau, covering agriculture in the Southwest. Soon after, she was named the Central America correspondent, reporting on the wars in El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras and Guatemala. In 1983, she became the Journal's Mexico bureau chief.

Michael BurchProfessor of Political Science

Michael Burch (Ph.D. in Political Science, University of Colorado at Boulder; M.A. in Security Policy, George Washington University) currently teaches at Eckerd College, emphasizing the role of rebel and criminal actors in shaping globalization with a focus on the Middle East and Africa. Recent publications examine how rebel groups fund conflict and how the international community decides to support rebel groups during civil war. He is currently researching the use of violence against journalists and also why certain communities engage in xenophobic violence in sub-Saharan Africa. Before working at Eckerd, he taught at Wabash College, worked in Washington, DC and completed fieldwork in Ghana, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Pragati GhimireMedical and Public Health Professional

Pragati Ghimire-Aryal is a medical and public health professional with over ten years of experience in medicine, public health education and promotion, public health program design and evaluation, human development, women empowerment, health and quality of life outcome evaluation, public health research methods, healthcare data analysis. As senior director of community analytics and evaluation, she evaluates the effectiveness of community based programs that address social determinants of health; design and evaluate program pilots  to assess the impact of addressing unmet social needs like healthy food access, transportation, housing etc.  in the overall well-being of the individuals, healthcare utilization and costs, etc She has experience working in China, Nepal and the United States and is fluent in five languages. She has a medical degree from Fudan University School of Medicine (Shanghai, China) and a Masters of Public Health from the University of Nebraska, Omaha.

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