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World affairs conference returns to St. Petersburg

Published Feb. 12, 2014

Former CIA officials, ambassadors and war commanders are descending on St. Petersburg this week for a second-annual summit on international affairs.

USF St. Petersburg will play host to the Conference on World Affairs, featuring 15 panel discussions on international issues such as religion's role in politics and sustaining the planet's resources. The summit begins at 4 p.m. Thursday and continues through Saturday afternoon.

"We believe these deep discussions by some of our country's top thought leaders will benefit our students and enrich our community," said Thomas Smith, associate professor of political science and director of the university's Honors Program.

The program is co-sponsoring the event along with nonprofit St. Petersburg in the World.

Titles for the panel discussions include, "Getting Out of the Mideast and Asserting US Power in Asia," "What Happened to That Economic Recovery We Thought Was Upon Us?" and "Snowden and Manning – Traitors?"

Conference leaders say financial contributions and feedback from last year's event convinced them there was support for continued meetings.

The sessions are free and open to the public, with complementary parking available in a USF St. Petersburg garage. For more details, including a complete list of speakers and seminars, visit

Contact Lisa Gartner at