Great Power Competition

february, 2023

23feb10:30 am11:50 amGreat Power Competition


(Thursday) 10:30 am - 11:50 am


USF Student Center

200 6th Ave S

Event Details

Panel Discussion moderated by Golfo Alexopoulos

Across the globe, Russia and China are increasingly exerting influences that contest U.S. primacy and threaten post-Cold War order and stability. This panel focuses on Great Power rivalry and its implications for Europe, Latin America, Africa and Asia.

Speakers for this event

  • Ambassador John Feeley

    Ambassador John Feeley


    John Feeley, US Ambassador (ret’d) The Executive Director for the Center for Media Integrity of the Americas (CMIA), John Feeley is a former U.S. ambassador dedicated to promoting greater mutual understanding between the United States and Latin America and the Caribbean. The CMIA is a not-for-profit entity affiliated with the Organization of American States (OAS) that fosters and incentivizes high quality journalism and public interest media in the Western Hemisphere. A skilled negotiator, organizational leader and cross-cultural communicator, Ambassador Feeley collaborates with private sector, media, and not-for-profit partners who seek to understand and solve problems found at the intersection of government, business, and culture. His military and diplomatic experience afford insight into U.S security and rule of law policy implementation, the resolution of commercial disputes, and human rights, media, and democracy issues. During a 28-year State Department career, he served as Ambassador to Panama, Deputy Chief of Mission and Chargé d’Affaires in Mexico City, and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs. As a Deputy Executive Secretary, he worked on the staffs of Secretaries of State, Colin Powell and Condoleeza Rice, in addition to serving in other Latin American assignments both in Washington and at embassies throughout the region. He was formerly a principal at Gotham Lights LLC, and a political consultant for the Spanish-language media, Univision, providing on-air analysis and publishing opinion columns. He has appeared on CNN, BBC, CBC, NPR, PBS, MSNBC and in The Washington Post, The New York Times, and The New Yorker, among other Spanish and English-language media, as a forceful advocate for a respectful, alliance-based approach to U.S. relationships with Latin American governments and societies. Ambassador Feeley serves on the Board of Directors of EnvoyGlobal ( ), a technology enabled immigration services company. He also works with ANDE Rapid DNA ( ), an emerging technology firm that seeks to harness the power of expedited DNA testing for law enforcement, forensic, and humanitarian purposes. Prior to his Foreign Service career, he served as a United States Marine officer and helicopter pilot. He is a graduate of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and a Distinguished Graduate of the National War College.


  • Ambassador Joseph DeTrani

    Ambassador Joseph DeTrani

    Ambassador DeTrani is the former Director of the National Counterproliferation Center and the former Special Envoy for negotiations with North Korea and the U.S. representative to the Korea Energy Development Organization. He was an Associate Director of National Intelligence and senior adviser to the Director of National Intelligence. Prior to that, he was a member of the Senior Executive Service at the Central Intelligence Agency (Executive Assistant to the Director of Central Intelligence, Director of the /Office of Technical Services, Director of the Crime and Narcotics Center, Director of European Operations and Director of East Asia Operations) and an officer in the U.S. Air Force. Ambassador DeTrani was the president of Intelligence and National Security Alliance and the president of the Daniel Morgan Graduate School of National Security. He’s a professor at Missouri State University’s Graduate Department of Defense and Strategic Studies, a Fellow at the Institute for Corean-American Studies and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the National Committee on North Korea. He has published and spoken publicly about North Korea, China, East Asia and nuclear nonproliferation.

  • Ambassador Michael Ranneberger

    Ambassador Michael Ranneberger

    Ambassador Michael Ranneberger is a managing partner of Gainful Solutions, an international consulting company. During his distinguished diplomatic career, he represented the United States in Latin America, Africa, Europe, and the Middle East. Following his graduation from Towson University with a double major in history and social science, he earned a Masters Degree in history at the University of Virginia and pursued work toward a doctorate before entering the Foreign Service. He served as Ambassador to Mali, Kenya, and Somalia. He was the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for African Affairs, in which capacity he led policy development and implementation for the African region. Other postings included serving as Deputy Chief of Mission in Paraguay, Mozambique, and Somalia. During the 1980s he was part of the team which negotiated the independence of Namibia and the withdrawal of Cuban forces from Angola. As the Special Representative of the Secretary of State, he helped lead negotiations which resulted in the Sudan Peace Agreement of 2005. When crisis erupted in Kenya following the disputed presidential election at the end of 2007, Ambassador Ranneberger, working closely with African Union mediator Kofi Annan, was instrumental in ending the bloodshed and bringing about fundamental reforms through adoption of a new constitution in 2010. For those efforts, he was dubbed “Ambassador of Peace” by the Kenyan people. From 2011 until his retirement in 2016, he served as the State Department’s senior foreign policy adviser to three commanders of the U.S. Central Command, including James Mattis. He is the recipient of the State Department’s Distinguished Honor Award, its highest, Presidential Meritorious Service Awards, the Department’s Anti-Slavery Award for his efforts to combat human trafficking, and numerous other recognitions. He is the recipient of an honorary doctorate from Africa Nazarene University. As a Career Minister at the time of his retirement, he was one of the 35 highest ranked officers in the State Department.

  • Dr. Golfo Alexopoulos

    Dr. Golfo Alexopoulos

    Professor and Director of the USF Institute for Russian, European and Eurasian Studies I teach a variety of courses on topics related to contemporary Russian politics and society, modern Europe and the Soviet Union. My undergraduate and graduate courses tend to focus on conflict in the world, comparative dictatorship and authoritarianism, the problems of war and revolution, as well as genocide and human rights. When possible, I try to engage student interest by incorporating a variety of media (art, film, music) and assigning diverse readings (primary sources, literature, memoirs, poetry). In particular, I enjoy showing students my slides from when I lived in the Soviet Union and Russia under Gorbachev, Yeltsin, and Putin. Over the years, I have advised many bright USF students, both graduate and undergraduate. Some of them have been accepted into first-rate doctoral programs in Russian/Soviet history, others have joined the Peace Corps or pursued careers in international law and business, the military, diplomacy, teaching, and journalism. Research My current work examines the threads that connect twentieth-century Soviet and twenty-first-century Russian authoritarianism, especially in the dis/information space. My most recent book, Illness and Inhumanity in Stalin’s Gulag, was published by Yale University Press in 2017. The work examines the system of violent human exploitation in the Stalinist forced labor camps, 1929-1953. It draws upon recently declassified archival materials from the Gulag health department to reveal how prisoners were fundamentally dehumanized and managed as commodities. Mortality was much greater than the official Soviet records indicate, as prisoners were routinely released on the verge of death. The book argues that human exploitation in the Stalinist camps was deliberately destructive and that the regime concealed the Gulag’s destructive capacity. My first book, Stalin’s Outcasts: Aliens, Citizens, and the Soviet State, 1926-1936 (Cornell, 2003), examines Stalin’s disenfranchisement policy, and the lives and voices of those deprived of rights (lishentsy). At the center of the work is an analysis of over five hundred petitions to Soviet officials for the reinstatement of rights. I discovered these handwritten letters from social outcasts in a closed archive in western Siberia just months after the collapse of the Soviet Union. The book demonstrates how, from Kremlin leaders to marked aliens, many engaged in identifying citizens and non-citizens and challenging the terms of social membership in the Stalinist state. Specialty Areas Russia and the Soviet Union, Stalinism and authoritarianism, medicine/health and society, political violence and human rights, disinformation and security

  • Michael Mandelbaum

    Michael Mandelbaum

    Michael Mandelbaum is the Christian A. Herter Professor Emeritus of American Foreign Policy at The Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, D.C. He has also taught at Harvard and Columbia Universities and at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis and served as Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. A contributor to such publications as The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Time, Newsweek, and The London Observer, Professor Mandelbaum served for 23 years as the associate director of the Aspen Institute Congressional Project on American Relations With the Former Communist World. He serves on the Board of Advisors of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a Washington-based organization sponsoring research and public discussion on American policy toward the Middle East. Born in 1946, Professor Mandelbaum is a graduate of Yale College. He earned his Master’s degree at King’s College, Cambridge University and his doctorate at Harvard University. Professor Mandelbaum is the author or co-author of numerous articles and essays and of seventeen books: The Nuclear Question: The United States and Nuclear Weapons 1946-1976 (1979); The Nuclear Revolution: International Politics Before and After Hiroshima (1981); The Nuclear Future (1983); Reagan and Gorbachev (with Strobe Talbott, 1987); The Global Rivals (with Seweryn Bialer, 1988); The Fate of Nations: The Search For National Security in the 19th and 20th Centuries (1988); and The Dawn of Peace in Europe (1996); The Ideas That Conquered the World: Peace, Democracy and Free Markets in the Twenty-first Century (2002); The Meaning of Sports: Why Americans Watch Baseball, Football and Basketball and What They See When They Do (2004); The Case For Goliath: How America Acts As the World’s Government in the Twenty-first Century (2006); Democracy’s Good Name: The Rise and Risks of the World’s Most Popular Form of Government (2007); The Frugal Superpower: America’s Global Leadership in a Cash-Strapped Era (2010) ; That Used To Be Us: How America Fell Behind in the World We Invented and How We Can Come Back, (with Thomas L. Friedman, 2011); The Road to Global Prosperity ( 2014); Mission Failure: American and the World in the Post-Cold War Era (2016); The Rise and Fall of Peace on Earth (2019); and The Four Ages of American Foreign Policy: Weak Power, Great Power, Superpower, Hyperpower (2022). He is also the editor of twelve books.

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