Global leadership changes and their potential impacts on the Texas economy will be discussed during a conference titled "Which Transatlantic Relationship After the Global Crisis?" on Oct. 3 and 4 at the University of St. Thomas in Houston.

The conference is hosted by Stephen F. Austin State University, the University of St. Thomas Center for International Studies and the Laboratoire Europeén d'Anticipation Politique, a think-tank forecasting global economic developments from a European perspective. The laboratory's director of studies, Franck Biancheri, will serve as a keynote speaker for the event.

Speakers include former U.S. Ambassador Richard Norland, who currently serves as deputy commandant and international affairs adviser at the National War College, and Daniel Hamilton, director of the Center for Transatlantic Relations at John Hopkins University.

Since World War II, the alliance between the United States and Europe has been the foundation of diplomatic, commercial and security policies on both sides of the Atlantic. According to the event organizers, major shifts in the balance of power have been spurred by the rapid emergence of new world-level players such as China, Brazil and India. These shifts may change dynamics in relationships between countries around the world.

"I think some people probably don't realize how important the European Union is to Texas," said Dr. Brian Murphy, dean of the College of Liberal and Applied Arts at SFA and one of the conference organizers. "Texas is the largest beneficiary of European direct investment. That $58.2 billion translates into 212,000 Texas jobs, and exports from Texas to Europe have doubled in volume from 2000 to 2009."

The conference will begin at 1:30 p.m. Oct 3 in the Crooker Center Ahern Room. Biancheri and Norland will participate in a 2 p.m. discussion titled "The Global Crisis: The Path to the World Afterwards." The final session of the day begins at 4 p.m.

The conference resumes at 9 a.m. Oct. 4. Harald Greib, a German civil servant at the Ministry of Interior, and Zsolt Nyiri, director of Transatlantic Trends for the German Marshall Fund, will discuss the futures of the European Union and the United States. A luncheon at noon will feature a roundtable discussion with consul generals from France, Germany and Italy. An session at 1:30 p.m. will feature Hamilton and Murphy.

Murphy said policy recommendations that reflect a consensus among the participants will be compiled and published.

"The current crisis in global leadership is of historic magnitude not experienced since World War II," Murphy said. "A vastly revised international landscape is on the horizon. This conference seeks to untangle the confusion by addressing how the transatlantic relationship is preparing to accommodate a new era in international politics and commercial development."

There is a $35 charge for lunch on Oct. 4, but admission to the remainder of the event is free. For registration information, go to or call (936) 468-2803.