Leading figures in the world of global economics will discuss international competition and economic development during a public forum Tuesday, April 12, at the University of Central Florida.

“Central Florida Global Economic Forum 2011: Redefining Competition in the 21st Century” will take place in the Key West Ballroom of the Student Union from 9 a.m. to noon.  The event is organized by the UCF Office of Global Perspectives in partnership with the Global Connections Foundation.

Registration and breakfast will begin at 8:30 a.m. The forum is open to the public with advance registration and a $25 fee.

Alex Counts, president and CEO of the Grameen Foundation, will give the opening keynote.

Counts founded the Grameen Foundation and became its CEO in 1997 after working in microfinance and poverty reduction for 10 years. The nonprofit organization is focused on enabling the poor to escape poverty through the use of microfinance and technology.

Counts became dedicated to poverty eradication while serving as a Fulbright scholar in Bangladesh. A published author, his work has been featured in The Washington Post, International Herald Tribune and The Christian Science Monitor.

Parag Khanna, a leading geo-strategist and senior research fellow at the New America Foundation, will give the closing keynote presentation, which will focus on the 21st century’s emerging geopolitical marketplace, led by the United States, China and Europe.

Khanna, the author of two best-selling books, has been named one of Esquire’s “75 Most Influential People of the 21st Century” and was one of 15 individuals featured in WIRED magazine’s “Smart List.”

In 2007, he was a senior geopolitical adviser to United States Special Operations Forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. From 2000 to 2002, he worked at the World Economic Forum in Geneva.

In addition to the Global Perspectives Office and the Global Connections Foundation, sponsors and partners include the UCF College of Business Administration, Lawrence J. Chastang and the Chastang Foundation, C.T. Hsu and Associates, CPH Engineers Inc., the UCF China-Taiwan Cross-Strait Program, The India Program at UCF, The Anil and Chitra Deshpande India Program Endowed Fund, LarsonAllen LLP, Junior Achievement of Central Florida Inc., the UCF Political Science Department, the UCF Office of Diversity Initiatives, the UCF International Services Center and UCF LIFE.