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USA Debate

About USA Debate

Since 2013, the National Speech & Debate Association has assumed responsibility for the USA Debate Team, choosing the best debaters in the country to represent the United States in international competition.

Team USA features a highly accomplished and dedicated coaching staff. These coaches have deep roots in the content and style of World Schools Debate and work with the team to acclimate the debaters to the event.

The mission of USA Debate is to join the global promotion of free and civil discourse, foster international cooperation and education, as well as demonstrate competitive excellence and national pride.

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Team Info

Questions about USA Debate? Please contact info@speechanddebate.org.
2022-2023 USA Debate Team - Anish Beeram - TMI Episcopal, TX, Ollie Braden - Jackson-Reed High School, DC,  Kiera Dixon - Round Rock Christian Academy, TX, Ambika Grover - Greenwich High School, CT, Chelsea Hu - Phillips Academy, MA, Alex Lee - Harvard-Westlake School, CA, Eric Li - Eagan High School, MN, Sophia Li - Greenhill School, TX, Vinayak Menon - Lambert High School, GA, Roberto Quesada - Brooklyn Technical High School, NY, Diane Sun - Interlake High School, WA, Sungjoo Yoon - Burbank Senior High School, CA
2022-2023 USA Debate Development Team - Rachel Caplan - Phoenix Country Day School, AZ, Claire Curran - Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory, IN, Olivia Declercq - Whitmer High School, OH, Patton Hahn - Mountain Brook High School, AL, Alisha Hassanali - Granada Hills Charter High School, CA, Taite Kirkpatrick - Mount Vernon High School, WA, Sana Mehra - Riverdale Country School, NY, Alexa Murphy - The Masters School, NY, Mav Murray - Phillips Exeter Academy, NH, Clara Nora - Lincoln Southwest High School, NE, Advika Sadasivan - The Village School, TX, Ridwan Siddique - Norman North High School, OK, Natalie Stachowiak - Greenhill School, TX, Jake Zeng - Amercian Heritage School - Broward, FL, Brian Zhou - Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, VA, Vivian Zhu - Ridge High School, NJ

More Information

Apply to be a Member of the USA Debate Team

The information below includes dates for the 2022-23 application process.

Eligible applicants are citizens (dual citizenship acceptable) or students who have obtained permanent residence status for a minimum of two years. Per WSDC rules, all applicants must be current residents of the United States who will be attending a secondary diploma-granting institution, are no younger than 14 years of age, and have not reached their 20th birthday in July 2022. Candidates must also be current and active student members of the NSDA at an active member school.

April 27- Stage One application opens. 
Students submit required data using an online form, upload coach/administrator recommendations, and record a video on the motion provided below. (Download a PDF of the Stage One application. We recommend that you draft your responses in a separate document to copy over when you are ready to submit. The form will not autosave throughout).

Stage One Video Task
Please upload a speech of no more than five minutes (including intro/framing/ONE argument/conclusion) responding to the motion:

This House would remove all patents on essential medical technology.

Students may choose side Proposition or Opposition. The argument may be one that would be presented in either the first or second speech. Please identify which speech and argument you are presenting before beginning the speech (ex. “P2 – third argument”).

Here are some helpful tips about creating an unlisted YouTube video.

June 1 – Stage One application deadline. The online form closes at 11:59 p.m. CT.

June 23 – Auto-qualifiers in WS, USX, IX, Congress, LD, PF, and Policy are invited to apply as part of Stage One. No video task is required for auto-qualifiers. However, they must upload coach/administrator recommendations as part of the application. (Download a PDF of the Stage One application. We recommend that you draft your responses in a separate document to copy over when you are ready to submit. The form will not autosave throughout).
(Note: The link to the online application form will be emailed to eligible auto-qualifiers.)

Applicants will be notified of additional video tasks and questions via email throughout the process in July/August.

August – USA Debate national team announced

Please email info@speechanddebate.org with specific questions.

The USA Debate Team represents the diversity of our nation. The National Speech & Debate Association wants to ensure all students have full access to the opportunities available as they compete for USA Debate, without being limited by individual economic circumstances. Thanks to a variety of supporters like you, the students on the team are given the educational experience of a lifetime. Your tax-deductible gift allows the U.S. to continue to showcase the best and brightest young people to the rest of the world.

If you or your company would like more information about becoming an official sponsor of USA Debate, please contact us.

Sponsorship levels include:2016-IMG-USA-Debate-Logo

  • Competition supplies and materials for one debater
  • Training sessions with the USA Debate coaches
  • International competition for one student on the team
  • World Championship for one student on the team
  • International competition for entire USA Debate Team
  • World Championship season for entire USA Debate Team

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The Lanier Law Firm

Thank You!

The Lanier Law Firm is an official sponsor of the USA Debate Team.

Thank You to Our Generous Supporters

Spark Investment Management LLC
The Kettles Law Firm

Tom Rollins

Simon Greenstone Panatier Bartlett, PC

Ziziki's

Thank You!

Throughout the school year, The Blake School (Minnesota), Greenhill School (Texas), Harvard-Westlake School (California), Taipei American School (Taiwan), and Holy Cross School (Louisiana) provide invaluable training opportunities for the USA Debate Team. Thank you for your support!

2022-2023 National Team

Anish Beeram

Anish Beeram

Senior – TMI Episcopal, Texas

Anish has been involved in debate throughout his high school career, competing in Congressional and World Schools Debate formats, and serves as the captain of his school team. Across his four years in Congressional Debate, Anish championed the 2022 Tournament of Champions and was the TOC Bid Leader for the 2021-22 season, having accumulated over fifteen lifetime bids. Notably, he also placed third at the Emory Barkley Forum and finished as a top 10 finalist at the NSDA Congressional Senate, UT Longhorn Classic, Glenbrooks Invitational, and NSU Sunvitational. In World Schools, Anish competed with Team Texas during the 2021-22 season. While debating in Worlds, he placed fourth at Blake, third at UPenn (top seed), and captained his team at the Harvard College World Schools Invitational, finishing as the first seed with an undefeated prelim record. Outside of debate, Anish is an Eagle Scout with Bronze and Gold Palms, and founded the Eagle Action Project, a certified Texas 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to building scouting troops in underserved areas, teaching life skills and environmental stewardship to children in need. Additionally, Anish is involved in a longitudinal research project at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute of the Harvard Medical School, studying mechanisms of resistance in metastatic breast cancer. In his free time, Anish enjoys beekeeping, club fencing, binging Star Wars lore, and teaching himself Japanese. Anish is incredibly honored and grateful to be a part of the USA Debate Team this year!

Ollie Braden

Ollie Braden

Senior – Jackson-Reed High School, DC

Ollie has been involved in debate for five years, getting their start in traditional LD and now competing primarily in Worlds. They were a 2021-2022 member of the USA Debate Development Team and have been successful on both local and national circuits throughout their debate career. Notably, they were a semifinalist and third speaker at NSDA Nationals in Worlds in 2021, a quarterfinalist at NCFL Nationals in PF in 2021, and an octafinalist at NCFL Nationals in PF in 2022. Outside of debate, Ollie is President and Founder of their school’s Sunrise Hub, a chapter of a youth-led national climate movement that works to promote progressive environmental legislation in the United States. They can regularly be found emailing district council members, phone-banking, and volunteering with local mutual aid organizations. As Director of Visuals for their school newspaper, Ollie is absolutely fascinated by visual journalism and has channeled that passion into launching and editing the school’s literary magazine. They are an accomplished varsity swimmer and manage their school debate team alongside a group of brilliant seniors who they love more than anything in the world. In their free time, they make copious amounts of art, occasionally publish poetry, help out with local campaigns, and voraciously consume novels with absolutely no plot. They are incredibly honored and excited to debate for Team USA this year!

Kiera Dixon

Kiera Dixon

Senior – Round Rock Christian Academy, Texas

Kiera is captain of the debate team and has been involved in the speech and debate community since the 5th grade. She competes and has qualified for Nationals in multiple events including Lincoln-Douglas Debate, Extemporaneous Speaking, Oratory, and Congress, where she was the most highly-ranked female congressional debater in the nation at last year’s NSDA Nationals. She is also a four-time state champion. Kiera is passionate about extending the advocacy of debate into her community. At school, she serves as Student Council president, vice president of the National Honor Society, Philanthropy Chair of the Spanish National Honor Society, and is a senior member of the varsity cheerleading team. Locally, she has been president of the National Charity League for two years and has performed over 200 hours of community service during high school. She is employed by the Texas State government as a Student Poll Worker, where she works as an election clerk for her county. Across Texas, Kiera interns for the Jay Kleberg For Texas Land Commissioner campaign to advocate for climate justice, and with the Youth For Beto executive organizing team, planning block walks and informational events across the state. In addition, she advocates against the restricted voting rights in Texas by volunteering and registering voters with NextGen America, a nonprofit that mobilizes the American population. In her free time, Kiera enjoys reading, traveling the world, and spending time with her friends and three cats. Kiera is honored for the privilege of representing the country through the USA Debate Team and is ecstatic about the upcoming year!

 

Ambika Grover

Ambika Grover

Senior – Greenwich High School, CT

Ambika has been involved in debate for six years, competing in World Schools and Parliamentary formats. Her competitive accomplishments in Parliamentary debate include championing the Ivy League Championships, Berkeley Invitational, and Connecticut Debate Association state tournament, where she has earned several speaker awards in the past three years. She has also reached elimination rounds and earned top speaker awards at the John Lewis, Vassar, Yale, and New York Parliamentary Invitationals, among many others. As a member of the 2021-22 USA Debate development team, Ambika championed the Delores Arthur Invitational and Plano West Classic, placed second at the John Edie Holiday Debates, semifinaled the Greenhill Fall Classic, and reached elimination rounds at the Harvard World Schools Invitational. In addition to serving as President of the Greenwich High School debate team for the past two years, Ambika serves as President of the Economics and Girls Who Code Clubs. She is passionate about science, having won a 1st place Grand Award at the International Science & Engineering Fair (placing 4th the year prior) for her innovations. She has also interned at NASA and leads several outreach initiatives to encourage younger students to explore STEM-related subjects. In her free time, she enjoys performing with her string quartet, listening to podcasts, and spending time with friends and family. Ambika is incredibly honored to be a part of USA Debate and is looking forward to a fantastic year!

Chelsea Hu

Chelsea Hu

Junior – Phillips Academy, MA

Chelsea has been involved in competitive debate for six years, qualifying to the National Development Team in 2021. Over the years, she has gained commendation at major international tournaments. Most notably, Chelsea was named top speaker and quarterfinalist at the highly prestigious 2022 Harvard World Schools Debate Invitational. She has also championed the schools division of the virtual Doxbridge British Parliamentary Tournament twice. Additionally, Chelsea has advanced to finals at numerous international events, including the UPenn World Schools Online Tournament, and broken at several others, including the EurOpen World Schools Debating Championships. Previously, Chelsea top-spoke and championed the junior division of the BC Provincial British Parliamentary Tournament, advancing to Nationals twice and placing second in the nation in 2020. Going forwards, Chelsea hopes to share her knowledge with aspiring debaters by continuing her involvement with Project Dialogue and serving on the associate board of the Philomathean Debate Society at Phillips Academy. Outside of debate, Chelsea is an aspiring journalist and a lover of all literary genres. In 2021, she earned a summer internship opportunity with the Harvard Crimson after her two argumentative essays contrasting consequentialism and deontology gained global recognition. She is also a two-time finalist of the John Locke Essay Competition. No matter what she is up to—whether she is on the golf course, in band rehearsal, or halfway through a Harry Potter marathon with friends—Chelsea values her interactions with peers and professors. She cannot wait for the year ahead with Team USA!

Alex Lee

Alex Lee

Junior – Harvard-Westlake School, CA

Alex has competed in speech and debate for eight years, championing the 2022 NSDA Nationals, UC Berkeley Invitational, and the Rato Bangala International in Worlds. He finaled Damus and Harvard-Westlake, as well as semi-finaled at UPenn, NDCA, and Coppell. In circuit LD, he won Damien, was a semi-finalist at Glenbrooks, quarter-finaled at USC, and was invited as one of twenty debaters in the nation to the prestigious DebateLA Round Robin. In speech, he placed 7th at the 2022 Tournament of Champions in Original Oratory, picket-fenced the 2020 NSDA-NJFLNationals in OO and Extemp, championed the West LA National Qualifiers in House, and finaled at the 2018 NSDA Nationals in Impromptu. He also placed 2nd at the National Ronald Reagan Great Communicator Debates, winning $7,500. Back at school, Alex captains the speech, Worlds, Junior State of America, and Academic Decathlon teams. He serves on Community Council and has been a project manager of Voices Beyond Assault and the California Alzheimer’s Association. Outside of debate, Alex scored in the top 1% out of 150,000 students globally on the American Mathematics Competition, qualifying for the AIME every year since 7th grade. As a freshman, he passed the AMC 10 and 12, and as a sophomore, he made the Distinguished Honor Roll. In his free time, he studies chess, performs close-up magic, and writes songs on his guitar. Alex cannot wait for an incredible year on the USA Debate team!

Eric Li

Eric Li

Senior – Eagan High School, MN

Eric has competed for five years in policy debate. He was the top-seed and champion of the UK Season Opener and the Minnesota State Debate Tournament. Eric was a semi-finalist at NSDA, semi-finalist at Blake, quarter-finalist and top seed at NCFL, out-round participant at NDCA and the TOC and accumulated 13 TOC career bids. As a member of the 2021-2022 USA Development Team, he championed the Delores Taylor Invitational, was a quarterfinalist at Harvard, and an octofinalist at EurOpen. Eric also championed the Rato Bangala International, Plano West Classic, and reached semifinals at UPenn. As a volunteer at the Minnesota Urban Debate League, Eric founded a debate team at Skyview Middle School and has helped judge at multiple MNUDL tournaments. Outside of debate, Eric interned with the Minnesota Tobacco Free Alliance and Minnesota Smoke-Free Generation Coalition where he has helped lobby and pass multiple flavored tobacco bans across Minnesota. Eric is the founder of his school’s Tobacco Free Society where he delivers presentations to middle schools in Minnesota about the harms of flavored tobacco. Additionally, Eric has spoken at the MN Escape the Vape and MN Prevention Program Sharing Conference where he promoted youth involvement in tobacco prevention. Furthermore, Eric is also the student body president, co-president of his school’s rotary club, and is a member of his school’s tennis team. In his free time, Eric likes to explore abandoned buildings, watch scary movies, go thrifting, and go to the gym.

Sophia Li

Sophia Li

Junior – Greenhill School, TX

Sophia has competed in World Schools debate since her freshman year. As a member of Greenhill’s varsity World Schools team, she championed many tournaments including the Greenhill Fall Classic, Plano West TFA TOC qualifier, and Grapevine Classic. Sophia also placed 3rd at the TFA State Tournament, reached octofinals at NSDA nationals, and reached elimination rounds in tournaments such as Stanford Invitational, the Delores Taylor Arthur School Tournament, the UT Longhorn Classic, and Isidore Newman School Invitational, among many others. Sophia has won numerous speaker awards at these tournaments and is currently ranked 6th in the nation for World Schools debate.Outside of debate, Sophia is actively involved in journalism. She serves as a senior managing editor of her school paper, a freelance writer for eight national and international publications, including Broadview and The Week, and an editorial intern at a startup online magazine. Her passion for journalism earned her two National Gold Keys and the National Gold Medal in the Scholastics Art and Writing Awards, America’s longest-running and most prestigious scholarship program for young writers, and she was invited to the National Ceremony in Carnegie Hall. Aside from leading Greenhill’s Project Dialogue and Political Action Club, Sophia volunteers with an English class she founded for Chinese students overseas and interns with The Warren Center, a nonprofit empowering children with developmental disabilities. In her free time, Sophia loves making sushi, long-distance running, and playing with her cat, James. Sophia is incredibly excited for her first year with USA Debate!

Vinayak Menon

Vinayak Menon

Senior – Lambert High School, GA

Vinayak is a returning USA Debate member and has been involved in debate for six years, competing in Public Forum and World Schools Debate. As a member of the 2021-2022 USA Debate Team, he championed the Croatia Winter Holiday Open and reached finals at EurOpen. At the recent World Schools Debating Championship, he ranked among the top 10% of speakers in the world. Previously, as a member of the USA Debate Development team, he has reached quarterfinals at the Harvard College Worlds Schools Invitational and semifinals at the Greenhill and Blake Tournament. In his three years of Public Forum, he has championed the New York City Invitational, NSDA Season Opener at UK, Harvard Round Robin, James Logan MLK Invitational, and qualified to the Tournament of Champions every year. Outside of debate, he serves as the Youth President of the Forsyth County Drug Awareness Council, in which he has spread awareness about the opioid crisis to elected officials and developed a campaign to provide thousands of families with proper drug disposal resources. Vinayak also frequently writes articles in the Atlanta-Journal Constitution and founded the Board of Commissioners’ Youth Council in his county. In his free time, he loves to listen to music, keep up with politics, and spend time with friends and family. Vinayak is incredibly honored and excited to be a part of the USA Debate team this year!

Roberto Quesada

Roberto Quesada

Senior -Brooklyn Technical High School, NY

Roberto serves as captain of the Brooklyn Tech Congressional Debate Team and has debated for six years in Public Forum, Congress, and World Schools. For the 2021-2022 season in congressional debate, he reached finals at the Tournament of Champions and the University of Pennsylvania. In Public Forum, he made quarterfinals at the 2021 Tournament of Champions. In addition, as a member of the 2021-2022 USA Development Team, he was a semifinalist at Delores Taylor Arthur and quarterfinalist at Harvard. Outside of debate, Roberto has done extensive work in social justice. His junior year, his activism surrounding Latino rights in the New York City area garnered him the prestigious Yale Bassett Award for Community Engagement. He also interned for Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer in Washington, D.C. as part of the United States Senate Page Program, where he worked with Vice President Harris and met President Biden. Roberto’s visual art, which focuses on various political issues, has also garnered much attention, having been displayed both at the United States Capitol and the Metropolitan Museum of Art and winning countless awards. Roberto loves cycling and mango smoothies, and hopes to use the skills he learns from debate to empower people from across the world to use their voices for change.

Diane Sun

Diane Sun

Senior – Interlake High School, WA

Diane has been debating since the sixth grade, nowadays primarily in World Schools. As a member of the 2021-2022 USA Development Team, she reached quarterfinals at Harvard, octofinals at EurOpen, and semifinals at Greenhill. Outside of Worlds, she qualified for the Extemp Tournament of Champions at Northwestern University her freshman year, and has reached finals at the Doxbridge tournament in the Schools division. In addition to being Head Speech Captain of her school team, Diane is president & founder of her school’s philosophy club and literary magazine. She is also currently serving as the National Student Poet of the West, the nation’s highest honor for youth poets. Throughout her year of service, she will perform at the White House, Library of Congress and other events, as well as conduct a community service project in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services. In her free time, she enjoys ceramics, all things horror, and wandering around downtown Bellevue. Diane is looking forward to an incredible year with the USA Debate team!

Sungjoo Yoon

Sungjoo Yoon

Senior – Burbank Senior HIgh School, CA

Sungjoo is the president of his debate team at Burbank, the current 2022 NSDA National Champion in World Schools Debate and a 2021 NSDA National Finalist in Congressional Debate – Senate. He was on the 2021-2022 USA Debate development team. Alongside his national title in Worlds, he also championed UC Berkeley (top speaker), Greenhill, and Harvard-Westlake; reached finals at Blake (top speaker) and Bluebonnet; reached semifinals at Tufts (top speaker) and UPenn (top ESL speaker); and reached outrounds at EurOpen (second speaker) and UHouston (top speaker), among others. In Congress, he was the 2021 & 2022 California State Runner-up; and a finalist of the Tournament of Champions, Harvard, Princeton, Stanford, and Duke Invitationals. Across all events, he is 1st in the NSDA rankings and has 25 career TOC bids. In his community, Sungjoo has been Burbank’s citywide student body chairman and its historically-youngest city commissioner, a speechwriter to U.S. Congressman Brad Sherman, and the editor-in-chief of his school’s newspaper. Beyond that, he uses journalism as a force for progress – his opinions/columns on students’ rights have appeared in the New York Times, Houston Chronicle, and more. He was also the Jack & Denny Smith Memorial Columnist at the Los Angeles Times and served as project lead covering LA’s pandemic-era learning loss, in conjunction with USC’s Annenberg School of Communication. In his free time, he savors Coldplay, drives the Pacific Coast Highway, and hikes California’s highest peaks. Sungjoo looks forward to an incredible year with Team USA!

Leadership Team

Aaron Timmons

Aaron Timmons

Co-Head Coach from Greenhill School in Addison, Texas

Aaron Timmons is the Director of Debate at Greenhill School in Addison, Texas. He is a lifelong educator and in 2000 was named one of the “top debate coaches of the 20th century” by the National Speech & Debate Association. Aaron has coached multiple state and national champions in both Lincoln-Douglas and Policy Debate, in addition to a National Public Policy Forum Champion. Aaron is one of three coaches with champions in Lincoln-Douglas and Policy Debate and is the only coach in history to have multiple winners in each event. He has taught and/or directed debate workshops and trainings at Harvard University, Stanford University, Northwestern University, and the University of North Texas, among others. Aaron is also the co-founder of the Global Debate Symposium, held at Colorado College in Colorado Springs. He is a member of the National Speech & Debate Association Hall of Fame, Tournament of Champions, and the Texas Forensic Association.

Cynthia Timmons

Cynthia Timmons

Team Manager and Co-Head Coach from Greenhill School in Addison, Executive Director of the Dallas Urban Debate Alliance

Cynthia Timmons lives in Dallas, Texas, and has been involved in debate for nearly 50 years. Retired from 30 years in public schools where she coached dozens of national and state champions while winning numerous coaching awards, she has also served the speech and debate community in national and state leadership positions, in professional development training, and in summer institute work. In addition to serving as Co-Head Coach, Cindi is also the Team Manager. She is a member of the National Speech & Debate Association Hall of Fame as well as the Texas Forensic Association Hall of Fame. She is actively engaged in promoting the cause of women in debate and professional development for coach-educators, and hosted four National Speech & Debate Tournaments in Dallas. Internationally, Cindi served as an elected board member and chair of WSDC, Ltd. and was a two-term member of the WSDC Tournament Executive Committee. Currently leading the Dallas Urban Debate Alliance in its partnership with Dallas ISD, she is working to maximize debate opportunities for under-resourced communities. In her spare time, she loves reading and writing. Most importantly, she is a wife and the mother of two amazing young men.

Read “Exploring Cultural Competence in the World Schools Debate Community” by Cindi Timmons

Aditya Dhar

Aditya Dhar

Aditya Dhar graduated from Harvard in 2021 with a degree in Applied Mathematics, and served as Vice President of the Harvard College Debating Union. He was a semifinalist and top 10 speaker at the World Universities Debating Championship in Thailand, and won the American Parliamentary Debate Association’s 2019-2020 Team of the Year award with his partner. Aditya also coached USA Debate at the 2022 world championships, and currently works as a consultant.

Dr. Sandra Berkowitz

Dr. Sandra J. Berkowitz

Assistant Coach from The Blake School in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Sandy Berkowitz is an Assistant Debate Coach at The Blake School in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She has also been a college professor of Communication Studies, where her research interests include the connections between debate and critical thinking, gender and social practices, and critical cultural discourses. Sandy has coached for more than 30 years and is a recipient of the 2015 Minnesota Coach of the Year Award. She has coached at both the high school and college levels and has had award-winning students in Public Forum, Policy, Lincoln-Douglas, and Congressional Debate, as well as Oratory, Extemporaneous Speaking, Informative, and Rhetorical Criticism. Sandy has taught and/or directed at several summer workshops including those at Harvard, Dartmouth, the University of Southern California, and Wayne State University.

R. Shane Stafford

Shane Stafford

Assistant Coach from The Blake School in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Shane Stafford is the Director of Debate at The Blake School in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He has coached for more than 30 years in all debate and speech events with multiple national and state champions and finalists in Public Forum, Policy, Lincoln-Douglas, and Congressional Debate as well as Oratory and Extemporaneous Speaking. Shane is the recipient of many awards, including the 2015 Minnesota Coach of the Year. Shane has coached at both the high school and university levels of competitive debate. He has taught and/or directed at several summer workshops, including those at Harvard, Dartmouth, Georgetown, and the University of Southern California.

In Memoriam

Dr. Alfred “Tuna” Snider In Memoriam

Dr. Alfred “Tuna” Snider

Former Coach from the University of Vermont in Burlington, Vermont

Dr. Snider was the Edwin W. Lawrence Professor of Forensics at the University of Vermont. He had degrees from Brown University, Emerson College, and the University of Kansas. He taught courses in debate, argumentation, persuasion, and rhetorical analysis. He was the Director of the World Debate Institute and the Lawrence Debate Union. Dr. Snider conducted formal debate training in more than 40 countries and trained debaters from more than 55 nations. Dr. Snider published six books on debating in the last seven years and during his career edited or wrote more than 50 volumes about debating and for debaters.

USA Debate Alumni

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USA Debate Alumni – Class of 2022

Jane Grey Battle

Jane Grey Battle

Mountain Brook High School – Alabama

Jane Grey serves as the captain of the Mountain Brook High School debate team and competes primarily in Public Forum. She is a three-time Alabama state champion and three-time Deep South District champion. Jane Grey cleared to quarterfinals at NSDA Nationals and is currently ranked #7 in the country for Public Forum. She has been selected to compete at the Ivy Street, Blake, and Magic City Round Robins. Jane Grey volunteers for SpeakFirst, creates and teaches online elementary debate courses, and leads local debate camps in her community. Outside of debate, Jane Grey works on various political campaigns, loves to cook, and recently earned her Seal of Biliteracy in French. She is the founder of Young Voters for a Better Alabama, a non-partisan youth coalition, which supports candidates and legislation. She is excited to represent the USA Debate team this year!

Kate Drum

Kate Drum

Polytechnic School – California

Kate has been involved in debate for six years, primarily in World Schools and Parliamentary formats. She currently serves as captain of her school team. In World Schools Debate, Kate championed and placed top speaker at the Damus Hollywood Invitational and reached out rounds at tournaments including NSDA Nationals, Harvard, Greenhill, and Coppell (top speaker), among others. In Parliamentary Debate, she championed tournaments including the SCDL State Tournament and Damien (top speaker), along with making out rounds at tournaments including Cal Invitational, University of Oregon, and Peninsula (second speaker). In addition to competing herself, Kate coaches and manages the middle school debate team at the McKinley School (PUSD) in Pasadena and co-founded the organization Girls Who Debate. Outside of debate, Kate serves as associated student body president of her school and on the Judiciary Council. She is president of her school’s Model United Nations team, captain of the Ethics Bowl team, and chief copy editor of Poly’s newspaper, the Paw Print. She also works with the United Nations Association (UNA) as the National High School Campus Fellow, president of her school’s UNA chapter, and board member of the UNA-Pasadena chapter. In her free time, Kate enjoys playing on her varsity tennis team and spending time with friends and family. Kate is incredibly grateful to be a part of the team and is looking forward to an amazing year with USA Debate!

Hannah Heeger

Hannah Heeger

Millennium High School – New York

Hannah has been involved in speech and debate for six years. She has competed on behalf of the USA Debate development team for the past three years, during which she was the top speaker at the EurOpean tournament and The Delores Arthur Taylor School Invitational (reaching quarterfinals and semifinals, respectively). She championed the Bluebonnet Invitational, reached finals at Blake twice, and reached quarterfinals at the Harvard World Schools tournament. She also reached quarterfinals with her district team at the 2021 NSDA National Tournament in World Schools. Additionally, she competes in Congressional Debate, in which she has reached semifinal rounds at ASU and Bronx, and reached finals at Columbia and Princeton (also earning a bid to the TOC). She enjoys helping coach and judge local middle school debates. Outside of debate, Hannah volunteers with the Neighborhood Defense Service of Harlem, a public defense practice. She loves creative writing and is an editor for her school’s literary magazine, FLUX, and has helped lead writing workshops for younger students with Writopia Labs. In her free time, you will find her exploring the city for new places to eat, baking, or rewatching Grey’s Anatomy.

Cameron Kettles

Cameron Kettles

Greenhill School – Texas

Cameron is returning to USA Debate for the second year and has been involved in debate for seven years, competing primarily in World Schools Debate. As a member of the 2019-2020 USA Debate development team, the 2020-2021 national team, and her school team, she reached octafinals of the World Schools Debating Championships and championed NSDA Nationals, NDCA, Hockaday, Isidore Newman, University of Texas Tournament, and The Delores Taylor Arthur School Invitational twice. She reached the semifinal round at Harvard and the World Holiday Open and top-spoke the TFA State tournament. Outside debate, she serves as the executive content editor of her school paper, The Evergreen, and is an active member of her school’s Project Dialogue Club and Political Action Club. In her free time, she enjoys backpacking, drinking coffee, reading about cargo ships specifically, and playing with with her dog, Blue. Cameron is excited for another amazing year with USA Debate! 

Jennifer Lin

Jennifer Lin

Richard Montgomery High School – Maryland

Jennifer has been involved in debate throughout high school, and she captains her team at Richard Montgomery and the Potomac Debate Academy. She competes in Public Forum and World Schools. In Public Forum, she championed the NSDA National Tournament and accumulated nine bids to the Tournament of Champions in her junior year. Notably, she reached numerous semifinal and final rounds at Yale, Stanford, Harvard, Georgetown, and several round robins. She was also ranked first speaker at Emory as well as second speaker at Georgetown and the Mid-America Cup. In World Schools, she competed with the USA Debate development team during the 2020-2021 season. While debating for the development team, she finaled at the Greenhill Classic and was first seed and tenth speaker at the International World Schools Debate Tournament Ljutomer. Jennifer also enjoys volunteering as a coach and judge for younger debaters. Outside of debate, she is a member of her school’s mock trial team, which reached finals at the state championship. She is also involved with Student Government, the World Affairs Council, and other clubs and organizations. In her free time, she likes hiking, listening to podcasts, watching Netflix, and spending time with friends and family. Jennifer is incredibly grateful and excited to compete with USA Debate!

Vinayak Menon

Vinayak Menon

Lambert High School – Georgia

Vinayak has been involved in debate throughout his high school career, competing in Public Forum and Worlds Schools Debate. In his two years of Public Forum, he has qualified to the Tournament of Champions twice, championed the James Logan and Peach State Tournament, and ranked fourth speaker at the University of Pennsylvania Tournament. As a member of the USA Debate development team, he has reached quarterfinals at the Harvard College Worlds Schools Invitational and semifinals at the Greenhill and Blake Tournament. Vinayak is also actively involved in speech, in which he championed Georgia’s American Legion Oratorical Contest and State Optimist Oratorical Contest. Outside of speech and debate, he serves as the Youth Sector Leader for the Forsyth County Drug Awareness Council, in which he has spread awareness about the opioid crisis to elected officials and developed a campaign to provide thousands of families with proper drug disposal resources. Vinayak also frequently writes articles in the Atlanta-Journal Constitution and founded the Board of Commissioners’ Youth Council in his county. In his free time, he loves to listen to music, keep up with politics, and spend time with friends and family. Vinayak is incredibly honored and excited to be a part of the USA Debate team this year!

Ashley Shan

Ashley Shan

Greenhill School – Texas

Ashley is a returning member of the USA Debate team and has been involved in speech and debate since her freshman year, primarily competing in World Schools Debate. She has championed World Schools at NSDA Nationals, NDCA Nationals, the Stanford Invitational, the Greenhill Fall Classic, The Delores Taylor Arthur School Invitational, and the UT Longhorn Classic. She’s also placed second at Harvard-Westlake and TFA State, as well as reached semifinals at the Winter Holiday Open in Zagreb. Outside of debate, Ashley is the president of her school’s East Asian Affinity Group, Model United Nations team, Project Dialogue Club, and Political Action Club, as well as an avid photographer (both film and digital). When she isn’t debating, Ashley enjoys writing articles, participating as a representative of the Dallas Youth Commission and Human Rights Commission, and volunteering as a judge at local middle school tournaments to encourage youth advocacy. In her free time, Ashley enjoys exploring local cafés, playing with her two cats, and spending time with family. Ashley is incredibly honored to represent the United States in the activity that has given her a voice and is looking forward to another great year with USA Debate!

Victor Tong

Victor Tong

Phillips Academy – Massachusetts

As a rising senior and the co-captain of Phillips Academy’s debate team, Victor has competed in World Schools Debate for six years. He was also a member of the USA Debate development team the past three years. His achievements include placing third at the 2021 NSDA National Tournament in World Schools Debate, second at the 2021 King Round Robin, first at the 2019 Bluebonnet World Schools Debate International Tournament (third top speaker), and first at the Blake Tournament. He reached the quarterfinal round twice at the European Tournament (placing as third top speaker in 2020) and finished twice as a quarterfinalist at the Harvard College World Schools Invitational. He has reached elimination rounds at Stanford Invitational, Greenhill Invitational, Isidore Newman Tournament, Semiahmoo Invitational, and The Delores Taylor Arthur Invitational. Outside of debate, Victor is a member of his school’s Varsity Crew and Varsity Nordic skiing teams, a board member of his school’s Save the Children Club, and a Residential Advisor for his dorm on campus. In his spare time, Victor loves playing basketball and spending time with his friends. Victor is looking forward to an incredible year with USA Debate!
Miles Wang

Miles Wang

A. W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts – Florida

Miles is returning to his third year with the USA Debate team and competes primarily in World Schools Debate. His competitive accomplishments include reaching octafinals at the 2021 World Schools Debating Championships, third at the Winter Holiday Open in Zagreb two times (second and eighth speaker, respectively), first at the Stanford Debate Invitational, Blake, and Harvard-Westlake tournament, and second at the Greenhill Fall Classic (top speaker). In Congressional Debate, he placed third at the Blue Key Invitational among other out rounds. As president of his school’s speech and debate team, he has led teams to third place at NSDA Nationals (having placed third the year prior) and first place twice at the Florida Varsity State Tournament. Outside of debate, he enjoys writing articles as an editor of his school’s newspaper, leads several clubs, and is a student attorney for PBC Youth Court. In his free time, Miles enjoys reading science fiction books, listening to music, and spending time with family and friends. He is looking forward to the upcoming year with USA Debate!
Abbey Xu

Abbey Xu

St. Paul’s School – New Hampshire

Abbey is returning for her third year with USA Debate. She has been actively participating in speech and debate since middle school, competing in primarily World Schools and Parliamentary formats. In World Schools, she represented USA Debate at the 2021 Macau Online WSDC, placing 13th overall and third in the Hegel division as an individual speaker. In addition, she was a finalist at NSDA Nationals as a ninth grader in 2019, and a semifinalist in 2021. Abbey has championed the World Schools division at the Stanford Invitational, the Greenhill Fall Classic and Harvard-Westlake. She also broke into semifinals at the Winter Holiday Open and the Harvard College World Schools Invitational in 2021. In addition to co-captaining her school’s Parliamentary Debate team, Abbey is a four-year member of her school’s varsity volleyball team, leads the Justice and Social Equality for Asians club and serves as a chair on the Student Diversity Equity and Inclusion Council. In her free time, she enjoys perfecting her Pinterest boards, crocheting fun projects, and reading. She is beyond excited for another great year with USA Debate!

USA Debate Alumni – Class of 2021

Genevieve Cox

Genevieve Cox

Hawken upper School - Ohio

Genevieve is a returning member of the USA Debate Team as well as the President of her team at Ray. This is her 7th year competing in Congressional Debate and Extemporaneous Speaking. In Congressional Debate as a Freshman she placed 8th at Blue Key, 2nd at UT and broke to Semi-Finals at the TOC. As a Sophomore she finaled at Yale and Emory, placed 6th at Blue Key as well as the NCFL Grand Nationals and the Senate at the NSDA Nationals. As a Junior she championed the Glenbrooks and Harvard tournament, was the runner up for the TOC, and placed second at the TFA State Tournament. She has 30 lifetime TOC bids. She has also been playing piano since she was 2 years old, having performed in Carnegie Hall 6 times. In her spare time she enjoys drinking boba and watching detective documentaries. She feels incredibly honored for this opportunity to represent her country on the USA Debate Team.

Cameron Kettles

Cameron Kettles

Greenhill School - Texas

Cameron has been involved in debate for six years, competing primarily in World Schools Debate. As a member of the 2019-2020 USA Debate Development Team, she co-championed the Delores Taylor Arthur School World Schools Invitational and reached quarterfinals at European, Greenhill, and Blake. Her freshman year, she championed Hockaday and Isidore Newman and placed third at the TFA State Tournament. She was also ranked 5th speaker at the 2019 NSDA National Tournament in World Schools. As a sophomore, she championed the NSDA National Tournament in World Schools with her district/school team, the University of Texas Tournament, Jesuit, and placed second at the Harvard-Westlake Tournament where she was also the top speaker. Outside debate, she serves as the content editor of her school paper, The Evergreen, and is an active member of her school’s Project Dialogue Club and Political Action Club. In her free time, she enjoys bike riding, backpacking in the Texas deserts, drinking coffee, and playing with her dog, Blue. Cameron is excited for an amazing year with USA Debate!

Jason Luo

Jason Luo

Westlake High School - Texas

Jason has been involved in speech and debate at Westlake High School since his freshman year, competing primarily in Public Forum Debate. In his three years of competition, he’s qualified for and broken at TFA State, NSDAs, and the TOC, finaling at the most recent Tournament of Champions, finishing as the top speaker at the Harvard National Forensics Tournament, and reaching late outrounds at many other competitive national tournaments. Beyond competition, he cares deeply about accessibility in debate and has created numerous educational resources and run multiple free debate camps designed to promote a more inclusive model of debate. Outside of debate, he works with various political campaigns around Texas, has been involved in various non-profits providing assistance to populations heavily impacted by the Covid-19 Pandemic, and volunteers at the Children’s Association for Maximum Potential to support individuals with special needs. In his free time, Jason enjoys playing video games, writing short stories, and eating soup noodles. He’s very excited for a phenomenal year with the USA Debate team.

Kaitlyn Maher

Kaitlyn Maher

The Potomac School - Virginia

Kaitlyn has competed in debate her entire high school career, primarily in Congressional Debate and World Schools. She captains her school’s speech and debate team. In Congressional Debate, Kaitlyn placed 3rd at the 2020 Tournament of Champions and has made numerous semifinal and final rounds at Harvard, Yale, Emory, Princeton, Durham, Bronx, NSDA Nationals in the Senate, and more. Kaitlyn competed on behalf of the USA Debate Development Team for two years, during which she won first place and top speaker at the Delores Taylor Arthur Invitational, championed the Bluebonnet Invitational, and finaled at the Blake Tournament. In her junior summer, Kaitlyn was awarded a U.S. State Department National Security Fellowship to study Mandarin in China. She also sings and acts professionally. Since becoming the Youngest Top 10 Finalist on America’s Got Talent at age four, Kaitlyn has performed for presidents, toured internationally, and starred in numerous feature films, TV shows, and national commercials. She serves as an Artist Ambassador for Compassion International, an organization which aims to combat global child poverty. In her free time, she enjoys traveling with family, volunteering at her church, dabbling in other languages (currently Arabic), writing music, having spontaneous dance parties, and scouting out restaurants that serve escargot. Kaitlyn feels tremendously grateful and excited to compete with Team USA this year!

Jonathan May

Jonathan May

Palisade High School - Colorado

Jonathan is entering his senior year of speech and debate as co-captain of his school team, competing primarily in Extemporaneous Speaking and World Schools Debate. Most notably, he placed 17th at the 2019 NSDA National Tournament in World Schools, finished in the top 8 of the Harvard-Westlake Debates, and was a finalist at the CHSAA State Tournament in Domestic Extemp. Additionally, Jonathan competed on behalf of the USA Debate Development Team for the 2019-2020 season. While debating with the Development Team, he was a member of the top finishing American team at the 2020 Bluebonnet International World Schools Invitational, co-championed the 2019 Delores Taylor Arthur International World Schools Invitational while simultaneously placing 5th speaker, and reached the quarterfinal round of the Blake Tournament. When he is not debating, Jonathan is an avid cellist, and has performed as the principal cellist of various multi-state and national orchestras. In addition to performance, he leads community outreach efforts that provide after-school music education to elementary schoolers in his area. In his spare time, he can be found skiing, hiking, or watching Parks and Recreation. He is looking forward to an incredible year with USA Debate!

Guyberson Pierre

Guyberson Pierre

A.W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts — Florida

Guyberson has been involved in forensics since his freshman year, competing in Congressional Debate and World Schools Debate. He currently serves as co-debate captain of his school’s speech and debate team. In Congress, Guyberson has championed The Tradition at Cypress Bay and has made final rounds at Nova Titan, Florida Blue Key, Sunvitational, Harvard, NCFL Nationals, and NSDA Nationals, among others. In World Schools, Guyberson championed the Florida State Tournament and received 3rd at the 2020 NSDA National Tournament with his district team. Outside of debate, Guyberson leads his county’s Youth in Government delegation, works on the business section of his school’s nationally-recognized yearbook, is an officer for Class Council, and studies Latin—even placing at regional competitions. Additionally, Guyberson has attended legislative recaps with elected officials in his local community and is an ambassador for When We All Vote where he helps to register voters. In his free time, he loves listening to music, drinking boba, and spending time with friends and family. He is incredibly honored to represent his country and is looking forward to an amazing year with Team USA! 

Ria Raj

Ria Raj

Laurel Upper School - Ohio

Ria has been involved in speech and debate since her sophomore year, participating in International Extemporaneous Speech and World Schools Debate. In Extemp, she was a quarterfinalist at George Mason University, finalist at Bethel Park and earned a bid to the Tournament of Champions. In 2020, Ria was a four-time local tournament champion earning the highest number of bids in Cleveland for International Extemp. In Ohio, she was a state quarterfinalist and alternate to nationals her novice year and a state semifinalist in 2020. Ria earned a position on Cleveland’s World Schools Debate team, winning international runner-up at the 2020 NSDA National Tournament. Outside of speech and debate, Ria serves as her school’s Diversity Fellows co-chair, senior class secretary, and on the Model United Nations leadership board. She focuses her time most heavily on social justice reform, as content-editor of the Laurel Political Review, Asian culture society president and co-founder of her school’s March for Our Lives chapter. Additionally, Ria conducted a three-year research project on political awareness levels in high schoolers and independently wrote a current event curriculum. Ria has volunteered her time teaching English at Us Together, a refugee resettlement agency and tutoring students in reading at Citizens Leadership Academy, an inner-city school for lower-income families. In her free time, she loves dancing, listening to music, playing instruments, reading the news and traveling with her family. Ria is excited for an amazing year with USA Debate!

Liana Schmitter-Emerson

Liana Schmitter-Emerson

Campbell Hall - California

Liana is returning for her third year with USA Debate and has been involved in speech and debate at Campbell Hall Episcopal for five years, primarily competing in World Schools Debate, Congressional Debate, Public Forum Debate, and Extemporaneous Speaking. During her freshman year, Liana also competed as a member of the USA Debate Development Team. Her competitive accomplishments in World Schools Debate include reaching octofinals of the 2020 World Schools Debating Championships, finals at the European Open (placing as third speaker), semifinals at the Winter Holiday Open in Zagreb, championing the Harvard World Schools Tournament (placing as top speaker), championing the Alfred Tuna Snider World Schools Tournament, and championing the Harvard Westlake World Schools Tournament twice, in addition to others. In addition to serving as captain of her school team, she is a three time qualifier for CHSSA State and the NSDA National tournament, where she reached finals in Public Forum Debate in 2020 and finals in Congressional Debate in 2019. Outside of debate, Liana serves on her school’s Academic Honor Board, volunteers as a tutor for students experiencing homelessness, and enjoys spending time with friends and family. She is incredibly grateful to be working with USA Debate again this year! 

Ashley Shan

Ashley Shan

Greenhill School - Texas

Ashley has been involved in speech and debate since her freshman year, primarily competing in World Schools Debate. As a sophomore, she placed first in World Schools at NSDA Nationals, second at Harvard-Westlake, reached quarters at Greenhill and Blake, and placed 5th at TFA State. Outside of debate, Ashley is the president of her school’s East Asian Affinity Group, Model United Nations team, Project Dialogue Club, and Political Action Club, as well as an avid photographer and musician, playing violin, viola, drums, and guitar. When she isn’t debating, Ashley enjoys writing articles, participating as a representative of the Dallas Youth Commission and Human Rights Commission, and volunteering as a judge at local middle school tournaments to encourage youth advocacy. In her free time, Ashley enjoys exploring local cafés, curating playlists for every occasion, and spending time with family. Ashley is incredibly honored to represent the United States in the activity that has given her a voice and is looking forward to a great year with Team USA! 

Rodrigo Trujillo

Rodrigo Trujillo

Alief Elsik HS - Texas

Rodrigo is a senior at Alief Elsik High School where he is the President of the Speech and Debate team. Though he’s competed in almost every debate event, he found himself particularly interested  in Worlds School Debate and Extemporaneous Speaking. Competing in Worlds School, Rodrigo has made it to Semi-finals of the TFA State tournament as a Junior, Quarter-finals of UT Longhorn Classic, and placed first in the CASE Houston City Championship. In 2020, Rodrigo competed at TFA State and NSDA Nationals in Domestic Extemp and Worlds School Debate. Outside of the world of debate, Rodrigo works with the Houston City Council to organize rallies for the youth. In his free time, Rodrigo enjoys ramen, watching multiple animes at a time, listening to music and the ‘Philosophize this!’ podcast. He is incredibly honored to be a part of such a phenomenal team and is excited for a great year!

Miles Wang

Miles Wang

A.W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts - Florida

Miles is a returning member of the USA Debate team and competes in World Schools Debate and Congressional Debate. In World Schools Debate, Miles placed 3rd at the Winter Holiday Open in Zagreb (8th individual speaker), 1st at the Harvard-Westlake World Schools tournament, 2nd at the Greenhill Fall Classic, as well as reaching elimination rounds at Harvard and VWSDC. As a sophomore, he led teams to 1st place at the Florida Varsity State Tournament and 3rd at NSDA Nationals (having received 3rd the year prior). In Congressional Debate, he  placed 3rd at the Florida Blue Key Invitational (finaling the previous year) among reaching other out rounds. Miles also serves as co-debate captain of his school’s speech and debate team. Outside of debate, he is a co-president of Artists Reaching to Society (ARTS) Club, an editor on his school’s newsmagazine The Muse, on the officer boards of Mu Alpha Theta and Key Club, and a student attorney at PBC Youth Court. In his free time, Miles enjoys reading science fiction books, listening to music, and spending time with family and friends. He is looking forward to the upcoming year with Team USA!

Abbey Xu

Abbey Xu

St. Paul’s School - New Hampshire

Abbey is a returning member of USA Debate and she has been actively participating in speech and debate since 6th grade, competing in primarily World Schools and Public Forum. In World Schools, she was a grand finalist at NSDA Nationals as a freshman in 2019, an octo-finalist at Prague Spring in the Czech Republic and a quarter-finalist at AWSDC 2019 held in Thailand. Abbey championed the World Schools division at Harvard-Westlake and at the Greenhill Fall Classic. She also broke into quarters at the Winter Holiday Open 2019 and ranked 6th as an individual speaker. Outside of debate, Abbey is a member of her school’s varsity volleyball team and leads the Justice and Social Equality for Asians club. Abbey enjoys volunteering as a judge and instructor at youth tournaments to reach out to her local debate community. In her free time, she enjoys exploring cities, trying cool food and finding new R&B artists to listen to. She is excited for another great year with USA Debate!

USA Debate Alumni – Class of 2020

Cassandra Berlin

Cassandra Berlin

Hawken upper School - Ohio

Cassandra has been involved in speech and debate since her freshman year and currently serves as a team officer, looking to expand the team’s community outreach through volunteerism. Cassandra has competed in five different events, but primarily competes in Congressional Debate. In Congressional Debate, she was a semifinalist at the Tournament of Champions and Harvard and a finalist at Emory. Cassandra has won several tournaments in Ohio and placed in the top ten at Ohio’s State tournament as both a sophomore and junior. Cassandra championed the 2019 NSDA National Tournament in World Schools Debate with her district team and was ranked as the 21st speaker at the tournament. Outside of debate, Cassandra serves on her school’s Senate and leads the Finance Club. She tutors at a local after school community center and has become involved with the nonprofit Teaching Cleveland, which inspires community and political engagement. In her free time, Cassandra enjoys practicing yoga, reading memoirs, cooking, and riding roller coasters.

Anh Cao

Anh Cao

Bentonville High School - Arkansas

Anh graduated from Bentonville High School after participating in USA Debate for two years. She was selected for the 2019 WSDC team that took home 5th place in Bangkok and was captain of the 2020 E-WSDC team. Anh is currently on a gap year, studying Arabic through the NSLI-Y Scholarship.

Elyse Dewbre

Elyse Dewbre

Northland Christian School - Texas

Elyse was a two-year Team USA team member and attended the 2020 WSDC. She graduated from The Northland Christian School and during high school was an NSDA national champion and a TFA state champion in World Schools. Elyse is currently a freshman pursuing a major in business at the University of Texas.

Arham Habib

Arham Habib

Monte Vista High School

Arham is currently a freshman at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, where he’s studying Finance and Data Science. In high school, he competed in Extemporaneous Speaking, where he championed the Stanford Invitational, got fourth at the Cal Invitational, won the MLK Invitational, and got second at the California State tournament. Currently, he competes for the Penn Debate Society and is conducting research about using business analytic frameworks to address climate change. Though he doesn’t know what the future holds, he’s fascinated by Venture Capital and startup culture. 

James Hu

James Hu

Mira Loma High School

James debated for Mira Loma High School in California and was associated with the USA Debate program for three years. As a competitor, James placed 4th at the NSDA tournament in International Extemp and was a member of the 2020 WSDC team. He currently attends Columbia University and hopes to study both political science and data science. This year he will also be assisting the USA Development Team in their training. 

Roopa Irakam

Roopa Irakam

Watchung Hills Regional High School - New Jersey

Roopa is currently a first year student at Barnard College of Columbia University studying Neuroscience and Behavior. She primarily competed in Congressional Debate for Watchung Hills Regional High School where she and her twin sister founded the speech and debate team. As a member of USA Debate, Roopa made it to outrounds at Greenhill, Harvard, and EurOpen in Germany, and she was a part of the USA Debate Development Team where she made it to elimination rounds at Cornell, Blake, and Harvard. She gained more than 25 bids to the TOC in Congressional Debate and continues to stay involved with the debate community by coaching younger students. She is immensely grateful for her time as a member of the team and is excited to see their success in the future! 

Rohit Jhawar

Rohit Jhawar

John F. Kennedy High School – California

Rohit competed in Congressional Debate for 4 years at John F. Kennedy High School and was a member of Team USA from 2019-2020, his senior year. He is now a freshman at the University of California, Berkeley, where he is studying Molecular and Cell Biology. He is very thankful for his time in debate, and now gives back as an assistant coach for Congressional Debate at James Logan High School.

Jack Johnson

Jack Johnson

The Blake School in Minnesotta

Jack is a returning member of the USA debate team as well as a captain of his team at Blake. Last year, Jack and his partner won the Tournament of Champions and the NDCA national championship in Public Forum debate. Additionally, he placed in the top 10 at the NSDA national championship, finished as the top speaker at the University of Kentucky National Opener, and championed the King Round Robin, finishing the year as the highest-ranking Junior in the country. His competitive accolades in World Schools debate include reaching semifinals at Harvard (after advancing to the Octofinal round the previous year), finals at Greenhill, and semifinals at the EurOpen tournament in Germany. When he isn’t debating, Jack writes for his school newspaper, Spectrum, and volunteers alongside the Miracle League to help support disabled youth by organizing and coaching recreational baseball games. In his free time, Jack enjoys spending time with friends, vacationing with family, playing video games, and binging Netflix. Jack can’t wait for another incredible year with Team USA!

USA Debate Alumni – Class of 2019

Ishan Bhatt

Ishan Bhatt

Harvard University

Ishan is incredibly thankful for his time in debate as a competitor in Lincoln-Douglas for St. Andrew’s Episcopal School for four years and the privilege of representing his country on USA Debate his senior year. In LD, he championed the National Speech & Debate Association tournament and the Tournament of Champions. During his time with Team USA, Ishan was a member of the 5th placing USA Team at the 2019 WSDC and was individually ranked as the 5th best speaker at the tournament. In college, Ishan is excited to try out multiple areas of study, including social studies, government, history of science, and economics, hopefully deciding upon one at some point! He is a member of the Harvard Debate Council, participating in policy debate. He is also excited to spend his time helping out high school debaters.

Michael Bole

Michael Bole

Emory University

Michael debated for Dreyfoos School of the Arts in Florida, was a member of USA Debate, and was a National Student of the Year Finalist. Since graduating, Michael has been consulting for minority-owned small businesses in Atlanta, designing advertising material for entrepreneurship initiatives, interning for the Atlanta Urban Debate League, and serving as an advisor in residence halls. He is double-majoring in Business (Marketing and Consulting) and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality studies. Long-term, he hopes to work in creative marketing to continue to communicate in meaningful ways.

Maddie Butler

Maddie Butler

Indiana University

Maddie is grateful for her time debating as a member of USA Debate and the Fishers High School debate team in Indiana. Throughout her debate career, Maddie earned two state championship titles in Congressional Debate as well as a State Championship title in Discussion. She also earned a championship title at the Harvard-Westlake World Schools Debate tournament and was an NSDA semi-finalist in Congressional Debate. She is in her second year at Indiana University studying International Law, Political Science, and Near Eastern Languages and Cultures through the Wells Scholars Program. She looks forward to pursuing a career in human rights and immigration law. Maddie is incredibly grateful for the opportunity to grow through USA Debate and looks forward to staying connected with the team.

Emily Grantham

Emily Grantham

Having spent a gap year teaching debate education in China, Emily is currently in her first year at Smith planning to major in Government. Competing for Kingwood High School and USA Debate, Emily is a TFA state and NSDA national champion (and two time finalist) in World Schools Debate who competed at the WSDC in 2018 and 2019, reaching quarterfinals both times. While in quarantine, she has been enjoying learning how to cook and roller skate. 

Ranen Miao

Ranen Miao

Washington University in St. Louis

Ranen (he/him) is a rising sophomore at WashU, studying political science and sociology. He is incredibly grateful for his time representing his country on USA Debate from 2017-2019, and serving as Millburn High School’s debate president. He currently serves as WashU’s Student Body President and Vice President of the debate team, working on projects to increase mental healthcare, expand access to free menstrual products, and create equity on campus. In high school, he was ranked 1st in the country for Congress, winning the TOC, Harvard, UPenn, Princeton, Glenbrooks, Blake, and New Jersey States twice. With the USA Team, he also won tournaments in Slovenia, Cornell, Greenhill, and Harvard-Westlake. 

Leila Saklou

Leila Saklou

Leila was associated with the USA Debate Team for three years and was captain of the 2019 WSDC Team. As Co-President of Kingwood High School Debate, Leila championed the TFA State competition and NSDA Nationals. Before college, Leila is taking a gap year to study Mandarin in China.

Luke Tillitski

Luke Tillitski

Yale University

Luke is a freshman at Yale University. While on Team USA’s 6th generation, Luke helped his team finish 2nd at the EurOpen tournament in addition to individually finishing as the 2nd overall speaker. Luke was proud to represent the United States at the 2019 WSDC in Bangkok, Thailand where Team USA placed fifth in the world while he simultaneously placed as the 11th overall individual. Domestically, Luke was the NSDA National Champion in Congressional Debate. Luke is excited to help Team USA’s future generations pursue a world championship as a proud alum!

Brian Zhou

Brian Zhou

Brian Zhou graduated from Greenhill as valedictorian after 4 years of Lincoln-Douglas debate and 2 years on the USA Debate Team. He is currently taking a gap year in Rabat, Morocco as a NSLI-Y Arabic Academic Year scholar and will attend Harvard University in the Fall of 2020 with a concentration in History of Science.

USA Debate Alumni – Class of 2018

Shreya Agarwala

Shreya Agarwala

University of Texas at Austin

Shreya debated for Greenhill School in PF and was a part of Team USA in 2017-2018. She is now a sophomore attending the University of Texas at Austin studying business.

Piper Doyle

Piper Doyle

University of Denver’s Daniels College of Business

Piper is currently a senior attending the Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver. She is studying business information analytics. Piper continues to debate in the British Parliamentary format, works as a residential assistant, and interns as a research analyst for an international company based in the Denver area. 

Shreyoshi Das

Shreyoshi Das

Wharton School - University of Pennsylvania

Shreyoshi is a junior at the Wharton School studying management and decision processes. She currently serves as the President of the Penn Debate Society and consults for Penn International Impact Consulting, a pro bono consulting group on campus. Shreyoshi competed on the 2018 WSDC team in Zagreb, Croatia, where Team USA placed sixth overall. She also debated for Flower Mound High School in Texas for four years in a variety of events and served as co-captain of her school team.

Ella Michaels

Ella Michaels

Harvard University

Ella is currently a sophomore at Harvard. She was a member of USA Debate her junior year, captain of the 2018 WSDC Team her senior year, and the highest ranked American debater at two consecutive world championships. She also placed second at both the TOC and NSDA Nationals in Congressional Debate in 2018. In addition to being a part of the Harvard College Debating Union, she teaches with CIVICS, a program that provides weekly civics classes to fifth-graders in Boston. She also works with the Harvard College Consulting Group and the Harvard Square Homeless Shelter.

Nikhil Ramaswamy

Nikhil Ramaswamy

University of Chicago

Nikhil competed for Plano West Senior High School in Extemporaneous Speaking, championing the MBA Round Robin, Harvard National Tournament, UK Tournament of Champions, and Northwestern Extemp Tournament of Champions. As a three-time finalist in IX at NSDA Nationals and a three-year member of USA Debate, he contributed to the team’s victory in Slovenia and quarterfinals finish at the 2018 WSDC. Nikhil is currently a freshman majoring in computational/applied math and economics at the University of Chicago.

USA Debate Alumni – Class of 2017

Aditya Dhar

Aditya Dhar

Harvard University

Aditya is a senior studying Applied Math, Computer Science, and Economics at Harvard University. He placed second at 2017 NSDA Nationals in Congressional Debate, and semifinaled at the 2017 World Championships with Team USA. In college, Aditya competes with the Harvard College Debating Union, and was a top ten speaker and semifinalist at the 2020 World Championship. Outside of debate, he also enjoys doing research in economics, computer science, and statistics.

Colette Faulkner

Colette Faulkner

Pepperdine University

Colette has been an active member of the debate community since her sophomore year of high school. In high school, Colette competed in both Public Forum and World Schools Debate at Kingwood High School. As a three-time NSDA Nationals qualifier, Colette competed in the quarterfinals and finals of World Schools debate her junior and senior year. She served as captain of the 2017 WSDC Team USA in Bali where the team reached semifinals. Colette is now a senior at Pepperdine University where she is studying Economics and Mathematics and is the coach of the Pepperdine debate team.

Gaurav Gawankar

Gaurav Gawankar

George Washington University

Gaurav debated for Kingwood High School in Houston, Texas, and was a member of the USA Debate Team in 2016-2017. He now attends the George Washington University double majoring in economics and political science.

Ellie Singer

Ellie Singer

Yale University

Ellie Singer is currently on leave from Yale University, where she is majoring in political science. She stays involved in debate by coaching for her alma mater, the Blake School, and competing in American parliamentary debate. Ellie serves as the 2020 President of the Yale Debate Association, the Vice President of Operations of American Parliamentary Debate Association, and a co-director of the activist organization Engender at Yale.

Sarah Lanier

Sarah Lanier

Baylor University

Sarah is a current a junior in the Honors College at Baylor University. She will graduate in 2021 and is majoring in International Studies with a minor in Spanish. She plans to attend law school after graduation. Sarah still stays involved in the debate community by coaching students in Extemporaneous Speaking and judging at various tournaments in the Texas area. She competed for the USA Debate Team in WSDC 2017 Bali.

Joshua May

Joshua May

Cornell University

Josh debated with the USA Debate Team from 2015-2017 and represented the team at the 2016 World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany. He continues to debate in the British Parliamentary format, advancing to semifinals at U.S. Western Regionals and reaching 7th novice at USA Nationals. Josh studies applied economics and management at the Cornell University where he enjoys playing rugby and hiking the local gorges.

Liz Yount

Liz Yount

The George Washington University

Liz is currently a sophomore at The George Washington University studying English with a concentration in Critical Theory/Cultural Studies. She was a member of the USA Debate national team from 2015-2017 and captain of the Harvard-Westlake debate team from 2016-2017. During Liz’s tenure in USA Debate, she championed tournaments in Croatia and Singapore and achieved top speaking ranks in Slovenia, Croatia, Singapore, and at the Harvard College Invitational. At university, she is the VP of Policy for GW Students Against Sexual Assault where she advocates for sexual violence prevention and education both on campus and on the federal level. Liz currently coaches the Harvard-Westlake Lincoln-Douglas Debate team and contributes to Global Debate Symposium LD Briefs. In her spare time, she is an avid skincare and makeup enthusiast, often reading Vogue or Into the Gloss.

USA Debate Alumni – Class of 2016

Milan Amritraj

Milan Amritraj

University of Southern California

Milan was captain of the 2016 WSDC Team USA and is currently majoring in Business Administration at USC’s Marshall School of Business.

Nikolas Angelopoulos

Nikolas Angelopoulos

Stanford University

Anastasios co-founded a prescription eyeglass diagnostics company, MHR vision, with billionaire entrepreneur and investor Ming Hsieh and inventor of the prosthetic retina Mark Humayun. After graduating in three years from Stanford University as the only electrical engineer to receive the Terman Award (top 30 students), Phi Beta Kappa (top 30 in liberal arts), Tau Beta Pi (engineering honors) and departmental distinction, Anastasios is now an EECS Ph.D. student at Berkeley as an NSF scholar co-advised by Michael I. Jordan, Jitendra Malik, and Avideh Zakhor. Anastasios leads an International Space Station mission on space biology as a co-investigator, his first-authored research has been featured in the Nature Research journal Scientific Reports, and he holds three patents (two provisional, one issued). His current work is in theoretical machine learning, computational imaging, and biomedical engineering.

Sonya Huang

Sonya Huang

Wharton School – University of Pennsylvania

Sonya currently attends the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, concentrating in finance and business analytics. She captains the case competition team of Penn’s marketing club (MUSE) and consults for the Social Impact Consulting Group. Sonya debated throughout all four years of high school, placing second at the 2015 NSDA Nationals in Lincoln-Douglas Debate and was one of the final five selected to represent the USA Debate Team at the 2016 WSDC in Stuttgart, Germany.

Julia Lauer

Julia Lauer

Harvard University

Julia is concentrating in government with a focus in international affairs and security. She competes on Harvard’s Parliamentary Debate Team and consults for the Harvard College Consulting Group. Over the summer, she coached Congressional Debate for the Champion Briefs Institute and the Institute for Speech and Debate, and she will continue to privately coach middle school Parliamentary and Public Forum Debate.

Amit Kukreja

Amit Kukreja

Rutgers Business School

Amit currently attends Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, majoring in finance. Amit coaches Lincoln-Douglas Debate at Success Academy in New York. Outside of debate, he is a member of the investment bankers association at Rutgers.

USA Debate Alumni – Class of 2015

Sara Evall

Sara Evall

Duke University

Sara is a Legal Assistant at Gupta Wessler, a national appellate, constitutional, and complex litigation boutique. She just finished a year long position as a Policy and Program Fellow at the American Constitution Society, a leading progressive legal organization. Sara graduated from Duke University in May 2019 with a B.A. in Refugee and Migrant Studies, magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. She received distinction for her thesis, which she wrote based off of primary research she conducted in Jordan. Her thesis was entitled: “The Deprivation of the Right to Work as a Barrier to Autonomy for Iraqi and Syrian Refugees in Jordan.” Highlights of her time at Duke included working closely with resettled refugees in Durham and spearheading sexual assault prevention efforts.

Nicky Halterman

Nicky Halterman

Oxford University

Nicky recently graduated from Oxford University. He led his USA team to octafinals at the world championship and was recognized as the 6th place speaker in the world.

Jane Irons

Jane Irons

Yale University

Jane recently graduated cum laude from Yale with a BA in philosophy and with distinction in her major. She will be applying to law school in the upcoming year and is currently pursuing an interest in creative writing.

Abigail Marone

Abigail Marone

The George Washington University

Abigail Marone is a graduate of The George Washington University and currently works in the communications department at The Republican National Committee. She has had her writing published in The Hill, FoxNews.com, the Washington Examiner and appeared on Fox News, NewsMaxTV, and One America News.

Mitali Mathur

Mitali Mathur

Georgetown University

Mitali is working as an associate at IDinsight, based in New Delhi, India. She engages in fieldwork and conducts statistical analysis to run development impact evaluations that test the efficacy of anti-poverty programs. She hopes that such evidence can be used to better inform policymaking. Mitali graduated from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University with a B.S. in International Economics (honors), a minor in Mandarin Chinese, and a certificate in International Development.

Tiana Menon

Tiana Menon

Harvard University

Tiana recently graduated from Harvard University. She has returned to her home state of Colorado to help run operations on one of 2020’s most competitive Senate races.

Amelia Miller

Amelia Miller

Harvard University

Amelia is studying Social Studies with a minor in Computer Science. Amelia writes for The Harvard Crimson magazine and coaches debate through Harvard College Mentors for Urban Debate.

Jasper Primack

Jasper Primack

University of Chicago Law School

Jasper is a 2L at the University of Chicago Law School. He graduated from Boston University in 2019, where he won the American Parliamentary Debate Association’s Team of the Year award with his debate partner.

 

SunHee Simon

SunHee Simon

Stanford University

SunHee is double majoring in Psychology and African & African American Studies. She will be coaching at James Logan High School in California and is involved in coaching schools in the Silicon Valley Urban Debate League. She currently debates for Stanford’s policy team and reached the semifinal round at CEDA in her freshman year of college (2016).

USA Debate Alumni – Class of 2014

Danny DeBois

Danny DeBois

Harvard University

Danny graduated summa cum laude from Harvard in 2018 with a degree in Social Studies, where wrote his thesis on the civil rights movement and the Supreme Court in the 1960s. He served as president of the Harvard College Debating Union and won the World Universities Debating Championship in Mexico with his partner. For the past two summers, he was an assistant coach with USA Debate at the World Championships in Croatia and Thailand. He currently does economic research for a hedge fund.

Daniel Garrison

Daniel Garrison

Loyola University

Daniel (who goes by Garrison) is a graduate of Loyola University New Orleans with a Bachelor’s in Marketing and a recent graduate of High Tech High Graduate School of Education getting a M.Ed with a focus on Teaching and Learning.In the Fall of 2021 he will be a founding teacher as well as the Director of the House System at The Delores Taylor Arthur School for Young Men in New Orleans under the direction of Byron Arthur. Garrison’s end goal is to spend some time in the classroom and then move on to working in education policy and potentially getting another masters in public administration. His love for debate will continue as he attempts to foster a love of rhetoric and argumentation in his classroom. Garrison also currently runs a politics & culture podcast called “Rebellion on the River.”

Shania Hunt

Shania Hunt

University of California, Los Angeles

Shania graduated in 2017 with a B.A. in Political Science with a focus on International Relations from UCLA. She coached Harvard-Westlake School for four years and now is the head of the middle school debate program at The Harker School. In college, she continued debate by competing at nationals for British Parliamentary debate. A proud Houstonian, she enjoys rooting for the Houston Rockets and exploring the California coast.

Lily Nellans

Lily Nellans

London School of Economics

Lily competed in speech and debate for four years at Roosevelt High School in Des Moines, Iowa and went on to compete in college at Western Kentucky University. Outside of forensics and her studies, Lily has completed research for the International Commission on Missing Persons, taught debate in rural Bosnia with Bosnia Initiatives for Local Development, and conducted fieldwork in Kosovo. She recently completed her masters in International Relations at the London School of Economics, where her dissertation “Genocide Studies and Its Queer Potentials” was awarded the International Relations Research Martin Wight Dissertation Prize. Lily is currently the director of the Bluegrass Debate League, an initiative housed at the University of Kentucky created to increase debate participation in the state. 

Read Exploring Cultural Competence in the World Schools Debate Community by Team Manager and Co-Head Coach Cindi Timmons

When the World Schools Debating Championships (WSDC) began in Australia in 1988, six nations participated: Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America. Over the years, the event has expanded, culminating in 2016 with 56 nations represented at the WSDC in Stuttgart. While debating teams from six continents have been represented, the increasing variety of participants from non-Western nations and the growing diversity of the debaters themselves in terms of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, etc., means that it is time for the global debating community to examine how inclusive it is and to evaluate its cultural competence as an organization. This paper seeks to address the current state of cultural competence in the organization and how WSDC might become even more inclusive.