Director: Will Baker

Will heads the NYU President’s Global Debate Fund based in the Business & Society Program of the Stern School of Business connecting faculty, staff and students across NYU's Global Network.  Since 1994, Baker directed  the award-winning CEDA policy debate team and taught argumentation in the NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development.  In 2003, NYU captured the National Championships making him the first African American director to win that title since Melvin Tolson of Wiley College in 1935.  He is a past president of the Cross Examination Debate Association and Vice President of the American Forensics Association.   His  long tradition of social justice work includes leading the North American operations for the International Association for Religious Freedom, serving as their United Nations Representative to ECOSOC and UNICEF and founding the NY Urban Debate League as the flagship program of the Open Society Institute's Urban Debate Movement.   That work led to his recognition as a finalist for the Ford Foundation Leadership for a Changing World.   ​

Mr. Baker is the Chief Information Officer for BCA LLC in Dallas.  Past clients include Deutsche Bank North America, SEO,  the Committee of Religious NGOs at the UN,  Point72 Asset Management, the Brooklyn Public Library, Bank of America, the Jung Foundation, the Association for Senior Debate and ABAP.  A leading authority on debate & speech training, DEI programming, and strategy & resource maximization for small businesses., Will is highly, sought after by for-profit and non-profit clients for executive coaching, speaking engagements and innovative corporate debate events.   

Honors & Awards: Don Brownlee Award as CEDA College Debate Coach of the Year (1999), Melissa Maxcy Wade Award for Social Justice [2018], the National Speaker Assn Pericles Award for Great Public Speaking (2003), Dr. Neil Berch Award for Commitment to Service in the Larger Community [2017],  the NDT Lucy Keele Award (2004), John Jaocbsohn Memorial Award for Public Service (2006),  and the Paul Slappy Award for fostering diversity (2005),     As a debater and Individual Events competitor at Cornell, Will was a member of the Century Club winning over 100 awards in intercollegiate competitions.  

Assistant Coach: Nicholas Tilmes

Nick is enrolled in the Master of Bioethics Program at NYU with a research focus on  the ethics of emerging biotechnologies. He graduated cum laude from Cornell University with a double-major in Psychology and Philosophy. Nick was a two-time NDT attendee and a 2019 CEDA National Debate Scholar.  In high school, he debated for Georgetown Day School.where he continues to coach. 

Assistant Coach: Kristine Itliong  

Kristine accepted a position at Arnold & Porter after graduating from Fordham Law.  While there, she earned the National Association of Women Lawyers' Outstanding Law Student Award.  She interned with the Honorable Paul G. Gardephe, U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of New York.  Before entering law, she was an associate in financial management at KPMG.  Kristine was the first NYU student to start as a novice and go on to qualify for the NDT.  She remains the only NYU debater to make elims at Novice Nationals, JV Nationals, and CEDA Nationals.  As a Bickel & Brewer Scholar and Team President, Kristine led the team to historic successes in win percentage, member recruitment, total awards and national ranking during her two-year presidential tenure.   She was a National Debate scholar, a Stern Scholar and advanced to the elimination rounds of the Global Debates in three consecutive years.

Assistant Coach: Erin Szczechowski

Erin graduated from NYU's College of Arts and Sciences with a degree in English. She writes for the children's publishing house, Fabled Films. Erin was in the middle of touring the country to publicize her first novel Pippa Park Raises Her Game when COVID-19 struck. As a debater, she won championships at both the United States Military Academy at West Point and the University of Texas at Dallas with a combined elim and prelim record of 19-1.  Beyond those events, she received numerous team and speaker awards and as named a CEDA National Debate Scholar.  The following year, she coached the policy team at Mamaroneck High School.

Our Coaches

Associate Director: Fay Cammayo

Now a project manager at Moody's, Fay graduated from NYU's College of Arts and Sciences with a degree in Political Science. Fay is an alumna of New York University's College of Arts and Science where she graduated with a degree in Political Science and a minor in Psychology.  She originated CEDA's Amazing Advocates program directing the first event on Human Trafficking during Women's History Month and served on the CEDA E-Board as Treasurer.  Fay was named the 2016-17 NYU Debate MVP and recognized as the only three-time winner of the Starbucks fastest debater on the team competition  Fay debated all four years at NYU, moving from novice to the national circuit, culminating with the Michael K. Davis Debater of the Year Award in 2017 [the first NYU student to receive the honor] and being named a National Debate Scholar.   

Assistant Director: John Dellamore  

John is a Judicial Intern to the Honorable Andrea Masley at New York State Unified Court System. Prior to law school, he was an associate for Bank of America Merrill Lynch in Securities.   John has been a leading figure guiding the team’s progress since before his graduation.  He was the principal architect of this alumni-sponsored website bringing the team's exploits to life. John was the 2017 Critic of the Year for the CEDA East Region, a CEDA All-American and a two-time National Debate Scholar.  He deepens the NYU talent pool through his coaching and support. As a lecturer and  former debate coach for KIPP, John gave back to the NYC debate community while still maintaining an impressive GPA.  He interned with the David Rockefeller Studies Program at the Council on Foreign Relations and with JPMorgan Chase Asset Management as a Summer Analyst.  

We also want to thank  Josh Johnwell, Gloria Zheng,  Jack Booth, Kathy Wang, Ritikaa Iyer, Alex Sherman, Dan Passesser, Michelle Wu, Bryte Bu, Simran Maker,  Tara Dalton, Yobanna Cruz,  and Amanda Pescovitz who are just some of the amazing alumni who pitch in to help the team from time-to-time.


NYU has one of the most extensive coaching tress in the nation. Many of the top East Coast college programs were (and still are) run by students who debated under Baker as high school or college students (often as novices) or worked under his tutelage as coaches in the NY Debate Coalition including Kathryn Rubino (Director of Debate, United States Military Academy of West Point), Vik Keenan (Director, New School), Richard Garner (Director of Debate, University of Houston, formerly with Harvard University), Amber Kelsie (Assistant Director of Practice, Wake Forest, former Director of two-time national champion Towson University), Dr. Jillian Marty (Director, University of Vermont), Jack Bootn (Assistant Debate Coach, Blue Valley West High School),  Josh Imes (assistant coach, West Virginia University), Andrew Jacobs (Director-Rockland Community College) Shree Asware (coach-North Broward Prep), Zhane Lloyd (assistant coach-Brooklyn Tech), Kristin Raveneau (NSDA-Vancouver), Alex Sherman (former coach, Mamaroneck High School),  Kate Ortiz (former assistant director, University of Central Florida), and Whitney Brown (former Director, John Jay College).  This does not include the over 80 current and former high school coaching positions occupied by NYU debaters including a large array of online debate tutoring engagements by schools and individual parents.  

Assistant Coach: Vladimir Pavlov

Vlad is a 5th Grade Math Teacher in the Ascend Charter School network by day and a intercollegiate debate coach by night.  Becoming a respected CEDA national circuit judge, Vlad has coached every level of team from novice to open at NYU.  Having earned his degree in Engineering from NYU Tandon, Vlad coached middle-schoolers with great success at Success Academy Charter schools during the 2018-19 academic year before moving on to Ascend.