Director: Will Baker

Will directs the NYU President’s Global Debate Fund based in the Business & Society Program of the Stern School of Business which connects faculty, staff and students on all of NYU's campuses through the transformative power of the Global Debates and other debate initiatives.  Will teaches argumentation in the NYU Steinhardt School of Education and directs their award-winning CEDA policy debate team.  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.  In 2005, he was elected CEDA President.   He's received the Melissa Maxcy Wade Award for Social Justice [2018], the Dr. Neil Berch Award for Commitment to Service in the Larger Community [2017], John Jaocbsohn Memorial Award for Public Service (2006).  the Paul Slappy Award for fostering diversity (2005), the Lucy Keele Award as Intercollegiate NDT Debate Coach of the Year (2004),  the National Speaker Assn Pericles Award for Great Public Speaking (2003), the Don Brownlee Award  CEDA College Debate Coach of the Year (1999), and countless regional awards for coaching, teaching & community service.  As a debater and speaker at Cornell, Will was a member of the Century Club winning over 100 awards in intercollegiate competitions.   

Additionally, Baker is the Chief Information Officer for Baker Consulting Associates in Dallas, Texas. As a leading authority on debate training and youth development, Will is a sought-after corporate debate consultant and speaker in NYC and a change maker in the urban education community.  Past clients include Deutsche Bank, CG Jung Foundation, Sponsors for Educational Opportunity, Point 72 Asset Management, Bank of America, Converge2Xcelerate and JPMorgan Chase, He was a finalist for the Ford Foundation Leadership for a Changing World, UN Rep for the International Association for Religious Freedom and founded the NY Urban Debate League. 

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 three-time NDT attendee and a 2019 CEDA National Debate Scholar.  In high school, he debated for and then coached the Georgetown Day School.

Assistant Coach: Kristine Itliong  

Kristine is in her final year of law school at Fordham University.  She served as a Judicial intern 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, K ristine had a decorated career as a debater and officer for the NYU CEDA team and continues her involvement as a coach.   Kristine was the first NYU student to start as a novice and go on to qualify for the NDT and 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 now writes for the children's publishing house, Fabled Films and was in the middle of touring the country to publicize her first novel 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. She has also taken numerous speaker awards.​ In 2017, she was named a CEDA National Debate Scholar.  The following year, she coached the policy team at Mameroneck High School.

Our Coaches

Assistant Coach: 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.  During her tenure, she created 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 Most Valuable Player and recognized as the only three-time winner of the Starbucks fastest debater on the team competition  Fay's debated all four years at NYU.   She was honored as the Michael K. Davis Debater of the Year in 2017 [the first NYU student to receive the honor] and was a 2017 CEDA National Debate Scholar. 

Assistant Director: John Dellamore  

An associate at Bank of America Securities, John Dellamore has been a leading figure guiding the team’s progress since before his graduation. John was named the 2017 Critic of the Year for the CEDA East Region.  As a CEDA All-American and two-time National Debate Scholar, John deepened the NYU talent pool through his coaching and support. As a lecturer and debate coach for KIPP, John gave back to the NYC debate community while still maintaining an impressive grade point average despite a rigorous academic calendar. A later stint as an intern at the Council on Foreign Relations revealed his critical thinking skills and deep appreciation of strategic planning.   

We also want to thank   Ritikaa Iyer, Dan Passeser, Michelle Wu, Bryte Bu, Simran Maker, Sofiya Andreyeva, Yobanna Cruz, Myra Milam and Nate Grau 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), Dr. Jillian Marty (Director, University of Vermont), Richard Garner (Director of Debate, University of Houston, formerly with Harvard University), Amber Kelsie (former Director, two-time national champion Towson University), Shree Asware (coach-North Broward Prep, former asst coach-James Madison University), Vik Keenan (Director, New School), Whitney Brown (former Director, John Jay College), Kate Ortiz (assistant director, University of Central Florida), Josh Imes (assistant coach, West Virginia University), Andrew Jacobs (Director-Rockland Community College) and Zhane Lloyd (assistant coach-New School, Brooklyn Tech).  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.