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judge bios

Interested in learning more about the judges who evaluated the final debate of the 2023-24 competition? See the following!

Mr. Miha Andrič is an international communication, speech and debate teacher, philosopher, and sociologist based in Slovenia. He is currently the director of Educational Center Argument, an executive board member at IPO (International Philosophy Olympiad), and a board member at Dialexicon. 

In the recent past, Mr. Andrič was the director of the National Debate Organisation Slovenia, a board member at IDEA, president of the Society for the Development of Humanities, and Head of the International debate program Bežigrad. He was the convenor of the International Philosophy Olympiad (IPO) in 2020 and 2021 and has served as program director of several international debate academies, including YAV Africa, DSA Russia, and ESU Turkey. 

Mr. Will Baker is the Director of the NYU Global Debate program housed at the Leonard N. Stern School of Business. He also serves as Chief Strategy Officer for Baker Consulting Associates (BCA) based in Dallas, Texas. BCA’s past clients include the Open Society Institute, Deutsche Bank, the Brooklyn Public Library, and the Committee of Religious NGOs at the United Nations.

As a student at Cornell University, Mr. Baker won over 100 speech and debate awards and was named a Venephe Wilson Scholar, the team's highest student honor. After Cornell, Mr. Baker worked at the International Association for Religious Freedom before becoming a social entrepreneur. He founded both the New York Urban Debate League and the Malcolm X Prison Debate Initiative at Riker's Island.

In 2003, as head of NYU’s policy debate team, Mr. Baker became the first African American director to win the national championship since Melvin Tolson of Wiley College in 1935. Since then, Mr. Baker has overseen top national finishes for nearly 20 years in a row. His team was honored with the 2022 National Public Debate Award by the Cross Examination Debate Association. The award recognizes his team's work with the Brewer Foundation and other partners to share the transformative power of debate worldwide.

Mr. Baker is a member of the IPPF Advisory Board.

Mr. William Brewer co-founded the national litigation firm of Brewer, Attorneys & Counselors in 1984.  Since that time, he has earned a national reputation as one of the most successful lawyers in the United States practicing exclusively in the field of complex commercial litigation and dispute resolution. Mr. Brewer is also a co-founding partner of the Brewer Foundation.

A former debater himself, Mr. Brewer helped found the International Public Policy Forum and now serves on its Advisory Board. He is also the founder of the Brewer Foundation Future Leaders Program, a public-private partnership that provides academic resources, mentoring, and leadership training to students from the Dallas Independent School District. In 2008, he was named “Communicator of the Year” by the National Forensic League.

To learn more about Mr. Brewer, please visit the Brewer, Attorneys & Counselors website

Dr. Sarah K. Cowan is a social demographer and associate professor of sociology at New York University. She is also the founder and executive director of the Cash Transfer Lab, which examines the impact of cash transfer policies on American families and communities.

Professor Cowan has researched the effect of annual Permanent Fund Dividend transfers in Alaska on childbearing and reproductive justice. Her prior work examined abortion and people keeping secrets from each other. She has expertise in American fertility, social networks, and survey methodology.


Prior to joining the NYU Department of Sociology, Professor Cowan was a Robert Wood Johnson Health and Society Fellow at Columbia University. She received her Ph.D. in sociology and demography from UC Berkeley.

To learn more about Professor Cowan and the Cash Transfer Lab, visit this site.

Ms. Christina Phillips is the director of debate at Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, California, an NDCA Board member, and a member of the policy advisory committee for the Tournament of Champions. Her students have reached the elimination rounds at many leading tournaments, including the NSDA Championships, NDCA Championships, and Tournament of Champions.
Ms. Phillips was a four-year CEDA/NDT debater at the University of Southern California.

Along with serving on the IPPF Advisory Board, Ms. Phillips is a long-time member of the IPPF Topic Selection Committee. She coached the 2019 IPPF World Champions, the 2011 second-place, and 2010 third-place IPPF teams.


Interested in meeting the quarterfinal and semifinal judges? Click here.

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