judge bios

Interested in learning more about the judges who evaluated the final debate of the 2021 competition? See the following! 

(The 2022 judges will be posted prior to April 30, 2022, Finals.)

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. 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. John Sexton is President Emeritus of New York University, having served as president from 2001 through 2015. Prior to being named NYU’s president, Dr. Sexton was dean of the university’s law school for fourteen years.

Before coming to NYU, Dr. Sexton served as law clerk to Chief Justice Warren Burger of the United States Supreme Court (1980-1981), and to Judges David Bazelon and Harold Leventhal of the United States Court of Appeals (1979-1980). For ten years (1983-1993), he served as special master supervising pretrial proceedings in the Love Canal litigation.


Dr. Sexton is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and has served as the chairman of the board of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. He has received numerous awards, including "Outstanding High School Debate Coach of the Last 50 Years."

To learn more about Dr. Sexton please visit the NYU Law website.  

Ms. Christina Phillips is the Director of Debate at Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, California, a Board member of the National Debate Coaches Association, 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 has coached many top performing teams in the IPPF, including the 2019 IPPF World Champions.


Mr. Will Baker is Director of the NYU Global Debate Program, which extends debate across the NYU network from Abu Dhabi to Shanghai. He also serves as executive director of the Associated Leaders of Urban Debate. Mr. Baker is an adjunct professor at New York University and head coach of the award-winning NYU Debate Team. In addition, Mr. Baker is a member of the IPPF Advisory Board.


Mr. Julian Michael is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Washington, where he conducts artificial intelligence research. His work concerns getting machines to understand and represent linguistic structure and meaning. He has also worked on formal logic, machine learning, and benchmarking, and is a co-creator of the widely used GLUE and SuperGLUE benchmarks for evaluating large language models. His work has been published at many prestigious conferences, and he has conducted research at Google, Facebook, Qualcomm, Adobe, and the Allen Institute for AI, in Seattle, Washington. Mr. Michael earned a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from the University of Texas at Austin. He is also a former debater and IPPF champion, competing for Plano Senior High School in the 2010–2011 tournament.