top of page

judge bios

Interested in learning more about the judges who will evaluate the final debate of the 2022-23 competition? See the following!

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

Mr. Dave Huston has coached debate for over 40 years and has been a part of the IPPF competition since its second year. He has had three teams compete in the final round of the IPPF. Mr. Huston serves on the IPPF Topic Committee and has judged the IPPF written and oral competitions for several of those years.

In addition to his IPPF activities, Mr. Huston is now serving his fourth term on the National Speech and Debate Association (NSDA) Board of Directors. He has been a district chair for three different districts for the NSDA in Iowa and Texas. He is highly skilled at tabulating debate tournaments, serving as the tabulation director for several local and regional tournaments, as well as the Glenbrooks tournament, the Tournament of Champions, and the Texas Forensics Association State Tournament.

Mr. Huston's debate teams have won numerous state, regional, and national competitions. He is an Emory University/Barkley Forum Key Coach, a member of the Texas Forensic Association Hall of Fame and the NSDA Hall of Fame.

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.

Dr. John Sexton is President Emeritus of New York University, the Dean Emeritus of NYU Law School, and the Benjamin Butler Professor of Law. He joined the Law School faculty in 1981 and was named the School's Dean in 1988 – serving in this role for fourteen years. He was named the University's President in 2001 and served in that capacity until January 2016.

In addition to his work as President Emeritus, Dr. Sexton currently serves as the CEO of the Catalyst Foundation for Universal Education, Chair of the University of the People President's Council, and Chair of the Mary Christie Foundation. He is also a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. 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.


In 2010, Emory University named Dr. Sexton “Outstanding High School Debate Coach of the Last 50 Years” for his work with the St. Brendan’s High School debate team. Dr. Sexton is a member of the IPPF Advisory Board.

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


Mr. James Traub is a journalist and scholar specializing in international affairs. He is a columnist and contributor to the website He worked as a staff writer for The New Yorker from 1993 to 1998 and as a contributing writer to The New York Times Magazine from 1998 to 2011.
Mr. Traub has also written extensively about national politics, urban affairs, and education. His recent books include What Was Liberalism? The Past, Present and Promise of  Noble Idea and Militant Spirit, a biography of John Quincy Adams. True Believer, his biography of Hubert Humphrey, will be published in early 2024. 


Mr. Traub teaches classes on world affairs and on intellectual history at NYU Abu Dhabi. He is a fellow of the Center on International Cooperation and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.


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


bottom of page