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Program Staff



PROGRAM DIRECTOR Will Baker is the head of the President's Global Debate Initiative at New York University and the program director for the NYU Bickel & Brewer Global Debate Tournament. Mr. Baker has taught argumentation at NYU for fifteen years. Previously, he directed the Associated Leaders or Urban Debate (ALOUD), a national initiative to make debate accessible to hundreds of thousands of students in low-income communities. Mr. Baker is a Past President of the Committee of Religious NGOs at the United Nations and a UN Representative for the International Association for Religious Freedom. In 2003, the NYU team captured the National Championship making him the first African American director to win that title since Melvin B. Tolson of Wiley College in 1935. In March of 2014, he was named a 2014 National Debate Critic of the Year. Some of his past accolades include Ford Foundation Leadership for a Changing World (finalist), College Debate Coach of the Year (1999, 2004), and the Paul Slappy Award for fostering diversity (2005).
The Global Debate Initiative includes:
  • Targeted New Site Integration of Argumentation
  • International Public Policy Forum
  • The NYU Bickel & Brewer Global Debate Tournament
  • CEDA Debate Team Administration
  • Development of Pedagogical Applications


LEAD CONSULTANT Victoria Keenan is an academic advisor for NYU's Liberal Studies Program. Previously, she worked for the Center for Neural Science. She was the program director for the Zuckerman Forum, the domestic predecessor of the Global Debates and assists with travel, logistics and technical support on the Global Debates. With nearly two decades of experience, Ms. Keenan has helped engineer new debate programs across New York City at the middle school, high school and intercollegiate levels including re-establishing the award-winning program at the City University of New York. As one of the foremost authorities on tournament administration, Ms. Keenan has assisted in directing over one hundred tournaments and is sought after regionally and nationally as a director, chief adjudicator and consultant. She is a past recipient of the Dr. Amy Fugate Leadership Award.




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