Esteemed Judges

Congress Esteemed Judges

Nasser Douge is a junior at Columbia University.  During his time as a Congressional Debate competitor, he placed 2nd at The Glenbrooks twice, championed Blake, and received 4th at the Tournament of Champions his junior year. On top of that, he won numerous round robins (Blue key, Sunvite, Blake), placed in the top 14 at NSDA Nationals, and competed in finals at Yale, Bronx, and Emory. At Columbia, he is majoring in biology, and hopes to pursue a career in medicine.


David Jakubowicz graduated from the Jerome Fisher Program in Management and Technology at the University of Pennsylvania. He now works full-time as a Product Specialist at Facebook in Menlo Park, California. On top of that, David also runs the American Speech and Debate Foundation, a non-profit summer camp that focuses on providing an affordable and enjoyable camp experience for all. During his time as a competitor, his proudest accomplishments include championing Glenbrooks, Emory, Sunvitational, and Crestian, and placing second at both the Tournament of Champions and NSDA National tournament.

Public Forum Esteemed Judges:

Cornelia debated for four years in Public Forum Debate at Nova High School in Florida. During her senior year, she served as co-captain of the team. Cornelia competed in outrounds at a variety of tournaments including Crestian, Sunvitational, and finals at Florida Blue Key. In addition, she won the Manatee National District qualifier, Varsity State Tournament, and ended her career winning the NSDA National tournament.


Jonah Platovsky* debated in Public Forum for American Heritage School in Plantation, Florida for 3 years. Over his career, he amassed 6 bids to the TOC, qualifying in both his junior and senior year. As a senior, he served as captain of his team, with highlights including quarterfinalist at Blue Key and the Florida Varsity State Tournament, championing the Sunvitational, and clearing to elimination rounds at the Tournament of Champions. Additionally, Jonah received numerous speaker awards and broke and nearly every national tournament he attended, with notable outround appearances at Yale, Glenbrooks, Harvard, and Blake. 

*Round Robin Judge

Finals Panel

Hailing from Bonita Springs Florida and studying multiple majors in Political Science and Religion, Austin Young has significant experience in the world of public policy. Austin Young is the current Student Fellows President of the Bob Graham Center for Public Service. The Bob Graham center at the University of Florida works to encourage active discussion of issues and works to increase understanding of public policy and democratic institutions through public programming, research and learning.

Rafey Khan debated for four years at Nova High School in Davie, Florida. Rafey is the 2017 National Champion and 2017 State Champion During his senior year. Further, Rafey was both the President of his debate team and the captain of the PF team. During his career, Rafey amassed multiple out-round appearances with finishes including: Finals at Blue Key (2016), Finals at the Sunvitational (2014), Quarterfinals at the Crestian Round Robin (2015), Octafinals at the Crestian Tradition (2015), Octafinals at the Florida Varsity State Debate Tournament (2016), and Double-Octafinals at Emory and top 50 at Nationals (2016).

Michelle Pardoll is an Assistant Attorney General in Florida’s Attorney General’s Office in the Division of Consumer Protection with a focus on cybercrime and malvertising (i.e. deceptive internet advertising utilizing malware). Ms. Pardoll has served as lead counsel in many cases that have addressed cutting edge issues of public interest and has spoken at several conferences relating to her work.  Ms. Pardoll, who began her career at a top international law firm in New York City, is a known and accomplished trial attorney and litigator, practicing since 2005. Ms. Pardoll received her undergraduate degree at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri and her J.D. at Brooklyn Law School.

Christian Chessman is a third-year Juris Doctor Candidate at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law.  As a competitor in college, Christian won numerous tournaments in policy debate and intercollegiate mock trial. As a coach, Christian’s students  have amassed approximately sixty bids to the Tournament of Champions and placed second in the world at the 2017 International Public Policy Forum.

Lincoln Douglas Esteemed Judges:

Lauren Burdt manages the Big Questions debates at the National Speech & Debate Association and is an assistant coach at Millard North in Omaha, Nebraska. Since 2011, Lauren has coached LDers to over 25 bids and five state championships. She coached the National Runner Up at NSDA Nationals in 2016. Lauren is also the LD Curriculum Director at the National Debate Forum.


Grant Laverty debated in the Lincoln Douglas division from 2009-2013. Grant qualified to the Tournament of Champions twice and the National Debate Tournament twice. He received multiple bids beginning his sophomore year at tournaments such as Valley, Dowling, and Apple Valley. Since graduating high school, Grant has continued to judge and assist coaching in various roles and has worked with the National Speech and Debate Association as a Topic Analyst for the Big Question debates.