Runner-Up at the 2016 TOC

Runner-Up at the 2016 TOC

Phillip Hedayatnia, Director of NSD Congress

Phil debated for four years for the Hawken School in Cleveland, Ohio, and now privately coaches students at Klein HS (TX), Seven Lakes HS (TX), Pine View School (FL), American Heritage School (FL), Poly Prep Country Day School in Brooklyn, and many more. Phil qualified to the Tournament of Champions three times, finaled twice, and placed 2nd his senior year. He also won the Ohio State Tournament, placed at Emory, Sunvite/Sunvite RR, Blake/Blake RR, GMU, Glenbrooks, Bronx/Bronx RR, was the champion and leadership bowl recipient at Apple Valley for two years in a row, and ended his senior year sixth at NSDA Nationals and fourth in the country on Debate Rankings.

As an educational consultant, Phil has developed K-12 experiential learning classes and curriculum as an advisor to a number of public and private schools, working as a consultant and as a curriculum developer at the Miller Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies. In addition, Phil co-taught a national seminar for educators on integrating dynamic learning methods into classroom experiences.

Apart from debate and education, Phil has served as a digital strategist for the Kasich and Johnson presidential campaigns, founded a Silicon Valley-based cloud computing company, and is currently Editor-In-Chief of online political news publication RealPolitics.

Shawn Haq

Shawn debated for three years for El Camino Real Charter High School in Los Angeles, CA. In his time as a Congressional Debater, Shawn championed Stanford and ASU, finaled at NCFL Grand Nationals, won the California State Championship by the largest margin in state history, placed 8th at the Tournament of Champions, placed 7th at NSDA Nationals, and ended his senior year 13th in the country on Debate Rankings.

While in high school, Shawn was elected President of the National Speech and Debate Association's Student Leadership Committee, where he drafted policy proposals and amended NSDA bylaws. 

Shawn has worked extensively as a policy analyst and researcher, spanning from his role as a field manager for the Fund for the Public Interest, to his role as an analyst on the policy team and later transition team member of Attorney General Kamala Harris' US Senate Campaign. He also founded the Millennial Institute, a nonpartisan, nonprofit policy research and advocacy organization with staff in 7 states and DC.

Adam Shaham

Adam debated for the Bronx High School of Science for four years, working his way up from Novice Director to become the captain of the largest Congressional Debate team in the country. Adam has finaled/placed at Harvard, Yale, Emory, Glenbrooks, UPenn, and many more.




Oliver Sherren

Oliver Sherren debated for four years at Parish Episcopal School in Dallas, TX. In his time as a Congressional Debater, Oliver became the first finalist from Parish Episcopal to final at TOC and NSDA Nationals, and he placed 2nd at NSDA Nationals. Since graduating high school, Oliver has worked as a private coach, and he will be joining NSD as both an instructor for NSD Congress 2017 and a curriculum developer.