Chicago Debates Welcomes New Governing & Associate Board Members

New Members, along with staff & Board leadership, at orientation

Round 2 of New Board Member Orientation!

This summer was busy for Chicago Debates. After months of recruitment, we are thrilled to welcome 12 new members to the Governing and Associate Board! These new additions mark an exciting milestone for Chicago Debates and are important as we continue to grow the organization. “The board is critical to the success and future of the organization.  New members infuse the organization with new energy and ideas to continue to elevate the organization. We are so grateful for their commitment to debate in Chicago,” said Executive Director, Dr. Toinette Gunn.

The new members capped off the recruitment process with an orientation where they learned more about Chicago Debates, our mission, their responsibilities as Board members, and began to build community amongst each other. Including Onur Surgit, Vice President at Citi Corporate and Investment Banking, who sees debate as “a very efficient and versatile toolkit that is applicable to all venues in life, both professional and personal, and I think it’s an invaluable skill set to learn at an early age.”

Both Boards will hit the ground running as this year’s debate season quickly approaches. Please join us in welcoming our new Governing and Associate Board members!

Governing Board

Rachel Haig
Associate, Kirkland & Ellis

Tony Howard
Executive Director, Enrollment & Education Policies, CPS

Femi Masha
Associate, Husch Blackwell

Cindy Stuyvesant
Assistant General Counsel, Wintrust Financial

Onur Surgit
Vice President, Citi Corporate & Investment Banking

Tania White
Principal HR Consultant, Canary HR

Associate Board

Charles Beavers
Instructional Support Leader, CPS

Dan Charles
Engineer, Boeing

Joseph Deegan
Senior Program Manager, Jobs for the Future

Matt Fisher
Associate, MoloLamken

Nick Greiner
Associate, McDermott Will & Emery

Ulric Shannon
Director Of External Affairs, Civitas Education Partners

Are you or someone you know still interested in joining one of our Boards? Don’t be discouraged! Our recruitment will continue throughout the year as we plan to bring on more new members in 2020. Contact Willa Voss at for more information.