Chris Zheng


Chris Zheng is a senior in Columbia College double majoring in Political Science and Art History. Born and raised in Denver, Colorado, Chris was active in Speech and Debate in high school, qualifying to the NSDA national tournament four years in a row and finishing second in the nation in Expository Speaking in 2015. In his time with Youth for Debate at Columbia, he has served as Curriculum Director, Volunteer Director, and is currently the President. He is also a Head-Coordinator of Columbia Artists Reaching Out, and a Tour Captain and Student Interviewer in the Undergraduate Recruitment Committee. In his free time, Chris enjoys hiking in the mountains, portrait drawing, and seeing theater performances.


Sreya Pinnamaneni


Sreya Pinnamaneni is a junior in Columbia College double majoring in History and American Studies. From Orlando, FL, Sreya was active in Speech and Debate in the national LD circuit in high school, receiving five bids and breaking at the Tournament of Champions her senior year. In her time with Youth for Debate at Columbia, she has served as Curriculum Director and is currently the Volunteer Director. She is also Executive Online Editor of the Columbia Undergraduate Law Review, a member of both the Eric Holder Student Advisory Board and the Gender-Based Misconduct Task Force, and a volunteer tutor at the Double Discovery Center. In her free time, Sreya is also an annoying Central Park runner and a froyo enthusiast.


Lawrence Chillrud


Lawrence Chillrud has been the Outreach Director since the Fall of 2017 and an active YFD coach since the Fall of 2016. As Outreach Director, Lawrence coordinates all of the schools and classrooms our coaches work in, coach-classroom placement, and serves as the liaison between coaches and teachers throughout the semester. Lawrence is a junior in Columbia College studying Computer Science and Chemistry. He is also a COÖP hiking leader, the Bar Manager for Postcrypt Coffeehouse, and enjoys playing soccer around the city and reading.

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Molly Kelleher


Molly Kelleher is the Outreach Director in training. She will take over the role in the spring of 2019. She is a sophomore at Barnard studying Philosophy and Sociology. When she isn’t studying, she loves running and exploring the city with her friends.


Kat Blackwell


Kat Blackwell — our Social Media Director — is a sophomore at Columbia College. She manages YFD’s Facebook, Instagram, and website; she also works as the Video Media Ambassador for the Columbia University Undergraduate Admissions Office. Kat is majoring in Anthropology with an emphasis in Comparative Ethnic Studies. When she has time to spare, she works on content for her personal YouTube channel and treats herself to traditional New York City bagels.


Ohanna Mohammad


Ohanna Mohammad is a sophomore at Barnard who serves as our Finance Director. She is in charge of all purchases that our organization makes and helps manage the budget that we are allocated by the University. Outside of YFD, Ohanna is a double major in philosophy and economics and she works on an information governance project at Proskauer Rose LLP. During her free time she likes to spend quality time with her friends and hit the gym.


Tolly Flinn


Tolly Flinn is a junior at Barnard College majoring in Economics. She serves as the Communications Director of Youth for Debate, helping to facilitate the internal communication of the club. She was born in New York City and raised in Delaware. While she did not debate in high school, she tutored middle school students and kindergarteners in STEM.


Nicole Fischbein


Nicole is a junior in Columbia College studying Political Science and Hispanic Studies serving as YFD’s Events Director. She really enjoys running through Riverside and Central Parks, especially in the mornings. On the weekends Nicole loves to go downtown and do work in a coffee shop and spend time with her sister and cousins that live in the city. Her favorite food is cereal and also chicken nuggets.


Katie Smith


Katie Smith is a sophomore at Barnard College double majoring in political science and economics. She competed in both public forum and extemporaneous speaking in high school and currently serves as an assistant coach at Achievement First Brooklyn High School. During her junior year of high school she founded Open Access Debate, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing free, accessible resources to debaters across the country, where she continues to serve as executive director. In her role as Co-Curriculum Director at Youth for Debate, Katie works on creating topic-specific content and activities that promote critical thinking and discourse. Outside of debate she enjoys discussing politics in person and in the comment section on Facebook.


Grant Reiter


Grant Reiter is a senior in the School of General Studies, majoring in philosophy. As one of the two Curriculum Directors for YFD, he updates the curriculum, prepares topic briefings, and presents overviews of the lessons at General Body Meetings. He also runs tabulation for the YFD Debate Tournament at the end of each of semester. Aside from YFD, Grant is an avid golfer, and a fan of the New York Yankees, Jets, and Knicks. Grant plans to attend law school next fall.