The Executive Board


The Yale Debate Association is run by a board of five students who are elected by the team as a whole each year. This board is responsible for everything from selecting the year's class of novice debates and handling the team's finances to making travel arrangements and planning the team's tournaments. See also the boards of 20162015, 2014, 2013, and 2012.


Board 2018

President: Michael Mao. Michael is a junior in Pierson College majoring in Economics. He’s from Melbourne, Australia, and competed in a 3 vs. 3 style of debate in high school. Before serving as President, he was Director of Tournaments. Outside of debate, Michael likes soccer, brunch, and shrimp on the barbie. He can be reached at

Director of Membership: Xavier Sottile. Xavier is a junior in Silliman College majoring in Economics. Before college, Xavier debated with New Haven’s Urban Debate League where he was coached by former members of the YDA. Outside of debate, he likes to read the Financial Times, play Civilization VI, and think about/watch/read the novels which inspired HBO’s critically acclaimed series Game of Thrones. He can be reached at

Director of Tournaments: William Arnesen. William is a sophomore in Branford College majoring in Economics & Mathematics. He’s from Bethesda, Maryland and debated in Public Forum debate before coming to college. Outside of debate, he enjoys playing ping pong and eating oatmeal. He can be reached at

Director of Development: Charlie Barton. Charlie is a sophomore in Pauli Murray College majoring in Economics. He comes from Queens, New York and competed in extemporaneous speaking during high school. When he isn't debating, he enjoys reading, yoyoing, and thinking about elephants. He can be reached at

Treasurer: Karina Franke. Karina is a sophomore in Timothy Dwight College majoring in Economics with Energy Studies. She is from Cortlandt Manor, NY, and competed in public forum debate during high school. Before serving as Treasurer, Karina was outreach director for the Yale Invitational. In her free time, she enjoys running and all things coffee. She can be reached at