Our Team

Instructional Staff of the 5th Annual Ornstein Summer Debate Institute (2019) at Trinity Washington University

Program Director: David Trigaux

David Trigaux wears many hats around the WUDL, ranging from coach training and curriculum development to grant writing, volunteer management, and fundraising support. He also works with the Board to determine the strategic direction of the organization. Under his leadership, the organization has grown from just over 100 students to serving thousands each year.


A former high school and college debater, David has coached debate for more than a decade. While he believes that the greatest benefits of debate aren’t tied to wins and loses but his students have achieved competitive success along the way, include many qualifiers and break round participants at the Tournament of Champions, NSDA, NCFL, the UDNC. Many of David's former students attended college on debate scholarships. 


Outside of debate, David has worked in politics, as a consultant, researcher, and campaign staffer. He has also consulted with the National Democracy Institute to design international debate curriculum.

David was recently named one of the National After-school Association's Next Generation Leaders for 2019. 

Program Coordinator: Dara Davis

Dara Davis is an urban debate alumna who participated in policy debate for Chicago's Lane Tech from 2009-2013.


Shortly after, she enjoyed a successful Parliamentary debate career at Loyola University under coach David Romanelli. She has served as a coach and mentor, including of several TOC qualifiers and state champions, a judge and tournament operator for Chicago Debates, and is now the newest Program Coordinator here at WUDL.

She is passionate about coach and student growth in the activity and is excited to be here in DC. 

Development Coordinator: Sierra Wood

Sierra Wood brings fundraising experience from the political and non-profit world to her role as Development Coordinator. In this capacity, she is responsible for grant, foundation, and donor relations work, along with communications efforts.

Sierra began her debate career in the Houston Urban Debate League, competing in Policy Debate for the Houston Academy for International Studies. She later moved to Washington, D.C. to attend the American University where she received her bachelor’s degree in International Relations with a focus on Identity, Race, Gender and Culture. Upon graduating, Sierra taught Public Forum debate in Vancouver, Canada before returning to D.C. to work in non-profit fundraising. Sierra began working with the Washington Urban Debate League in 2017 as a volunteer judge and Head Debate Coach at DC Prep Edgewood Middle Campus.

Sierra is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese and enjoys cooking, spending time with friends, and listening to music in her spare time. She is passionate about the self-advocacy that comes from participating in debate and the doors the activity opens for debaters.

Program Associate: Cydney Edwards

Cydney Edwards is an alumna of the Chicago Debate League and participated in policy debate for four years in high school under head coach Bill Colson. Her debate career spans more than a full decade. After attending college at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, she served as Program Officer of School Support for The Chicago Debate Commission for 3 years under the leadership of Les Lynn, Edie Canter and David Song. She also worked briefly in Silicon Valley's debate scene with the UDL as well as expanding into Public Forum and Lincoln Douglas styles as a coach with a for-profit organization, Communication Academy. She is best suited to help the MDUDL focus on achieving specific programmatic goals as well as student learning, recruitment and retention.

WUDL Tournament Staff:

Tournament Director: Dara Davis

Registration and Hospitality: 

David Trigaux

Tab Staff: 

Kency Nittler

Ohm Gore

Ethan Van Ness

Judge Training Coordinator: 

Kathy Beckman

From Left: Attorney Jonathan Gonzalez, WUDL Board Member (2016-2018) Richard Day, and Program Director David Trigaux at dinner after the 3rd annual Matthew H Ornstein Summer Debate Institute.

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