Paul S. Hayes is The George Washington University Director of Debate. While at GWU, Paul has been responsible for designing and directing civic debate competitions in partnership with NASA, the Policy Studies Institute, and the Embassies of France, Germany, Rwanda and South Africa. Since Paul's arrival at GW in 2012, GWDebaters have won top awards as speakers and advanced to elimination rounds at the nation's leading civic debate tournaments including the Lafayette Debates, the NASA Debates, the Morehouse Social Justice Debates, and the Mvubu Debates. During Paul's time as a coach at Michigan State University, Paul helped MSU win the 1995 CEDA national college debate championship and a first round bid to the 1996 National Debate Tournament. As college seniors, Paul and his partner led their squad to the 1994 CEDA national debate championship by winning eight of the eleven tournaments they attended including a record-setting stretch of thirty six consecutive victories.
An honors graduate of the New York University School of Law (Class of '01), Paul Hayes was a litigator and international competition attorney at one of the world's top law firms, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLC, prior to joining GWU in 2012. As an attorney, Paul represented Fortune 500 companies and co-authored articles on competition and antitrust law, one of which was cited by the U.S. Supreme Court in FTC v. Rambus Inc. While at NYU, Paul was a member of the NYU Law Review and a teaching assistant to renowned civil rights scholar Professor Derrick Bell. Prior to attending NYU, Paul worked at the South African Department of Justice as an intern to (now-South African Public Protector) Thuli Madonsela. He is the founding Co-Director of the French Embassy Center of Excellence in Washington D.C.
Paul is an advocacy and communication consultant for higher education institutions, businesses, government and non-profit organizations including the Smithsonian Institute, Delaware Investments, Brightspark Travel and NASA. Contact.
Kyla Sommers is the Assistant Coach for The George Washington University Debate & Literary Society. As a debater, Kyla qualified to the National Debate Tournament, reached double-octafinals at Cross Examination Debate Association National Championship, and advanced to elimination rounds at several national college debate tournaments. Kyla has served as faculty at both the Stanford National Forensics Institute and the Capital Debate Institute, and last year directed the GWDebate Institute in Washington D.C. As a high school debate coach, Kyla has coached multiple teams who have received bids to the most prestigious high school tournament in the United States, the Tournament of Champions, as well as teams advancing to elimination rounds at the National Catholic National Forensic League tournament. Kyla is currently a PhD student in History at GWU.