Jon Thorpe, ceo and president
a national vision for high school parliamentary debate
Jon Thorpe is the most successful high school parliamentary debate coach in the United States. He founded the Bishop O'Dowd High School debate program in 2007 and since 2009, O'Dowd's parliamentary debaters have dominated both expert and lay tournaments. Their unrivaled track record includes victories at Santa Clara (2009 and 2011), Pepperdine (2011), Oregon (2012), MLK (2013), Yale (2013), Stanford (2014), and the Parliamentary Debate TOC (2010, 2013, and 2014).
Mr. Thorpe was handed responsibility for Point of Information from Artem Raskin in 2011. Since 2011 Point of Information has seen exceptional growth in terms of its reach and readership. Mr. Thorpe has a national vision for POI and under his leadership the organization expanded its coverage to include tournaments outside California, divided the national parliamentary debate community into its current six regions, and created a national ranking system. The California Cup, Mr. Raskin's brilliant conceit, has exploded in terms of reputation and quality of competition and now draws teams from Oregon and Canada. In 2012 Mr. Thorpe introduced the National Parliamentary Debate Invitational, a truly innovative fall tournament tasked with providing debaters with the experience, skills, and education needed to compete at the Parliamentary Debate Tournament of Champions. This year Mr. Thorpe will be introducing a similar tournament for novice debaters. Mr. Thorpe served as the parliamentary debate program director at the Stanford National Forensic Institute in 2011 and 2012. In 2013 Mr. Thorpe left SNFI to create a parliamentary debate program that would adhere to the philosophy espoused by POI and make high school parliamentary debate better for all involved. The POI Debate Institute, now based at UC Berkeley, just completed its third successful summer of offering best-in-class high school parliamentary debate instruction.