Thursday, August 29, 2013 — Earlier this week, a group of high school students representing debate teams from across the country met with Secretary Lew during a visit to Washington, D.C. The students are part of the National Association for Urban Debate Leagues (NAUDL), a non-profit organization that prepares low-income students of color to succeed in college and in their future careers by supporting competitive debate teams at urban public schools.
The students that came to the Treasury building this week were among the top debaters at the 2013 Urban Debate Championship Tournament. Secretary Lew congratulated the students for their hard-earned success, and he told them he was a “would be” debater – that is, if his high school had had a debate program he would have joined the team just like they did. He spoke about the skills debate builds – critical thinking, communication, collaboration – and how important those skills are to the day-to-day work of public policy and public service. The debaters told the Secretary about the recent topics they have tackled, including the benefits of infrastructure investments and the issues surrounding economic engagement with Cuba, Mexico, and Venezuela. They also asked Secretary Lew about his responsibilities at the Treasury department.
While in Washington D.C., the debaters visited the White House and met with President Obama, Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan, Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.
Victoria Suarez-Palomo is the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Business and Public Liaison at the U.S. Department of the Treasury.