Executive Board

Gavin Newton-Tanzer

Gavin Newton-Tanzer, Founder & President

Gavin's interest in global education began in high school, while serving on the Connecticut State Board of Education's Student Advisory Council. This experience inspired him to travel to China in 2007, where he founded the Global China Connection, the world's largest Sino-US student exchange organization. Since then, he has directed hundreds of international youth exchange programs, including for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai. He is a graduate of Columbia University, and has been a Visiting Scholar for the Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy.


David Weeks, Co-Founder & Chief Operating Officer

David directs teams of teachers and community leaders in China and the United States to serve, train, and manage national extracurricular leagues in each country. A former American debate champion, David has been involved in debating communities across the world for 12 years. He has served as a debate instructor at Stanford University and the National Symposium for Debate. While working as a policy researcher for the Foreign Policy Research Institute's Asia Program, he contributed to published work on Chinese law and cross-Straits relations. He graduated from Swarthmore College with a B.A. in Political Science and East Asian studies.  

David Weeks

Chloe Liu, China Chief Executive Officer 

Chloe Liu is a veteran educator, with a decade of experience in Education, Business Simulation and English Tutoring. In the past, she worked as a director at UExcel International Academy, as well as various educational institutes in her native Wuhan. Additionally, she has worked as an independent advisor to Chinese students planning to study abroad, assisting them in university placement and visa application. She graduated top of her class from Tianjin Foreign Studies University and the University of Hubei.  





Ellen Chen

Digital Director / Beijing Office General Manager

Amber Gao

 School Relations Director

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Alex Borwick

Academic Director



Teri Du

Program Director

Summer Tan

International Partnership Director



Bamboo Liu

 Outreach Director



Academic Team

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Nicholas Bonvini, Business League Director

Nicholas (“Nico”) Bonvini recently graduated from Northeastern University, where he earned a B.S. in Economics, served as the Chief Editor of a web magazine, and was a member of the Economics Society and the College Federal Reserve Challenge Team. While at Northeastern, he completed internships in I.T. and corporate finance. After graduating, he worked as a Royalty Analyst, assisting in financial audits of intellectual property rights holders. Nico also has three years of experience in debate, having competed in the Lincoln-Douglas and extemporaneous formats in high school.


John Harper, Debate League Co-Director

John earned a Master of Arts in Philosophy from the University of St. Andrews, a 600 year old university and home of the oldest Debating Society in the world. Aside from as working in British Politics and the Energy Industry John has taught debating professionally and run a number of debating organisations, events and websites. During his career as a competitive Debater across Europe he has finalled as a speaker and judge at numerous competitions and been twice selected as an independent adjudicator for the European Championships. 


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Tillman Huett, Debate League Co-Director

Tillman Huett has been debating, and coaching debate, for eight years. He was a two-time qualifier to the Tournament of Champions, and has coached students to the Tournament of Champions and the NFL's National Debate Tournament. His students have reached elimination rounds at various tournaments in the U.S. including at Harvard, Yale and Berkley. He studied economics and finance at the University of Texas in his hometown of Austin, Texas. He was the curriculum director for the National Debate Forum in Boston and a senior instructor both the National Symposium of Debate and the Texas Debate Collective.. 


Jace Gilmore,Debate League Co-Director

Jace Gilmore has been debating, and coaching debate, for over eight years now, helping prepare people of all ages in events ranging from extemporaneous speaking and public forum to policy debate. He is a four-time National Debate Tournament (NDT) qualifier and has reached late out rounds at the Cross Examination Debate Association (CEDA) national tournament.  Along with tournament success he has also received numerous awards from CEDA in debate including honorifics for academic achievement and research, including being named the university Debater of the Year. He currently holds Masters from Missouri State University in Public Administration and International Relations along with a post-graduate certificate from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School. He has been a research assistant at the Arthur D. Simons Center for Interagency Cooperation and previous to working at Sunrise, Jace also taught Geography at Liaoning Normal University in Dalian, China.  


Bobby ZhanBusiness League Co-Director

Bobby Zhan graduated in 2016 from New York University with a major in Finance and Hebrew. He has completed internships at the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank, the Blackstone Group, and Lazard. While at the Federal Reserve Bank, his team was responsible for allocating $6 billion in pension assets and preparing for the acquisition of NCR. While at the Blackstone Group, he worked on strategic initiatives to bring operational improvements to Blackstone’s 80 portfolio companies and developed macros that resulted in $10 million in savings.