Committee on International Discussion and Debate

Committee on International Discussion and Debate

NCA’s Committee on International Discussion and Debate (CIDD) promotes international understanding and the practice of communication through discussion and debates between students from the United States and other nations.

Generally, two students from another nation travel to the United States and visit host campuses throughout the country for discussion and debate with U.S. students.

Ongoing since 1922, the CIDD program strives to broaden the scope of international exchange, facilitate the international exchange of information and ideas, and reinforce the value of dialogue as a preferred means for resolving international and intercultural differences.

The Committee for International Discussion and Debate (CIDD) of the National Communication Association (NCA) announces the call for applicants for the 2019 Japan Tour

Every other year, the CIDD coordinates with the Japan Debate Association to send two debaters and a coach to Japan. Tour participants take part in a wide range of activities including debates, workshops, and lectures at Japanese universities, high schools, and community group events.

Approximate Dates of Travel: Early June to early July 2019

Eligibility: Any past or present forensic participant who is under 25 years old and is a full time undergraduate in good standing (juniors and seniors preferred), or who has received an undergraduate degree but is still no older than 25, is eligible. We encourage applications from students active in all forms of debate, including Lincoln-Douglas debate, team policy debate, and parliamentary debate. Students who apply should have (or plan to obtain) a valid current passport.

Evaluation: Students will be evaluated on the basis of their debating skills and their ability to teach debate basics in a variety of formats. Knowledge of political, social, and cultural conditions around the globe is a must. The student’s ability to represent the United States and American forensics (in all its forms) accurately, effectively, and professionally is a strong consideration. Therefore, applicants are encouraged to discuss their experience with different forms of debate and individual events in their letter of interest. The ability to educate students about the style and substance of debate in the United States is an important component of the tour. Personal diplomatic skills are a must.

Tryouts: Applicants will be notified of their status as finalists by mid-February. The application process will include a round of phone interviews and a second round of video tryouts in which applicants will showcase their debate skills.

How to Apply: If you are interested in trying out for the tour, send the following no later than February 1, 2019:

  • A letter of interest;
  • A copy of your college transcript (unofficial is acceptable);
  • Two letters of recommendation that address your skills in debate, your professionalism, and diplomatic skills (It is preferable, though not required, that one letter should be from someone other than your debate/forensics coach and focus on aspects of professionalism, diplomacy, presentation skills, and/or knowledge of the political, social, and cultural traditions of the region.);
  • A current resume;
  • Contact information including phone and email address.

Send these materials in one compressed zip file to

Materials received after February 1, 2019 will not be considered.

Finally, if you have any questions about the application and selection process, please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Ruth Beerman, CIDD Chair, at

In Fall 2018, NCA’s Committee on International Discussion and Debate (CIDD) celebrated the 90th anniversary of British women on the tour. The 1928 British Women’s Debate Tour took place from November to December of that year, stopping at host institutions such as George Washington University, Bates College, and the University of Kentucky. The most popular debate resolutions on the tour were:

  • Resolved, that the popular reading of psychology is undermining morality.
  • Resolved, that democratic government appeals to prejudice rather than to reason.
  • Resolved, that the disadvantages of coeducation outweigh the advantages.

The 2018 fall tour began on September 30 and ended at the NCA 104th Annual Convention in November. Two debaters from the United Kingdom made 19 stops around the country speaking on an array of topics with U.S. debaters:

Méabh McMahon Flanagan has a Master in International Security Studies from the University of St. Andrews, and a First-Class Honours undergraduate degree in History and English from University College Cork. Méabh is also qualified in Conflict Mediation, having worked on the Glencree reconciliation program in Northern Ireland.

She has a long history of competitive debating, including winning the Queen’s University Belfast IV in 2016 as speaker, and she also has vast judging experience, including chairing out-rounds across Europe. Méabh is now moving toward a teaching role within debating and was an Oracy Coach at the ESU’s International Public Speaking Competition in May 2018, and an Oracy Coach again at the ESU Debate Academy in in August 2018. Méabh has taught debating to secondary school students through the ESU’s Discover Your Voice program and is highly invested in empowering young people to reach opportunities through debating.

Owen Mooney is a recent graduate in economics and economic and social history from the University of Glasgow. Speaking for the Glasgow University Union, he has won the Scottish, British, and European universities debating championships and 15 other competitions across Europe. He has also been the Chief Adjudicator of competitions in the UK, Ireland, the UAE, and Pakistan. Owen is an experienced debating and public speaking coach and has coached political campaigners, school students from a variety of backgrounds, and the GUU competitive debating squad for the past two years. He has also worked on British political campaigns, including during the 2014 Scottish Independence referendum.

Fall 2018 Tour Stops:

  • 9/30-10/2: Loyola University, Chicago, IL
  • 10/2-10/4: Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL
  • 10/4-10/7: Oakton Community College, Skokie, IL
  • 10/7-10/9: University of Richmond, Richmond, VA
  • 10/9-10/10: Randolph-Macon College, Ashland, VA
  • 10/10-10/13: Prince George’s Community College, Largo, MD
  • 10/13-10/15: Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA
  • 10/15-10/17: The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA
  • 10/17-10/19: University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, MS
  • 10/19-10/21: Boyce College, Louisville, KY
  • 10/21-10/23: University of North Texas, Denton, TX
  • 10/23-10/25: East Central University, Ada, OK
  • 10/25-10/27: West Texas A&M University, Canyon, TX
  • 10/27-10/30: Webster University, Webster Groves, MO
  • 10/30-11/2: Dakota State University, Madison, SD
  • 11-2-11/4: New Roads School, Santa Monica, CA
  • 11/4-11/6: Pierce College, Woodland Hills, CA
  • 11/6-11/8: California State University-Northridge, Northridge, CA
  • 11/8-11/10: NCA 104th Annual Convention, Salt Lake City, UT

Specific objectives of the CIDD program are to:

  1. Broaden the scope of international educational and cultural exchanges by providing a channel for the exchange of ideas and attitudes among students and young people in America and throughout the world;
  2. Make possible informal meetings among students, college and university personnel, and the general citizenry of participating countries;
  3. Facilitate the exchange of information and ideas about the educational systems of the countries involved;
  4. Reinforce the importance of dialogue as a preferred means for resolving international and intercultural differences;
  5. Maintain and enhance the ties between the National Communication Association and forensics organizations, forensics programs, and their sponsoring academic departments throughout the United States; and
  6. Provide opportunities to enhance an understanding and appreciation of the discipline of Communication both in other nations and in the United States.
  • Ruth Beerman, Chair (Randolph-Macon College)
  • John Rief (Duquesne University)
  • Matthew Gerber (Baylor University)
  • Rebecca Dorhman (Maryville University)
  • Brianne Giese, Program Coordinator (Aurora University)