David Madden is the founder and Executive Director of International Academic Competitions and The National History Bee and Bowl. Having played quiz bowl for four years at Ridgewood High School from 1995-1999, college quizbowl for two years at Princeton University, and been involved on a full-time basis overseeing IAC since 2010, he is well-versed with all the formats, concerns, and issues surrounding academic competition. He is committed to high standards for tournaments, well-written questions, and the growth of academic quiz tournaments throughout the world. He is a former 19-day champion on Jeopardy! and champion of the Jeopardy! All Star Games tournament, a published art historian, and a runner and skier in his spare time. He was taking courses to become a high school history teacher himself when he had the idea to run a history-themed quiz bowl tournament: the Tri-State History Bowl attended by 34 teams in May 2010. Soon after that, he put his teaching plans on hold to establish The National History Bee and Bowl. Aside from NHBB, he also has established the other member competitions in the International Academic Competitions network, including the International Geography Bee, United States Geography Championships, the United States History Bee, and the US Academic Bee and Bowl, among others. He is also the founder of the International History Olympiad which brings together the best history students from around the world every two years. He is based at IAC headquarters in Burlington, VT and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Nolwenn Madden is the Co-Executive Director of International Academic Competitions. Prior to her career in academic competitions, Nolwenn studied at the French grande école EM Lyon where she received a MS in Management. She also worked as a translator for booking.com before launching the International History Bee and Bowl in 2011 and expanding its programs to over 30 countries. She has organized and directed hundreds of tournaments for IAC throughout North America, Europe, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand. In her spare time, she enjoys playing the ukulele and the cello, skiing, cooking, and traveling. She can be reached at email@example.com.
Deborah Pettingill - Senior Director of US Operations
Deborah can be easily spotted at our tournaments as she is the lady with the tiara! She has been the full time Director of US Operations since the summer of 2021. She joined IAC staff part time as a Regional Coordinator in 2018 and has staffed and directed IAC tournaments for the last 10 years. Prior to joining IAC full time she taught all levels of History for 22 years at Largo High School in Largo, Florida. She was the Faculty Advisor for Rho Kappa, Student Government, the Yearbook, and for the exchange program between Largo and Yamada High school in Japan, arranging for host families for the Japanese students and leading groups of students for homestay visits in Japan for 20 years.
In her spare time Deborah fosters kittens and she especially enjoys researching the Roman and Medieval time periods and creating the clothing and art of those eras.
Jay Wickliff - Senior Director of Strategic Planning
As Director of strategic Planning and a member of the Executive Committee, Jay helps chart the future of
IAC. He is the co-founder of the Political Science Bee and coordinates the related discussion groups. He
designs academic games like the Great Trading Game and MCs award ceremonies at major competitions.
He also served as Executive Director at Presidential Classroom, a Washington-based civic education
program for outstanding high school students. Jay founded the Future World Leaders Summit for teenage
leaders from around the world.
As a teacher at Thomas Jefferson H.S.S.T., He coached the History Bowl team to a National
Championship. He taught history, economics and political science while coaching three state champion
tennis reams and directing a program for high-achieving, low-income middle school students.
Most of his career was spent in human resources management for international high-tech companies
highlighted by serving as Vice President for Global Human Resources at Gerber Scientific, Inc., a mid-
sized New York Stock Exchange listed company.
Lee Holden - Senior Director of Question Production
Lee Holden is the Director of Question Production. He joined IAC in 2021 as an editor and was promoted a year later to head the Question Production department. Lee holds a History and Philosophy degree from Wofford College (’18) and formerly worked as the Inventory Manager for Hub City Bookshop in Spartanburg, SC and as a manager at a premier restaurant in Miami, FL. In his spare time, Lee enjoys writing fiction and watching reality TV with his partner in his Vermont home.
Joseph Cox - Director of Elementary and Middle School Competitions
Joseph joined IAC full time in 2022 and is the Director of EMS Operations. Prior to joining IAC full time, he worked tournaments as an assistant tournament director and still does work as a science content creator. Joseph came to IAC from the classroom, spending seven years as a high school science teacher and winning the Pinellas County Teachers Association Kraf-Custer Outstanding Educators Award in 2018.
In his free time Joseph enjoys playing piano, watching & reading Sci-Fi/Fantasy, and gaming both table top and video games. He is especially fond of Dungeons & Dragons and currently plays twice a month with his friends.
Marshall Mullins - Director of High School Competitions
One of the longest serving staff members of IAC, Director of High School Operations Marshall Mullins is our go-to person for quiz bowl expertise and started out with IAC as a tournament director back in 2012. Long active in the central Illinois quiz bowl community, he received the Rob Grierson Friend of Scholastic Bowl Award in 2019. Marshall enjoys being with his family, as well as puzzles, board games and video games. At Nationals, you can usually find him at the help desk, so stop by and say hello!
Kevin has worked for IAC since 2019 and currently serves as Director of Staffing and Statistics after becoming a full-time part of the team in 2022. Kevin is also the tournament director of the Vermont-NEA Scholars’ Bowl and coach of the Burlington High School team, part of his involvement in the Vermont quiz bowl scene that dates back to his high school days in the 1990s.
Kevin previously worked in sports media at a local newspaper and an internet streaming company, he spends most of his free time fishing and kayaking the lakes and ponds of western Vermont.
If you’ve called the IAC phone, chances are you’ve talked to Kiersten Brown, our Communications Coordinator. Joining IAC in 2021, Kiersten is part of our Jeopardy alumni staff team, and helps with office duties and running regional tournaments around the country.
When not at work, she spends time with her family playing board games like Catan, attending comedy festivals in Montreal, and writing book reviews for novels while renovating her 200 year old house.
Our music questions wouldn’t sing like they do without the help of Sara DelVillano. This Maryland based staffer is one of our High School Tournament Coordinators as well as a Tournament Director and question writer. One of our Jeopardy! alumni, Sara was a finalist in the 2019 Teachers Tournament, the winningest staffer amongst the alumni on staff save for the founder.
When not working for IAC, Sara can be found teaching music lessons, performing in wind ensembles on her clarinet, fostering dogs or playing in pub trivia and Learned League matches.
Our resident printing princess, Margaret helps get all the question packets to the schools hosting IAC events. Margaret is a blacksmith and theater costume artist by trade, helping IAC whenever they need an extra set of hands with all things artistic or handwritten thanks to her background in design from SUNY Plattsburgh.
Scott joined IAC after winning Middle School Coach of the Year in 2015, staffing the first-ever International History Olympiad, and every subsequent IHO as well. A veteran coach of both high school and middle school, Scott’s teams have won eight state titles in Georgia.
For IAC, Scott works as a regional coordinator, tournament director, and question writer. Away from quiz bowl, he is an avid football and futbol fan as well as a wine enthusiast and poker player.
Our Recruiting Coordinator John Garner has long been a staple of the IAC Family, coordinating field trips for our international tournaments. He’s a former History Bowl coach, and now the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History Georgia State History Teacher of the Year, among many other accolades as a history teacher.
In his spare time, he enjoys traveling the country exploring all things history, spending time with his wife, five kids and two grandchildren and coaching wrestling.
One of our newest staff members, Jess joined IAC as an EMS Tournament Coordinator in 2022 after spending two years writing questions and assistant tournament directing. An AP US and World History teacher in Austin, Texas, Jess participates in pub trivia weekly with friends, and enjoys powerlifting, live music and anything outdoors in her spare time.
Scott Blish is another of our Jeopardy Alumni staffers. A jack-of-all trades, Scott utilizes his trivia knowledge and ten years of experience volunteering with another quiz bowl company to help run regional tournaments at the high school and EMS levels, as well as question writing and statistical work at Nationals. A former professional poker player, Scott spends his downtime with his family, playing in various online international trivia competitions, or watching cricket.
Abigail began her career at IAC as a Junior Writer in December, 2021. Within four months, she was hired as a full-time Writer, then quickly promoted to Editor.
When Abigail is not working, she’s still “working.” As a self-proclaimed “information sponge,” she’s always looking to learn, whether from books, film, or everyday life. She is the co-president of her own book club and is always updating her Goodreads account. Her other hobbies include traveling, attending concerts, and training for the Olympics. Abigail is still figuring out in what sport, but she has convinced herself to be a pickleball phenom.
Jason Flowers is the Director of Exams for IAC and the 2023 Olympiad. Jason joined IAC in 2015 as a Team Leader for the US Geography Team and as the head writer for the US Geography Championships (USGC). Since then, he has helped to write the US History Bee and National Political Science Bee qualifying exams, all levels of USGC exams, National Championship Exams in history, and various exams and events for IHO and IGC. In addition to writing for IAC, Jason is the Quiz Bowl and History Bowl coach at the Liberal Arts and Science Academy in Austin, TX, where his teams have won two National History Bowl titles and four quiz bowl national championships.
Jason is also one of our question writers. His passion for quiz bowl started at Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee, and he has been a player, coach, tournament director, writer, editor, and moderator all over the United States for some 30 years. He served in the US Air Force and Air National Guard for ten years and was a two-time Jeopardy champion. He also has a bachelor’s degree in history and an MBA in organizational leadership. He believes that quiz bowl develops integral skills in players and is a benefit to the schools and communities in which it is played and is committed to seeing the game grow to its fullest potential. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
McKinnie became Associate Director of Question Production soon after working up from staffer to writer to editor. His work is key in the planning, crafting, and editing of our tournaments. He’s provided editorial direction and majority authorship for the Sports History, Sports and Entertainment, Pop Music, and Art History Bees and has guided new formats like Geographeud and Geopardy while working full-time on our regional, national, and international question sets. McKinnie’s passion for trivia took off in 2011, when he co-founded and led the quiz bowl program at his alma mater, UCF, and he’s been professionally editing, organizing, and writing for trivia and media outlets ever since. His experience and knowledge of what’s happening across the quiz world got him invited to be a play-tester for major network game shows, and you might have seen him as a contestant on Jeopardy!, Who Wants to be a Millionaire?, and The Chase. In his spare time, McKinnie is a player and team captain in numerous domestic and international quizzing leagues, holding multiple titles in subject-specific and general knowledge contests.
He also enjoys pop culture, sports and fitness, and spending time with friends and his wonderful girlfriend.