The Staff of the 2020 International History Olympiad will be announced on a rolling basis throughout 2019 and 2020. The staff members below are confirmed to be staffing; staff members with a * next to their name will also be staffing the International Geography Bee World Championships on July 12-19. Please note that many staff members from 2016 and 2018 who are not currently listed here will in fact be back; we just need to confirm dates and specific responsibilities with them first. There will also be a number of new staff members staffing their first Olympiad and/or IGB World Championships on board as well.
Emilio Ergueta * (Director – International History Olympiad)
Emilio Ergueta is currently a full-time staff member for IAC based out of Berlin, Germany. He holds specific responsibilities as the Director of the 2020 International History Olympiad as well as IAC operations in Europe and Canada. He is a veteran staffer of IHO and IGB Worlds from 2018, and staffed and/or directed several dozen events for IAC in the 2018-2019 academic year. Emilio is also a Politics, Administration, & Organization Studies major at the Universität Potsdam in Germany. Sparked by his love for strategy computer games, he began attending academic competitions at age ten. Emilio was a proud member of the Wilmington Friends School National History Bowl team, from Wilmington Delaware, captaining them at US Nationals in 2013 and 2015. During his time as Clerk of the Wilmington Friends School Quizbowl Club he increased membership by over five hundred percent! Though not his major, he continues to voraciously consume history podcasts, university lectures, and YouTube videos whenever he has a moment to spare.
Suopeng Gao * (Director – International Geography Bee World Championships)
Suopeng Gao is currently a full-time staff member for IAC based out of Shanghai, China. His specific responsibilities include being the Director of the 2020 International Geography Bee World Championships as well as IAC operations in Asia, Australia, and New Zealand. He has been the International History Bee and Bowl coordinator in Mainland China over the past four years, during which he expanded IHBB tournaments to various cities across China. He has also directed and staffed numerous IHBB tournaments in Asia. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in management from Babson College. Suopeng is also an alumnus of Lexington High School, where he competed on Science Bowl teams and captained Lexington’s National Ocean Science Bowl team his senior year. This is Suopeng’s third Olympiad after Hawaii 2016 and Berlin 2018 and second IGB World Championships following the inaugural IGB Worlds held in Berlin in 2018.
John Garner is a veteran staff member who has attended all three prior International History Olympiads. From 2015-2019, he initiated and coached the National History Bee and Bowl team at Newnan High School outside of metro Atlanta, Georgia. Beginning in the summer of 2019, he has taught and coached the students at Mason Creek Middle School in Winston, Georgia. He has been involved with high level academic tournaments for the past six years and has served in various roles from staffing and logistics to directing and coordinating staff for NHBB, NAQT, and the International History Olympiad. John is an award winning middle school and high school teacher with twelve years of experience in the classroom. His passion and commitment to social studies education coupled with his continuous desire to engage students in bringing history alive makes him a perfect fit to lead onshore excursions during the fourth International History Olympiad. John is also the father of five children and is an indefatigable history educator, whose National History Club chapters won six consecutive National Club of the Year awards.
Anne-Marie Lanz *
Anne-Marie Lanz is the coach of Burleigh Manor Middle School’s It’s Academic team in the state of Maryland in the United States. In collaboration with Sara Seifter, she holds weekly practice for seventy students, who have participated in the National History Bowl competition every year since its creation in 2013. She was nominated as Maryland’s World Language Teacher of the Year in 2012 for her work as a French teacher. In addition to teaching and coaching It’s Academic, Anne-Marie also coaches the Math club. Her academic team was the 2019 National Champion of the US Academic Bowl in the Middle School division.
Anne-Marie recently obtained a PhD in French literature from the University of Maryland, College Park, focusing her research on the diaries and correspondence of an eighteenth-century noblewoman from Lausanne, Switzerland (Anne-Marie’s hometown!). She is preparing a compilation of these letters for publication. Anne-Marie loves backpacking. From the heights of the Alps and Jura Mountains in Switzerland to the depths of the Grand Canyon in Arizona, USA, she always looks forward to her next great trek.
David Madden * (co-Executive Director – International Academic Competitions)
David Madden is the co-founder and co-Executive Director of the International History Olympiad, the International Geography Bee, and International Academic Competitions. He began his involvement in academic competitions in the 1990’s playing quiz bowl for Ridgewood High School and Princeton University. In 2003, David received a Rotary scholarship to pursue a master’s in international relations at the Free University of Berlin. During his stay in Berlin, he appeared as a contestant on the American quiz show Jeopardy! where his streak of 19 wins from 2005 is still the fourth longest in the show’s history. He also participated in the Jeopardy! All Star Games tournament in early 2019 which he and his teammates won. While taking coursework to become a history teacher, he organized the Tri-State History Bowl which 140 students attended in May 2010. At that point, he established the National History Bee and Bowl in June 2010, which then launched in Asia and Europe for the 2011-2012 school year as the International History Bee and Bowl. Since then, he has also set up the other competitions under the IAC aegis, including the International History Olympiad and the International Geography Bee. He is also a published art historian and once hiked the entire length of the US east coast for a veterans charity,
Nolwenn Madden * (co-Executive Director – International Academic Competitions)
Nolwenn Madden is the co-founder and co-Executive Director of the International History Olympiad, the International Geography Bee, and 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 Microsoft and booking.com before launching the International History Bee and Bowl in 2011. She and David were c0-coaches for the first team from the USA to attend the International Geography Olympiad in Kyoto, Japan in the summer of 2013. This indirectly led to the idea for the first International History Olympiad two years later. She has organized and directed hundreds of tournaments for IAC throughout North America, Europe, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand and is currently serving as Director of Middle School and Elementary School Competitions in the USA. In her spare time, she enjoys playing the ukulele, which she began playing at the 2016 International History Olympiad in Honolulu. She also enjoys skiing, playing the cello, cooking, and traveling.
Susan Madden *
Susan Madden has been staffing IAC competitions since 2010, including the first two International History Olympiads and many other regional, national, and international tournaments and championships. She co-directs the Colorado History Bee and Bowl each year with her husband Tim. She has an MBA from NYU Stern and a certificate in accounting which comes in handy with bookkeeping for IAC each year, which she oversees. Susan also maintains the IAC mailbox in Tenafly, NJ, her hometown, where she attended Tenafly High School, which now sends multiple teams to NHBB Nationals each year. She has worked for Chase Manhattan in banking, in numerous community volunteer positions, and as a parent advisor and driver for the Ridgewood High School quiz bowl team in the 1990’s. She has staffed all three past International History Olympiads and the inaugural IGB Worlds in 2018. She enjoys cooking, skiing, traveling, and the New York Times crossword puzzle.
Tim Madden *
Tim Madden has staffed National and International History Bee and Bowl tournaments since their inception, as well as the first three International History Olympiads and inaugural IGB Worlds. He has also staffed every Varsity and JV National History Bee and Bowl National Championships, the US Academic Bee and Bowl National Championships, and three IHBB Asian Championships too. Each year, he and his wife Susan direct the Colorado History Bee and Bowl in conjunction with a ski trip, and he directs other tournaments in the Greater New York City metro area as well. While in high school, he played on the Loyola Academy (Wilmette, IL) quiz bowl team. Before retiring in 2016, Tim worked in banking for 43 years, including postings with Chase Manhattan in Jakarta and Paris. He also currently advises IAC on organizational strategy and accounting. He enjoys gardening, skiing, fantasy baseball, and traveling.
Grayson McCready *
Grayson McCready coaches the International History Bee and Bowl team at SIS Basel, in Basel, Switzerland. His teams have qualified for every European Championship since the inception of the tournament and have won the JV Bowl and Bee once. He is the only coach to have attended every single IHBB European Championships. He teaches IB and IGCSE History and also sponsors the school’s Model United Nation Programme. He has a B.A. in History and Geography from Simon Fraser University and a B.Ed. from the University of British Columbia. He started teaching in 1995 and left Canada in 2001 to teach internationally. After 8 years teaching in The Bahamas and Cuba he came to Switzerland in 2009. He is a former paratrooper in the Canadian armed forces and has served in postings in the High Arctic. He oversees the Civilization tournaments at the International History Olympiad, which will include the first-ever Civilization Scenario competition in 2020 in addition to the usual Civilization tournament at IHO.
Deborah Pettingill *
Deborah Pettingill is a History teacher at Largo High School in Largo, Florida. She currently teaches Advanced Placement U.S. History, African American History and World Religions. Deborah is the advisor for the History Honor Society, Rho Kappa, coaches the History Bowl team, and coordinates the exchange program between Largo High and Yamada High School in Kami City, Japan, taking a student group to Japan every two years. She has been recognized as the Social Studies Teacher of the Year for Pinellas County and was honored to have been chosen to participate in the Normandy Institute: Sacrifice for Freedom program through National History Day. Deborah is a James Madison Fellow and is currently completing her Master’s Degree in Florida Studies at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg. Professionally she serves on the Board of Directors for the Florida Council for the Social Studies and the Pinellas Council for the Social Studies, is the school representative for the Pinellas County Teachers Association, is a reader for the AP U.S. History Exam, and is the Tournament Director for the Central Florida History Bee and Bowl Championships. Deborah especially enjoys researching the Roman and Medieval time periods and creating the clothing and art of those eras. She loves to travel and is looking forward to her first trip to Berlin and staffing the International History Olympiad and International Geography Bee World Championships.
Arthur Ramsay *
Arthur Ramsay is the Outreach Coordinator for International Academic Competitions. Based at IAC World Headquarters in Burlington, Vermont, he directs tournaments and works to expand the global impact of IAC, primarily through the International History Bee and Bowl. Arthur joined IAC in January 2018 after earning his BA in American History and Government from the State University of New York Empire State College. While pursuing his degree, Arthur worked for the State University of New York System Administration in the Offices of Communications, External Affairs and Alumni Relations, and the Provost. He also spent more than two years with the SUNY Student Assembly, and upon his departure was named Senior Director Emeritus of Communications and Special Adviser to the President. He spent four years on the Academic Team at Half Hollow Hills West (NY), leading the team from 2012 to his graduation in 2014. An alumnus of the National History Bee and Bowl, he is looking forward to staffing his second Olympiad and IGB Worlds in the summer of 2020.
Eric Seifter *
Eric Seifter has a BA degree and MD degree from the University of Pennsylvania. Eric started with quiz competitions by competing on the It’s Academic high school quiz team between 1969 and 1972. All three of his sons played on their high school quiz bowl team over 12 years and Eric and his wife Sara were parent volunteers. In 2010, Eric accepted the role of Coach (with his wife Sara) of the Centennial High School team in Ellicott City, Maryland. Over the last 8 years, Eric and Sara helped to set up and advise elementary and middle school programs, organized an annual quiz bowl tournament with over 100 teams (since 2006), and hosted many National History Bee and Bowl and USABB tournaments. Eric and Sara have coached the Maryland All-Star Team for NASAT over the past 3 years. In 2015, Eric and Sara were named National Coaches of the Year by the National History Bee and Bowl, and Eric was named Sophie Altman Coach of the Year on the It’s Academic TV show. Eric’s day job is as Associate Professor of Medicine and Oncology at Johns Hopkins Hospital and the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center. Eric has won multiple Best Teacher of the Year awards at Hopkins over 4 decades and has a lifetime award from the Maryland Geologic Society. He will be the official physician on staff at the 2020 International Geography Bee World Championships and International History Olympiad.
Sara Seifter *
Sara Seifter has a BA degree in French and Russian and an MA in Russian from the University of Pennsylvania, as well as an MBA from the Wharton School. She has studied French, Spanish, German, Russian, Polish, and Hebrew. She coordinated foreign student homestay programs in Maryland for over 10 years. She and her husband Eric were parent volunteers for 11 years for the quiz bowl team at Centennial High School, eventually coaching the team together over the past 8 years. The club and team has over 100 students participating annually. Sara helped to initiate quiz bowl programs and continues to volunteer at Burleigh Manor Middle School, which is directed by Dr. Anne Marie Lanz. Sara then set up the elementary school program, with the assistance of teacher Joanne Scheler and parent volunteer Paula Swann; the team was then the 2018 National Champion of the US Academic Bowl in the Elementary division. Sara volunteers as a one-to-one reading specialist at the elementary school and belongs to several committees for education in Howard county, Maryland. She and her husband Eric were named National Coaches of the Year by the National History Bee and Bowl in 2015. Sara was a runner-up for Howard County Volunteer of the Year in 2016. Eric and Sara have travelled to Europe almost annually over the past 30 years and were visiting Professors at the Hue Medical School in Vietnam in 2014.
Jay Wickliff *
Jay Wickliff coaches the National History Bee and Bowl team at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria, Virginia, which has often been ranked as the top academic high school in the United States. His teams finished as Junior Varsity national finalists in 2016 team at the National History Bowl National Championships and as Varsity national finalists in 2017 before winning the Varsity National History Bowl National Championships in 2018. He developed the Great Trading Game series as a staff member at the first three International History Olympiads. Jay teaches Social Studies, coaches the state champion boys tennis team and directs a program for high-achieving, low-income middle school students. Most of his career was spent in human resources management for 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. He also served as Executive Director at Presidential Classroom, a Washington-based civic education program for outstanding high school students, which is assisting in the launch of the National Political Science Bee in the 2019-2020 academic year. Jay also founded the Future World Leaders Summit for teenage leaders from around the world. He was awarded the National History Bowl and Bee Outstanding Service Award in 2016.