Liz Abzug
Founder/Executive Director

As a national public affairs and strategic consultant, professor, lawyer and candidate for New York City elective office, Ms. Abzug has been a professional involved in many fields including politics, economic and urban development and human rights.

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Oriela Baliaj
Senior Program Associate

Oriela joined BALI’s team as a Program Associate in April 2016. She received her BA in Political Science from Lehman College and her Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Baruch College, CUNY.
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Gabriela Valette
Program Coordinator

Gabriela received her BA in Public Communication from SUNY College at Buffalo State and her masters in Urban Policy and Leadership from Hunter College, CUNY.
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Neonne Ameer
Program Assistant

Neonne was the supervisor for BALI’s Debate Training for the Leadership Program, Summer 2018. She continues her work at BALI with debate training, and is currently leading the implementation of BALI’s first Mentoring Program.

She is currently pursuing her MA in Public Administration and Public Policy.


Erik Fogel
(Curricula Collaborator/ NYCUDL)

Erik is the director of the New York City Urban Debate League. He is a teacher and debate coach at the Bronx School for Law and Justice.
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Gisselle Rodriguez Benitez
Social Media Intern

Gisselle is BALI's Social Media Intern. She was a trainee during the 2016 Summer Leadership and Debate Training Program and an intern for the same program in 2017.
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BALI Board of Directors

Erica Forman, Chair

Cynthia McKnight, Treasurer

Meg Holzer, Secretary

Gloria Steinem

Harold Holzer

Jerry Goldfeder

Joanne Davila

Jonathan Greenberg

A.J. Lederman

Eija Ayravainen

Judy Lerner

Kylie Reiffert

Liz Cooper

Betsy Scheinbart-Norton

Kai Gilchrist 

Deena Baikowitz

Melissa Noonan-Mazzei