The International Geography Bee is a member of the International Academic Competitions network and is based out of Burlington, VT, USA.
David Madden, Founder, International Geography Bee and Co-Executive Director, International Academic Competitions
David Madden is the co-founder and co-Executive Director of 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 social studies 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 has since expanded worldwide as the International History Bee and Bowl. He founded the International Geography Bee in 2016 as an additional social studies competition for students to compete in around the world. He also began the involvement of the USA in the International Geography Olympiad, coached the US team there in 2013 and 2014 (which included the world champion student), and oversees the participation of the USA in the International Geography Olympiad to this day.
Nolwenn Madden, Co-Executive Director, International Academic Competitions
Nolwenn Madden is the co-founder and 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 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.
Suopeng Gao, Director, International Geography Bee World Championships, IAC Director of Operations for Asia, Australia, and New Zealand
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 and International Geography Bee coordinator in Mainland China over the past four years, during which he expanded IAC tournaments to various cities across China. He has also directed and staffed numerous IAC tournaments in Asia, including the first IGB Regional Quiz Tournament, which took place in Hong Kong in 2019. 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.
Emilio Ergueta, Director, International History Olympiad, IAC Director of Operations for Europe and Canada
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 the International History Olympiad and International Geography Bee World Championships from 2018, and staffed and/or directed several dozen events for IAC in the 2018-2019 academic year. Emilio is also the Staff Director for the 2020 International Geography Bee World Championships. Sparked by his love for strategy computer games, he began attending academic competitions at age ten. Emilio competed in IAC competitions himself while he was a student at Wilmington Friends School in Delaware. He has studied in Berlin and Potsdam with focuses on organizational management and event logistics. He looks forward to expanding the reach of International Academic Competitions and the International Geography Bee during the 2019-2020 academic year.
Arthur Ramsay, IAC Director of Outreach
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, including the International Geography Bee. 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 has directed IAC tournaments in Malaysia, Switzerland, New Zealand, Iceland, Australia, and throughout the USA.