Aaron Bates - Chair of Board of Directors

Aaron M. Bates is the Managing Director of Bernstein Wealth Management's Boston office. From 2005 to 2009, he worked in London on the launch of the firm’s global Private Client practice in Europe; he was appointed a principal in 2008. Prior to that, Bates was based in New York, where he oversaw the Northeast US Private Client Services Group and served as an analyst in the Private Client Executive Group, reporting on trends in the international high ­net ­worth marketplace to aid in the strategic development of the firm’s practice. He previously served in the Executive Office of the President of the United States, Office of the US Trade Representative. He has twice been selected to represent the US at the German Marshall Fund’s Conference on Transatlantic Relations. Bates holds a BA in international affairs from George Washington University. In 2007, Dow Jones named him one of the Top 40 Under 40 in Europe. Bates is Chairman of the Board of Debate Mate USA and serves on the Board of Overseers for WGBH Boston.


Margaret McCabe - Chief Executive Officer 


Margaret is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Debate Mate USA.  She is also the Founder of Debate Mate, based in London UK.  Prior to founding the organization, she served as a commercial barrister for over 20 years, combined with two decades in the voluntary sector including time at Centre Point, NSPCC Justice for Children program and as an advisor to Human Rights Watch.

Ben McNelly- Board Member

Ben McNelly currently works for Ellevation Education, a Boston-based education technology company. Prior to his work at Ellevation, Ben was the Executive Program Director at Debate Mate USA for 18 months. Under his leadership, Debate Mate USA expanded rapidly and grew to 25 schools in the Greater Boston Area, reaching over 300 students per week. He is a graduate of the London School of Economics, earning a Master's Degree in Comparative Democracy and currently resides in Somerville.


Gaines Johnson- Board Member

Gaines Johnson is currently a consultant focusing on education strategy and private equity at The Parthenon Group in Boston, Massachusetts. Gaines has a BA in Political Science from Samford University, an M.ED in Innovation and Reform from the University of Virginia, and an MBA from the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia. He began his career in the White House Office of Presidential Personnel where he focused on strategic personnel planning for cabinet agencies. Following his time at the White House, he served as the Operations Coordinator at the United States Department of the Treasury during the Global Financial Crisis. In this role, Gaines primarily worked to plan the G7 and G20 global summits. Following his time at the Treasury, Gaines joined Teach For America where he taught middle school history, reading, and writing. Additionally, he has worked in various leadership roles at the original KIPP Academy in Houston, Texas. 


David Waldman - Board Member

David is a Senior Business Consultant in the Corporate Development Program at Liberty Mutual Insurance.  David is a graduate of the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration where he attended as a Batten Scholar.  Prior to Darden, David spent three years as a hedge fund equity analyst and emerging market private equity associate. During this period, Dave spent time living, working and investing in emerging Eastern Europe. Following those years, David worked in M&A with a special focus on Software-as-a-Service and Real Assets.  David graduated from Hamilton College Magna Cum Laude, where he earned a B.A. with Honors in World Politics and a minor in Economics and studies in residence at Oxford University. David spent eight years as a member of the Social Investment Council (SIC) for Echoing Green, an industry leading Social Entrepreneurship Foundation, and in addition to his duties working with fellows David co-founded the DC Chapter of the SIC.