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Ben Silbermann, Founder of Pinterest, Receives National Speech & Debate Association Alumni Lifetime Achievement Award


[DES MOINES, IOWA—July 1, 2024] The National Speech & Debate Association (NSDA) is proud to award Ben Silbermann, Founder and Executive Chair of Pinterest, with the 2024 Alumni Lifetime Achievement Award.

​​Ben Silbermann is a graduate of Roosevelt High School in Des Moines, Iowa, where he competed in Lincoln-Douglas Debate and was coached by NSDA Hall of Fame member Dave Huston. Ben took sixth place at the 1999 National Speech & Debate Tournament.

In 2010, Ben co-founded Pinterest, which he and his college friends Evan Sharp and Paul Sciarra launched from their apartment. Pinterest quickly gained popularity, attracting millions of users who were drawn to its visually appealing interface and unique concept of bookmarking and sharing content.

Under Ben’s leadership, Pinterest grew rapidly, becoming one of the leading social media platforms globally. Ben is known for his vision of creating a platform that inspires users to discover and organize ideas for various interests, including fashion, home decor, cooking, and more.

Through all of his success, Ben has never forgotten his roots and the foundations that debate and his membership in the NSDA created. As a passionate advocate for debate, Ben and his wife Divya have chosen to support the NSDA’s efforts to expand the opportunities for participation in the activity through the support of their family foundation. To view Ben’s acceptance speech at the National Speech & Debate Tournament, please visit

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Every year, the National Speech & Debate Association recognizes an alumni member who, throughout their personal and professional career, has demonstrated exemplary commitment to our mission and vision to empower students through speech and debate.

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