Council of Governors

Each year, JSA members elect from among their peers a governor from each JSA state. That individual is responsible for planning conventions for their region, budgeting, appointed a cabinet of JSA delegates and developing strategic goals for the organization. A member of the Council of Governors also sits on the JSA Foundation board of directors.

Avinash Naidu

Pacific Northwest Governor, Chair


Avinash Naidu is a rising senior at Interlake High School in Bellevue, Washington and is the Pacific Northwest Governor for the 2019-2020 school year. Avinash Naidu is also serving as the Chair of the Council of Governors for the 2019-2020 school year. Avinash joined JSA in his sophomore year and his first convention was Winter Congress 2018. Avinash got very involved with campaigns and attended many chapter conventions as a sophomore. As a junior, Avinash served as Interlake’s Chapter Director of Publicity and the Pacific Northwest Assistant Director of Expansion. Avinash has also held a role as the head Democratic whip for Winter Congress 2019. This year Avinash hopes to revitalize expansion in the rural parts of the Pacific Northwest, specifically in Eastern Washington and Eastern Oregon. Additionally, Avinash hopes to increase communal activism, strengthen the connection between chapters, and utilize numerous forms of publicity for JSA throughout the nation.

While Avinash did not join JSA at the start of his High School career, he quickly fell in love with the club and used it to fuel his passion for politics and activism. Avinash has always enjoyed politics, but it was JSA that gave him an avenue to express his beliefs and strengthen his opinions. Many of the people that Avinash has met due to JSA have forever changed his life and motivated him to do more as a member of society.

Outside of JSA, Avinash plays football as well as track and field and greatly enjoys both these sports. Avinash is the co-President and founder of his schools American Civil Liberties Union chapter and a member of his schools DECA chapter. This past year in the midterm elections Avinash volunteered and worked for several campaigns. Avinash also loves good music, spending time with friends, and good food.

Brian Carlos

Southeast Governor


Bio coming soon

Tori Cord

Arizona Governor


Tori Cord is a rising senior at New School for the Arts and Academics in Tempe, Arizona and is the Arizona Governor for the 2019-2020 school year. Tori joined JSA in 2014 as a shy but ambitious 12 year old who found a hidden love for participating in debate. She spent two years in middle school becoming involved in her school's JSA chapter, and in her freshman year she joined Arizona Cabinet as an Expansion Agent. Tori became her school's Chapter President and was appointed Expansion Director in her sophomore year, and in her Junior year worked as the Fundraising Director and served again as Chapter President. She is an alumni of both JSA Summer School's at Princeton and Georgetown, to which she attributes her drive for politics. Tori's main focus for this year is to bring numerous new chapters and students to JSA.

Outside of JSA, Tori is a member of her school's dance company where she choreographs and performs for her community. Tori is also an active member in her synagogue, volunteering and teaching in the religious school. She also has played piano for 9 years and passionately believes Arizona has the best carne asada burritos.

Kavya Desikan

Northeast Governor


Bio coming soon

Lucy Ding

Texas Governor


Lucy Ding is a senior at Bellaire High School in Houston, Texas and is the Texas Governor for the 2019-2020 school year. She joined JSA her freshman year and has attended every convention since. Last year, she served on Cabinet as the Director of Expansion of Texas JSA, as well as Chapter President at Bellaire High School. She used both of those positions to get the word out about JSA, grow the organization, and get more people to our amazing conventions. The year before, she worked on Cabinet as an Expansion Agent. Lucy also attended JSA Summer School at Princeton in the summer of 2019.

Lucy joined JSA for the debates, but stayed for the people. She believes that JSA provides a space to high school students that allows them to voice their thoughts and opinions, as well as develop leadership and critical thinking skills. Thus, her main focus this year as governor is connecting with the members of her state and bringing more people to JSA. Outside of JSA, Lucy spends her time teaching several karate classes, involving herself in local politics and voter registration, and drinking copious amounts of tea. She also works with her local UNICEF chapter and attends mixed media art classes.

Olivia Fox

Mid-Atlantic Governor


Olivia is a senior at Secaucus High School in Secaucus, New Jersey and is beyond ecstatic about the year ahead. After a challenging campaign season, she is thrilled to be serving as the 2019-2020 Mid-Atlantic State Governor. She previously served as the Mid-Atlantic State Lieutenant Governor, New Jersey Region Chief of Staff, and as a Chapter Internal Affairs Agent. With all of her experience and passion, Olivia is ready to take on the Mid-Atlantic and National JSA. In school, Olivia is serving as the Student Body Co-President and the President of her school’s volunteer group. She loves theater, having performed in her school musical for the last 5 years. Outside of school, Olivia spends time with friends and family, enjoying every moment of it. With high school soon coming to a close, she is excited to see what this last year holds. Olivia has invested herself in the Junior State of America and is honored to be working with such an incredible group of Governors. Her love for the organization has given her phenomenal friends, invaluable knowledge, and experiences that will last a lifetime. Olivia is thankful to all of those that helped her get to this point and is ready to make the most of what has been given to her!

Bryan Green

Northern California Governor


Bryan started JSA in his Freshman year after he attended Winter State 2017 as a guest of a nearby chapter, and decided afterwards to join JSA and start a chapter at his own school, Amador Valley. He applied for Cabinet as a rising sophomore and started the year as a Logistics Agent, eventually moving to Director of Logistics by the end of the year. Over the summer, he was invited to the Montezuma Leadership Summit for rising leaders in JSA. He also attended the Georgetown Summer Program in Washington, D.C. over this past summer, which really made him passionate about Summer School promotion. During the following year, Bryan served as NorCal's Director of the Chapter Intelligence Agency (CIA) and fell in love with the chapter element of JSA an infinitely increased his experience working with chapters and supporting growth on a foundation level. Bryan is excited to lead JSA on a path of growth so more students can experience JSA and lead the return to the roots of the organization: civic activism, education, and engagement.

Outside of JSA, Bryan goes hiking, camping, fishing, and hunting, and I'm currently trying to see all 61 National Parks - he saw nine last year alone, bringing his total up to 23. During the springtime for the past five years, he works for the Pleasanton Little League and umpire little league baseball games. In the summer, he works in Redwood City doing window installations. Bryan also likes to do urban exploration and rooftopping, a hobby he picked up Freshman year. Other times, he just hang out with his friends, most of whom either do JSA at his school or are friends he made at conventions or through cabinet.

Litsa Kapsalis

Midwest Governor


Litsa (LEE-tsa) Kapsalis joined JSA in the beginning of her freshman year with a desire to address the issues facing society and to elevate her speaking skills. JSA did that for her and so much more by introducing her to a diverse community of welcoming individuals who all shared the same enthusiasm. In her sophomore year, Litsa was the Chapter President of Lake Forest High School JSA, part of Midwest Cabinet, working as a Debate Agent, and an FEC Agent. She was also the Midwest Bill Director for 2018 MidSoHio Winter Congress. Junior year, Litsa served another term as Chapter President, as part of National Cabinet as National Director of Debate, and on Midwest-ORV Winter Congress Cabinet as Convention Bill Director.

This year, Litsa is looking forward to bringing the Midwest closer together. She aims to improve connections between chapters and Cabinet, to provide the framework for chapters to become more involved and recognized within their communities, and to elevate debate engagement through delegate involvement in choosing resolutions.

Outside of JSA, Litsa participates in the Illinois Congressional Debate Association, Model United Nations, Math Team, and French Club. When she’s not practicing her Greek and French, she can be found managing a not-profit (AchieveWE.org), playing piano, volunteering, running, and biking.

Melinda Xia

Ohio River Valley Governor


Melinda first joined JSA my freshman year when attending her first meeting, and her first few conventions. Perhaps the most memorable memory she has from her first convention, Fall State, was when she made her debut on the JSApp and posted a tasteful meme that was enjoyed by many. In the following year, she had the pleasure of serving as a Director of Communications and Director of Expansion in the ORV, as well as Director of Summer School for Winter Congress Cabinet. This past year she had the honor of working with Chapter Presidents across her state when she served as NCD Mayor of the ORV. Although it may sound like she’s listing several “positions”, she truly remember each of these experiences as times in which she learned much from those she worked with. Her absolute favorite aspect of this multi-faceted organization - that she’s proud to call home - is that one is able to learn from each encounter they have with the delegates within it. The moments we share with at each meeting, convention, and summer gathering are ones she cherish deeply. She is grateful to have met so many delegates, leaders, and friends through JSA. she is grateful to represent the Ohio River Valley as our 2019-20 Governor, and am excited to see all that we accomplish this upcoming year within her state and within the Council of Governors!

Judy Zhang

Southern California Governor


Judy Zhang is a rising senior at Palisades Charter High School and will be serving as the 2019-2020 Southern California Governor. She also has the privilege to serve as the Board Representative to the Junior State of America Foundation. Initially, Judy fell in love with JSA after attending Fall State as a freshman, where she discovered the passion, level of civic engagement, and care that other high schoolers had for the world around them. It was the kindness she experienced from others coupled with the friends she made that has furthered her own care for this organization throughout the years.

Within her time in JSA, Judy has attended numerous JSA Summer Programs, her favorite being Georgetown where she studied Constitutional Law. She has previously been Chapter President and served on state cabinet as a Deputy Director of Debate her freshman year, Director of Moderators her sophomore year, and Director of Debate her junior year. This coming year in SoCal, Judy hopes to strengthen individual chapters, establish stronger regions, and diversify statewide convention activities to include more leadership opportunities for regular JSAers. Aside from JSA, Judy participates in Mock Trial, Moot Court, Journalism, and works at her local law firm. She loves any type of music, whether it be 80’s, R&B, or weird alternative/indie rock, and unabashedly binge-watches political TV dramas.

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