Staff

Lisa H. Thurau, Esq., Chief Executive Officer/Executive Director
David Walker, Chief Operating Officer/Training Director
James Durodola, Esq., Staff Attorney/Juvenile Justice Jeopardy Director
Susan Montoya, Evaluation and Impact Manager
Colleen Walker, Office Manager/Training Coordinator
Chris Nunes, Financial Manager


Lisa H. Thurau, Esq.
Chief Executive Officer/Executive Director

In 2004, Lisa initiated a training with 180 officers in the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority (MBTA) Transit Police to improve police/youth interactions, to increase officers’ skills in working with youth, and to support officers’ development of innovative approaches to policing large groups of teens in public transit areas. The impacts of her advocacy and training efforts led to an 84% reduction in juvenile arrests by the MBTA Transit Police. She conducted a training with over 100 officers in the Everett Police Department which led to a 50% reduction in juvenile arrests. Her assessment and training of 235 officers in the Cambridge Police Department led to 65% decline in juvenile arrests and a reorganization of the way that Department provides services to youth.

In 2009, Lisa founded Strategies for Youth, Inc., a nonprofit advocacy and training organization dedicated to improving police/youth interactions. Working with Dr. Jeff Q. Bostic, Director of School Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital, Lisa built Strategies for Youth from the ground up without formal institutional or foundation support. Strategies for Youth is now a nationally known organization, working in 38 counties in 18 states. SFY is often consulted by the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Education policing matters, policy development, and recommendations for best practices. Lisa writes and speaks on these topics to a wide array of police, youth-advocates, and legal audiences.

Prior to forming Strategies for Youth, from 1999 to 2008, Lisa served as policy specialist and then as Managing Director of the Juvenile Justice Center of Suffolk Law School. There, Lisa focused on public policy advocacy on behalf of court-involved teens. She monitored juveniles’ civil rights issues regarding police treatment, tracked trends in the Center’s cases, monitored and challenged legislation affecting youth in the juvenile justice system.

Lisa is a graduate of Barnard College and holds a Masters degree in Anthropology from Columbia University. She graduated from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law of Yeshiva University in 1991. Before becoming an attorney, Lisa worked as a researcher and advocate for reform and improvement of the public education system in New York City. She worked as an Associate in the litigation department of Coudert Brothers, an international law firm on copyright and commercial litigation matters.

Contact Lisa at lht@strategiesforyouth.org

 


W. David Walker
Chief Operating Officer/Training Director

W. David Walker graduated from the University of Idaho with a degree in Forestry in 1984. After a few years of working as a seasonal forester in Idaho and Washington, David began work as a Deputy for the Latah County Sheriff’s Office where he was a member of the Latah County Tactical Emergency Response Team. He transferred to the Moscow Police Department where he was a Patrol Officer and Investigator reaching the rank of Corporal. David helped to create and was the lead investigator for the Latah County Child Abuse Task Force from 1990-1992.

An off-duty shoulder injury led David to make the decision to leave law enforcement in 1992. He earned a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Idaho and has spent the last 20+ years working for a variety of large, multi-national companies in technical marketing and communications. During his career David has developed and presented technical training and materials to audiences around the world. David has been an active volunteer with the Boy Scouts of America serving as a Camp Director, Scoutmaster, Committee Chairperson, and Eagle Candidate mentor.

Contact David at dw@strategiesforyouth.org

 


James Durodola, Esq.
Staff Attorney/Juvenile Justice Jeopardy Director

James has over ten years experience defending juveniles charged with serious crimes in Massachusetts juvenile courts and in North Carolina. He has also served as a Judicial Law Clerk for the Justices of the Massachusetts Superior Court and as an Assistant City Solicitor to the Mayor of Brockton.

James graduated from Boston University School of Law with an LLM Master of Law degree and a JD degree from Nova Southeastern University School of Law in Fort Lauderdale Florida. James has a Masters of Library and Information Science degree from the University of Pittsburgh and a Bachelor degree in History and Political Science from Virginia Union University in Richmond, Virginia.

In addition to volunteering his time and resources in assisting children in Haiti, James is a member of the Boston-based Partnership Inc.

Contact James at jid@strategiesforyouth.org

 


Susan Montoya
Evaluation and Impact Manager

Susan Montoya joined Strategies for Youth in 2017, bringing fifteen years of education and research experience to SFY’s mission. Her responsibilities include analyzing data on the impact SFY trainings have on police/youth interactions, as well as participant feedback from SFY trainings and Juvenile Justice Jeopardy games.

Prior to joining Strategies for Youth, Susan taught college and high school math for many years, and worked as a medical researcher during the summers. Before teaching Susan worked in sales and marketing for technology companies.

Susan holds an AB from Georgetown University and a Masters in Secondary Education from the University of New Mexico.

Contact Susan at sm@strategiesforyouth.org

 


Colleen Walker
Office Manager/Training Coordinator

Colleen Walker

Colleen Walker is a summa cum laude graduate of the University of Idaho with a degree in textiles and design. Colleen’s professional experience includes working in banking as a bookkeeper, being a dispatcher for the Latah County Sheriff’s Office, and serving as a State of Idaho driver’s license examiner. She has taught at the collegiate level, and used her talent for color and design as an interior decorator. While raising two children, Colleen, along with her husband Dave, provided emergency foster care in their home for a number of kids over the years.

At SFY, Colleen is responsible for office operations and serves as the Training Coordinator, including logistical planning and preparation for SFY’s training events.

Contact Colleen at crw@strategiesforyouth.org

 


Chris Nunes
Financial Manager

Chris graduated from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth with a BA in History in 2010, and then continued for a Master of Public Policy degree, which was completed in 2011.

Prior to joining SFY, Chris held various positions in public and private organizations where he worked closely on financial planning and analysis, accounting, strategy and budgeting.

Contact Chris at cn@strategiesforyouth.org