Staff

Lisa H. Thurau, Esq., Founder and Executive Director
Susan Montoya, Evaluation and Impact Coordinator
W. David Walker, Training Director
Colleen Walker, Training Coordinator


Lisa H. Thurau, Esq.
Founder and Executive Director

Lisa-Thurau-2016Lisa H. Thurau 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.

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.

In 2004, Lisa settled a civil rights lawsuit against the police officers of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) on behalf of eleven youth. Subsequently Lisa worked with the new MBTA Transit Police Chief to offer training to MBTA officers to improve interactions with youth. The trainings increased officers’ skills in working with youth and supported officers’ development of innovative approaches to policing large groups of teens in public transit areas. Lisa also conducted a training with over 100 officers in the Everett Police Department. In 2006, her assessment and training of 235 officers in the Cambridge Police Department led to a reorganization of the way that Department provides services to youth. It is now a national model. In each city, arrest rates of youth fell dramatically after the trainings.

In 2010, Lisa founded Strategies for Youth, Inc., a nonprofit advocacy and training organization dedicated to improving police/youth interactions and reducing disproportionate minority contact. Dr. Jeff Q. Bostic, formerly Director of School Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital, developed the psychology component of the training.

Lisa built Strategies for Youth from the ground up without formal institutional or foundation support. Strategies for Youth has now worked with police in California, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin. Lisa writes on police/youth issues in national publications, and presents at national police, youth advocacy, and criminal justice forums.

Contact Lisa at lht@strategiesforyouth.org


Susan Montoya
Evaluation and Impact Coordinator

Susan Montoya joined Strategies for Youth in 2017, bringing 15 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 10 years, and worked as a medical researcher during the summers. Before teaching Susan worked in sales and marketing for technology companies.

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

Contact Susan at sm@strategiesforyouth.org


W. David Walker
Training Director

David-Walker-2015W. 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 and his wife, Colleen, moved back to Moscow, Idaho where Colleen began work on a graduate degree and 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. His interests include flying radio-controlled aircraft with his son and grandson, woodworking, and competing in local & national IDPA matches. He lives in Maine with his wife, their yellow lab Marley, and 4 chickens

Contact David at dw@strategiesforyouth.org


Colleen Walker
Training Coordinator

Colleen Walker

Colleen 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 drivers 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 the training coordinator. Her responsibilities include the logistical planning and preparation for SFY’s training events.

Contact Colleen at crw@strategiesforyouth.org

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save