SDE Founding Team

These community representatives are long-standing supporters of Decision Education who are excited to help build a community focused on educators.

Liz Thompson

A teacher for the past ten years, Liz loves finding new ways to incorporate the teaching of effective Decision Skills into every aspect of high school learning. Liz works with DEF to further develop the StrongStart and Steps to Success programs, as well as other curriculum, and offer training to educators.

Amy Stranieri

Counselor and department head at Thurston High School in Springfield, Oregon.

Ed Mendelssohn

High school College and Career Readiness Administrator, Instruction Department in Eugene School District 4J, Oregon.

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About DEF and What We Do

The Decision Education Foundation 501(c)(3) sponsors the Society of Decision Educators and The Decision Academy.

What We Do

Our success is achieved through enabling those working with youth to learn, deliver, and sustain decision-making curriculum, activities, and environments for youth in a variety of educational settings.

DEF has been successful in demonstrating that Decision Skills can be taught, that they can improve academic performance, and that they are associated with improving life outcomes through impacting Decision Quality, a measure correlated with improved well-being. DEF programs and curriculum are based around a framework for decision-making pioneered at Stanford University's Department of Engineering and the Strategic Decisions Group, an international consultancy.


The Decision Education Foundation was founded in 2001 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with the mission to empower youth with effective Decision Skills that enhance their prospects for better lives in today's challenging and uncertain world. Our founders include professional educators, decision professionals, successful business leaders, and parents with a passion for educating youth. All have a belief in the power of an individual’s decisions to positively shape their own life and consequently improve the lives of other individuals and of society.

Our Partners

DEF has worked with a variety of youth-focused organizations and has evolved towards primarily engaging students in high school.

Because our ambition is to get to a significant level of deep understanding and the building of Decision Skills with students, relationships typically develop over time as schools and districts see the value Decision Skills create.