Academy Founding Team

Meet the team of long-standing supporters of Decision Education that wants to help you learn Decision Skills to support and enhance your future.

Chris Spetzler
DEF Executive Director

Chris grew up being used as a test bed for a Stanford professor and a business consultant who were developing the Decision Quality (DQ) model that DEF shares with the world. He caught the DQ passion bug, raises his own kids based on DQ, and is delighted to bring Decision Skills to youth.

Dana Luco
Ops Manager & Program Dev

After a career as a training developer in software companies, Dana is now living her dream to bring practical skills and comfort-zone-expanding experiences to kids and young adults. She runs business operations to support all the great people who make Decision Skills training a reality.

Liz Thompson
Teacher & Program Dev

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 Decision Quality programs and avenues to reach young people.

Stefanie McLaney
Teacher & Program Dev

Having studied cognitive, experimental, and applied psychology, Stefanie loves bringing her knowledge and hands-on teaching experience to DEF's programs and other offerings. She focuses on meeting students where they are and making information accessible.

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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.