Dr. Lee Ann De Reus

Co-founder, US Office

Lee Ann De Reus, PhD, is the co-founder of Panzi Foundation’s US office, former chair of the US Board of Directors, and is currently the executive director of the Domestic Violence Legal Empowerment and Appeals Project (DV LEAP), a non-profit in Washington, D.C. DV LEAP provides access to justice and safety for survivors of domestic violence across the US by overturning unjust trial court outcomes through pro bono legal appeals. 

An ardent advocate for women’s and human rights, Dr. De Reus has dedicated her career to leading change for vulnerable populations in the US and Africa. She is an internationally-recognized expert on gender, sexualized violence, women’s rights, and activism with over 100 speaking engagements at venues such as TEDxPSU, the Oslo Freedom Forum, and the UN Commission on the Status of Women. 

At Penn State Altoona, Dr. De Reus was an associate professor of Human Development and Family Studies/Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies for twenty years. She taught classes on family functioning and conducted research on gender-based violence in the DRC. For fifteen consecutive years, Dr. De Reus led field experiences for students in the Dominican Republic, Rwanda, Chad, Tanzania, and Mozambique. She received several awards from PSU including the Atherton Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Spirit of Internationalization Award. She was a Carl Wilkens Advocacy Fellow for the Genocide Intervention Network; the Distinguished Donahue Scholar in Residence at Lasell College; and an Oxford University Roundtable Scholar. 

Dr. De Reus is the recipient of Purdue University’s 2017 Distinguished Service Alumni Award, the 2018 Iowa State University Alumni Merit Award, and the 2018 National Council on Family Relations Inclusion and Diversity Social Justice Award for Contributions to Family Science.