National expert on multi-disciplinary, victim-centered sexual assault response & intervention
Nationally-recognized expert on sexual violence, specializing in guiding systemic change by building and facilitating multi-agency / multi-disciplinary collaborations. A sought-after speaker, trainer and consultant skilled in creating processes to bridge the relationships between advocates, medical professionals, law enforcement, prosecution and community partners. Background includes two decades of local and national leadership on victim-centered response; known for strengths in policy development, collaboration, advocacy and strategy.
Areas of Expertise
Protocol and policy development | Victim-centered advocacy | Community needs assessment I Sexual Assault Response Teams (SARTs) | ELearning development | Medical/Forensic compliance| Training and conference presentations I Nonprofit management | Case file review |
Collaboration Specialist –As a technical assistance provider worked on-site and remotely with suburban, rural, and urban areas to guide locally driven initiatives and strategies. Dozens of work products; including the Hennepin County needs assessment and Rice County multidisciplinary protocols.
Conference Trainer / Webinar Leader –As a frequently-requested speaker and trainer, conducted webinar sessions and traveled to conferences, nonprofit agencies and responder sites such as law enforcement to provide strategies and tactics for the transition to multidisciplinary, victim-centered sexual violence responses.
Case File Review Toolkit – Guided the development of SVJI @ MNCASA’s first law enforcement case file review toolkit and process. This resource helps Sexual Assault Response Teams (SARTs) and law enforcement to evaluate systemic issues and understand critical links between agencies and their needs; with a focus on solutions.
“Are We Making a Difference?” – Innovated an online distance learning evaluation tool (SVJI @ MNCASA’s Are We Making a Difference?) to help organizations and collaborative teams choose evaluation methodologies measuring their desired program outcomes. This first-of-its kind offering has become widely-used nationwide.
Office on Violence against Women (OVW) – Designed and delivered technical assistance and training to all types of agencies that receive OVW program funding.
Mentoring & guiding:
President, Leah Lutz Consulting & Training, November 2018-present. Consult with law enforcement, nonprofit leaders and service providers involved in the challenges of integrating trauma-informed practices into their policy and processes for serving victims of sexual violence. Conduct on-site assessments, make recommendations for change, conduct trainings and follow up to assist with ongoing change.
Program Manager / Collaboration Specialist / Teaching and Connections Coordinator, Sexual Violence Justice Institute (SVJI) @ Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault (MNCASA), 2008-October 2018.
As Program Manager (2016-18) for this national leader in sexual assault response and multidisciplinary collaboration, directed a team of 8 professionals and consultants in providing training and technical assistance throughout the country on all aspects of sexual violence response, and service delivery.
As Teaching and Connections Coordinator and Rural Collaboration Specialist (2008-16), developed and delivered technical assistance and training to assist advocacy, system responders and collaborative teams in improving the response to victims of sexual violence.
Key responsibilities for MNCASA and SVJI included
Building meaningful partnerships across disciplines and at all levels, nationally and locally
Sourcing substantial funding for multi-year projects; monitoring, reporting and ensuring deliverables
Developing expertise and working intensively with the criminal legal system on sexual violence issues
Providing in-depth technical assistance, innovative training and on-site program consultation
Executive Director, HOPE Center, Faribault, MN, 2003-2008. Oversaw all aspects of a 24/7 direct service community based advocacy agency using federal and state funds to provide services. Operated a 24-hour crisis line, support groups and provided comprehensive advocacy services, ranging from legal advocacy to advocate training programs on local college campuses. Managed a staff of 8 and an annual budget of $750k while also working with the Board of Directors and conducting strategic planning. Achievements included successful grant writing and the development of an endowment fund. Frequently requested to make public presentations.
Site Services Supervisor, Hawkeye Area Community Action Program, Cedar Rapids, IA, 2001-2003. Charged with creating a coherent umbrella of services for the Family Resource Center, which served more than 10,000 people annually. Supervised a staff of 15-30; directed implementation of federal grants; oversaw the transitional housing program. Successfully spearheaded the design and use of a single point of contact system and initiated a local site council to facilitate growth and operations.
Director, Madge Phillips Center for Homeless Women and Children (now Waypoint), Cedar Rapids, IA, 1998-2001. Started as a Child Advocate and advanced to the Director role, with responsibility for 7 staff and 10+ volunteers operating an overnight shelter and day program as part of the local YWCA. Wrote state and federal grants, published newspaper opinion pieces, and conducted trainings on the dynamics of homelessness, domestic and sexual violence.
Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, Magna Cum Laude, University of Minnesota
Camping, gardening, trail running and snowshoeing, tempered by binge-watching Netflix; a student of work-life balance who believes in finding ways to have fun.
nonprofits • SARTS• advocacy agencies • national and local work groups
policy development • funding • partnerships • agency development
advocacy • law enforcement • prosecution • medical professionals • nonprofits • community groups
federally funded grantees • senior management • SART leaders
grant writing• agency operations and policies • strategic planning
meeting facilitation • conference sessions • webinars & eLearning
Areas of Expertise