National expert on multi-disciplinary, victim-centered sexual assault response & intervention
As an expert in issues of sexual violence, Leah Lutz has been instrumental in literally transforming the landscape of victim-centered response and intervention at local and national levels. She is president of Leah Lutz Consulting & Training, a Minnesota firm she founded in 2018, after two decades of leadership in nonprofit agencies focused on victim advocacy and providing training and technical assistance to multidisciplinary teams.
In her most recent roles with the Sexual Violence Institute (SVJI) at the Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault (MNCASA), Leah guided the development of the first Case File Review Kit for sexual assault crimes and the innovative “Are We Making a Difference?” online evaluation tool used by organizations nationwide. She also developed expertise in trauma-informed and victim-centered responses and service provision. She’s experienced in OVW (Office on Violence Against Women) program administration and delivered technical assistance and training to agencies using OVW funding.
Before starting in this field, Leah was an educator and an entrepreneur. She grew up in East Bethel, MN, and graduated magna cum laude with a degree in elementary education from the University of Minnesota. After moving to Tucson, she founded Computer Kids, a company that brought computers to preschools. Six years later, she “listened to my inner self, sold the business and went into advocacy” – and became a different person because of it. “I’m ready to make a bigger, wider impact on the world,” she notes, “by putting to use my knowledge and skill set to impact more agencies, while working in partnership” in order to create the change needed in sexual violenceresponse.
Despite the complex nature of the work she has undertaken, Leah herself is described as warm, authentic, and– she’s appreciated for laughing and bringing fun to her work. A self-described student of work-life balance, Leah loves to take hiking trips and she travels to be near oceans whenever she can.