denis mukwege, md, phd

Photo: Jo Straube

Photo: Jo Straube

Dr. Denis Mukwege is a world-renowned gynecological surgeon who is the founder and medical director of Panzi Hospital in Bukavu, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). As a young child, Dr. Mukwege accompanied his father, a Pentecostal pastor, while visiting sick members of the community. This later inspired him to become a doctor. The Swedish Pentecostal mission helped support him in his medical studies. He decided to specialize in gynecology and obstetrics after observing that female patients at Lemera Hospital suffered from insufficient medical care, which caused complications during their deliveries.

He founded the hospital in 1999 as a clinic for gynecological and obstetric care, and expected to be working on issues of maternal health. Since 1999, however, Dr. Mukwege and his staff have helped to care for more than 50,000 survivors of sexual violence. The hospital not only treats survivors with physical wounds, but also provides legal, and psycho-social services to its patients. Even patients who cannot afford post-rape medical care are treated without charge at Panzi Hospital. in 2018, he was named co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to end sexual violence in conflict.

Lee ann de Reus, phd

Dr. Lee Ann De Reus is Co-Founder of Panzi Foundation USA and an Associate Professor of Human Development & Family Studies and Women Studies at Pennsylvania State University-Altoona. She travels regularly to Panzi Hospital in eastern Congo to conduct research, develop programs for rape survivors, and inform her advocacy work in the U.S.

Dr. De Reus is a 2009 Carl Wilkens Fellow and the recipient of numerous awards from Penn State University including the Spirit of Internationalization Award given in honor of her commitment to global service and outreach. She is a featured activist in John Prendergast's book, The Enough Moment: Fighting to End Africa's Worst Human Rights Crimes. A guest blogger for Women Under Siege and speaker about the crisis in the DRC, her 2013 presentations include TEDxPSU, Daring to Make a Difference for Congo (watch above) and the Oslo Freedom Forum, A Different Kind of Warfare.  

Peter Frantz


Peter Frantz is an artist, advocate and educator. As the co-founder and CEO of FragilePeace, Peter has drawn on more than 20 years of experience in non profit, tech & project management initiatives, using his deep commitment to art as tool for advocacy, empowerment and economic development in vulnerable populations. He was the cofounder of Panzi Foundation in the USA and served as the Executive Director from its inception in 2010 until the end of 2014. Peter now holds emeritus status on the PFUSA Board of Directors. Peter holds an MFA from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia and has been a professional artist for over 35 years, and is an adjunct professor of sculpture and drawing at Towson University in Baltimore, MD, and an artist in education for Pennsylvania. Mr. Frantz has exhibited nationally and internationally.