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Chen Reis

Clinical Associate Professor; Director, Humanitarian Assist

Director, Human Rights MA; Co-Director, Global Justice Certificate

  • Faculty

What I do

I help students prepare for careers in the international humanitarian sector by helping them gain the knowledge, skills, experiences and networks they need to succeed. My practice and research focus on gender-based violence in humanitarian settings.


humanitarian, gender, sexual violence, gender-based violence.

Professional Biography

Chen Reis is a Clinical Associate Professor and the Director of the Humanitarian Assistance program, Josef Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver. Prior to joining Korbel in Fall of 2011 she was a Technical Officer focusing on a range of humanitarian policy and practice issues at the World Health Organization, Geneva Switzerland (2004-2011). From 2001-2004 she was a Senior Research Associate with Physicians for Human Rights USA. She is the author of numerous articles, reports and book chapters. Dr. Reis is an internationally recognized expert on issues related to sexual violence in humanitarian crises, and has advised governments and organizations on responses to gender-based violence.


  • BA, Social and cultural anthropology, Johns Hopkins University
  • JD, International & comparative law, Columbia University School of Law
  • Ph.D., UNSW

Professional Affiliations

  • International Studies Association
  • International Humanitarian Studies Association


I conduct research on gender-based violence in humanitarian settings, and on gender biases in humanitarian organizations and the impact on programming and staff. Relevant to my role in preparing students for humanitarian careers, I also research diversity and inclusion in graduate humanitarian education.

Areas of Research

sexual violence


Reis, C. (2017). Framing matters: The persistence of gaps in clinical management of rape services in humanitarian settings. ISA 2017. Baltimore , MD: International Studies Association.
Welton-Mitchell, C. E., Reis, C., & Frederic, K. (2015). Refugee Co-Instructors: How Residents of Nakivale Refugee Settlement in Uganda are Teaching Students at the University of Denver to Bridge the Gap between Policy and Practice. 2015 Humanitarian Innovation Conference, . Oxford England : U. of Oxford .
Reis, C. (2014). Future of Humanitarian Action . IDRC Davos 2014. Davos, Switzerland : Global Risk Forum.
Reis, C. (2014). Use of research & service data for international prosecutions . Ending Sexual Violence in Conflict Global Summit. London: UK Government (FCO & DFiD).
Welton-Mitchell, C. E., & Reis, C. (2014). Use of Innovative Experiential Methods to Train Future Humanitarian Aid Workers. 2014 Humanitarian Innovation Conference, . Oxford England : U. of Oxford .
Reis, C. (2021). Gender-based violence against adolescent girls in humanitarian settings: implications for policy and practice. GBV AoR webinar series. virtual : GBV AoR/GBV Community of Practice .