Cathy Cleaver Ruse, J.D.
Director of Externships
Cathy Cleaver has devoted her career to promoting the dignity of the human person, a career that spans the fields of communication, public policy, and law.
With over twenty years’ experience in the complicated legal areas of abortion, bioethics and family, religious liberty, pornography and free speech, Mrs. Ruse is uniquely equipped to contribute to the public discussion on the most pressing social issues of our day. Wired magazine called her “one of the most influential opinion shapers in the country.”
Mrs. Ruse served as Chief Counsel of the Constitution Subcommittee in the U.S. House of Representatives. Other policy and advocacy positions include: Chief pro-life spokesman for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, campaign spokesman for the Missouri coalition against human cloning, executive director of Life Prizes, legal fellow for Americans United for Life, and legal counsel for the National Law Center for Children and Families (dedicated to fighting pornography and sexual exploitation). Prior to her policy and advocacy work, Mrs. Ruse practiced law in the District of Columbia.
Currently Mrs. Ruse serves as Family Research Council’s Senior Fellow for Legal Studies. She is a Governor of Ave Maria School of Law and a regular faculty member of Alliance Defending Freedom’s Blackstone Fellowship. Mrs. Ruse is also a Certified Dyslexia Therapist with a private practice.
Mrs. Ruse has made numerous media appearances, including in debate formats such as PBS’ “Firing Line” and CNN’s “Crossfire,” and was co-host of the cable television show Legal Notebook. Her columns have been published in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, the Christian Science Monitor, the Washington Times, National Review Online, First Things, Human Events, Brietbart News, the Daily Caller, Crisis Magazine, the Daily Signal, the Stream, and the National Catholic Register. She has filed amicus curiae briefs with the U.S. Supreme Court and has testified as an expert in congressional hearings in the U.S. House and Senate.
She received her law degree from Georgetown University and is a graduate of the National Institute of Trial Advocacy. She was honored with a Doctor of Humane Letters Honoris Causa from Franciscan University of Steubenville and was awarded an Abraham Lincoln Graduate Fellowship in Constitutional Government from the Claremont Institute.
She and her husband Austin received the John Paul II Award for Advancing the Culture of Life from the Institute for the Psychological Sciences and the Defender of Life Award from Students for Life of America. They are the proud parents of two wonderful daughters.