Elisa Massimino is Visiting Professor of Law and Executive Director of Georgetown’s Human Rights Institute. She also serves as a non-resident senior fellow in national security and international policy at the Center for American Progress.

Massimino joined the Georgetown faculty in 2019 as the Robert F. Drinan, S.J., Chair in Human Rights. Before coming to Georgetown, Massimino was a senior fellow with the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and a practitioner-in-residence at Georgetown’s Walsh School of Foreign Service. Previously, Massimino spent 27 years—the last decade as president and CEO—at Human Rights First, one of the nation’s leading human rights advocacy organizations.

Massimino has a distinguished record of human rights advocacy in Washington. She has testified before Congress dozens of times; writes frequently for mainstream publications and specialized journals; appears regularly in major media outlets; and speaks to audiences around the country. During her leadership at Human Rights First, the influential Washington publication The Hill consistently named her one of the most effective public advocates in the country; Washingtonian magazine has repeatedly named her one of D.C.’s most influential people in foreign policy.

Massimino is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the U.S. Supreme Court Bar. She holds a law degree from the University of Michigan, a master’s degree in philosophy from Johns Hopkins University, and is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Trinity University. Prior to law school, Massimino taught philosophy at various colleges and universities in Michigan.


Contributions to Law Reviews and Other Scholarly Journals

Elisa Massimino, Heather Marie Stur, Lauren Bean Buitta & Nova Robinson, The Fight for Women’s Rights After World War I, Tex. Nat’l Sec. Rev. Roundtables, May 25, 2021, at 1-34 (reviewing Mona L. Siegel, Peace On Our Terms: The Global Battle for Women's Rights After the First World War (2020)).
Elisa Massimino, 2017 Symposium Keynote Address, Protecting Refugees: A National Security Imperative, 9 J. Nat’l Sec. L. & Pol’y 659-667 (2018).
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Selected Contributions to Other Publications

Elisa Massimino, The Power of Human Rights Law, Hum. Rts., Apr. 2015, at 2-4, 24-25.
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Book Chapters & Collected Works

Elisa Massimino, Goalposts and Guardrails: A Mixed-Metaphor Guide to Ethics in Advocacy Campaigns, in Political Communication Ethics: Theory and Practice 137 (Peter Loge ed., Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield 2021).
Elisa Massimino, Fighting from Strength: Human Rights and the Challenge of Terrorism, in The Future of Human Rights: U.S. Policy for a New Era 23-38 (William F. Schulz ed., Phila., Pa.: University of Pennsylvania Press 2008).