RELEASE: Elisa Massimino To Join the Center for American Progress as Senior Fellow Focusing on Human Rights

Washington, D.C. — The Center for American Progress announced today that Elisa Massimino is joining the organization’s National Security and International Policy team as a senior fellow focusing on human rights.

For more than three decades, Massimino has been one of the nation’s foremost human rights advocates and a recognized authority on human rights law and policy. She spent 27 years with Human Rights First, including a decade as the organization’s president and CEO. Recently, she was a senior fellow at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.

“Elisa will be a fantastic addition to CAP’s National Security and International Policy team,” said Kelly Magsamen, vice president for National Security and International Policy at CAP. “She brings a distinguished record as a passionate advocate for human rights and a defender of the rule of law.”

Massimino has testified dozens of times before Congress and writes frequently on human rights issues for both mainstream publications and specialized journals. Following the 9/11 attacks, she formed a coalition of retired generals and admirals to speak publicly against torture. This played a key role in President Barack Obama’s 2009 executive orders closing secret prisons and banning torture.

Massimino is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Trinity University in San Antonio and earned a law degree from the University of Michigan and a Master of Arts in philosophy from Johns Hopkins University. She currently serves as the 2019-2020 Robert F. Drinan, S.J., Chair in Human Rights at Georgetown University Law Center.

For more information, please contact Sam Hananel at  or 202-478-6327.