‘Conversation With’ hosts Elisa Massimino, president and CEO of Human Rights First, on Wednesday, Nov. 4

Photo of Elisa Massimino

Elisa Massimino

Wake Forest Law will host Elisa Massimino, president and chief executive officer of Human Rights First, as part of its “Conversation With” series at noon on Wednesday, Nov. 4, in the Worrell Professional Center, Room 1312. Professor Margaret Taylor will interview Massimino in a conversation-style format. Lunch will be provided.

One of the nation’s leading human rights advocacy organizations, Human Rights First was established in 1978 and works in the United States and abroad to promote respect for human rights and the rule of law. Massimino joined Human Rights First in 1991 and served as the organization’s Washington Director for more than a decade before being named chief executive in September 2008.

“Our ‘Conversation With’ series gives Wake Forest Law students the opportunity to hear stories about the lives and careers of professional role models of the highest caliber,” said Professor Taylor. “The work of Human Rights First is vitally important in today’s turbulent world, and I’m delighted that our students will learn about the impact of human rights advocacy from Elisa Massimino.”

Massimino appears regularly in major media outlets and speaks to audiences around the country. She has been quoted in numerous print and online news sources, including: The New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, USA Today,and other global publications.  She has also been featured on ABC News, NBC Dateline, MSNBC, CNN, NPR and BCC.

Previously, Massimino was litigator in private practice at the Washington law firm of Hogan & Harrison, where she was a pro bono counsel in many human rights cases. Massimino has a distinguished record of human rights advocacy in Washington. As a national authority on human rights law and policy, she has testified before Congress dozens of times and writes frequently for mainstream publications and specialized journals. The influential Washington newspaper The Hill has repeatedly named her one of the top public advocates Massimino holds a law degree from the University of Michigan, a Master of Arts in philosophy from Johns Hopkins University, and is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to get to know an incredibly accomplished women who has had a profound impact on a broad spectrum human rights, from the protection of freedom of expression on the internet to the fight against policies authorizing the torture of prisoners in U.S. Custody,” says Sarah Wesley Wheaton (JD ’17), a member of the “Conversation With” committee.

Started in 1999 by Professor Charley Rose, some of the other “Conversation With” series interviews have included Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Clarence Thomas; Robert Ehrlich, former U.S. Congressman and governor of Maryland; New York Times columnist Anthony Lewis; and former COO of the Peace Corps Thomas Tighe.