Elisa, who joined that NGO in 1991 and has served as its Washington, D.C., Director since 1997, earned bachelor's and master's degrees in philosophy, then a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School. An Adjunct Professor who teaches human rights advocacy at Georgetown University Law Center, Elisa's also taught law classes at Virginia, George Washington, and American University.
The press release announcing the appointment points out that The Dark Side, reviewed in IntLawGrrl Elizabeth L. Hillman's post earlier this week, makes note of Elisa's work on behalf of persons held since 9/11 as suspected terrorists. (Our prior post mentioning this work is here.) The release states that Jane Mayer's account
credits Massimino with being 'instrumental' to the national debate on these issues. 'Massimino quietly put together a stunning coalition of retired military dignitaries ... to support the restoration of the Geneva standards in the treatment of prisoners.' Massimino, the daughter of a submarine commander, led this informal coalition of nearly fifty retired generals and admirals in meetings with the majority of the 2008 presidential candidates and many members of Congress.
An apt assessment, as all who've followed Gitmo-related issues will recognize.