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Georgetown Law Appoints Human Rights and National Security Experts

Georgetown Law announced on September 4 that two new experts are joining the facility. Human rights advocate and former Human Rights First CEO Elisa Massimino is joining Georgetown Law as the 2019-2020 Robert F. Drinan, S.J., Chair in Human Rights while Navy Judge Advocate Capt. Todd Huntley joins the Law Center as the National Security Law Program Director and Lecturer in Law.

After 27 years with Human Rights First, the last decade as President and CEO, Massimino recently stepped down from her post to join Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government as a Senior Fellow at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy. She also served as a Practitioner-in-Residence at Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service.

At Georgetown Law, Massimino will teach a course on human rights advocacy, participate in the Human Rights Institute programming, and serve as a resource to students, faculty, and staff. She will focus on equipping students with tools for effective advocacy, particularly in highly polarized political environments.

On November 12, Massimino will deliver Georgetown Law’s annual Drinan chair lecture on human rights.

“The human rights challenges we face today demand a unique combination of energy and wisdom, and the movement needs bright young lawyers who will bring these qualities to the fight for human dignity,” Massimino said. “I’m excited to have the opportunity to mentor the next generation of human rights advocates at Georgetown Law.”

Massimino has a distinguished record of human rights advocacy. 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. Since 2008, The Hill has consistently named her one of the most effective public advocates in the country. The daughter of a nuclear submarine commander, Massimino was instrumental in assembling a group of retired generals and admirals to speak out publicly against policies authorizing the torture of prisoners in U.S. custody. This coalition of military leaders played a pivotal role in the effort to restore compliance with the Geneva Conventions standard for treatment of prisoners.

The Drinan Chair was established in 2006 in honor of Professor Robert F. Drinan, S.J. Drinan was a professor at Georgetown Law from 1981 until his death in 2007, as well as a priest, scholar, lawyer, politician, activist, ethicist and one of the nation’s leading advocates for international human rights. He dedicated his life to humanitarian causes and to improving the legal profession.

“I was one of many fortunate young lawyers who benefited from Father Drinan’s mentorship and support early in my career, and he played a significant role in my development as a human rights advocate,” Massimino said. “Father Drinan cheered me on and challenged me to be bold. It is a particular honor for me to step into this role that bears his name.”

Massimino previously taught human rights and refugee law at Georgetown Law, the University of Virginia School of Law, American University’s Washington College of Law, and the George Washington University School of Law. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the U.S. Supreme Court Bar. Massimino holds a law degree from the University of Michigan, a Master’s in philosophy from Johns Hopkins University, and is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Trinity University.

In Georgetown Law’s second appointment, Navy Judge Advocate Capt. Todd Huntley has joined the Law Center as the National Security Law Program Director and Lecturer in Law.

Huntley is retiring after more than 20 years of active duty as a Navy Judge Advocate. He was most recently assigned to the Army Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center and School in Charlottesville, Virginia, where he developed a comprehensive cyber law curriculum and taught national security law, law of the sea, and intelligence law. He previously served as a Senior Counsel for National Security Law in the Office of the Judge Advocate General at the Pentagon. He has extensive experience supporting the Special Operations community on legal issues related to targeting, detention, cyber operations, intelligence, and counterterrorism and has undertaken multiple deployments to Afghanistan and other locations in the Middle East.

At Georgetown Law, Huntley, who previously taught as an adjunct, will oversee the J.D./LL.M. national security law students, approximately 40 adjuncts, and the more than 60 courses offered in the field. He will help to develop capstone exercises for the J.D./LL.M. concentration and manage The Journal of National Security Law and Policy. In recognition of his long service with the U.S. military and the needs of service members and their families, Huntley will be launching the Center on National Security and the Law’s first Veterans Project.

Huntley has a B.A. in International Affairs and a J.D. from the University of Cincinnati, as well as an M.A. in International Relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, and an LL.M. from Harvard Law School.

His publications include: Legal Issues in Special Operations, in U.S. Military Operations: Law, Policy, and Practice (Oxford University Press 2015) (with Matthew Grant); Balancing Self-Defense and Mission Accomplishment in International Interventions: Challenges in Drafting and Implementing Rules of Engagement, 29 Maryland Journal of International Law 83 (2014); Controlling the Use of Power in the Shadows: Application of Jus in Bello to Clandestine Activities and Unconventional Warfare, 5 Harvard National Security Journal 461 (2014) (with Andrew Levitz); and, Controlling the Use of Force in Cyberspace: The Application of the Law of Armed Conflict During a Time of Fundamental Change in the Nature of Warfare, 60 Naval Law Review 1 (2010).

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