A note from Human Rights First’s President and CEO Elisa Massimino

Right now the future seems uncertain. Given President-elect Donald Trump’s brash promises on the campaign trail, some fear that our most cherished ideals—human rights, the rule of law, protecting the vulnerable, welcoming the stranger—are at risk.

At Human Rights First, we’re committed to making sure those ideals remain a guiding light for our nation.

Our mission—to challenge America to live up to its ideals—is more critical than ever. Our team is hard at work planning to meet the challenges that lie ahead, continuing our work with unconventional allies and partners on both sides of the aisle to advance human rights and American leadership.

As the Trump Administration and a new Congress prepares to take office, Human Rights First is working to guarantee :

  1. No return to torture. We joined forces with retired generals and admirals, experienced interrogators, and other national security experts after 9/11 to shut down the “enhanced” interrogation program and pass new laws against torture. We will continue to partner with our national security allies to make sure the United States never returns to torture.
  2. No new barriers for refugees fleeing persecution and violence.  We win asylum for children, women, and men fleeing persecution. We will mobilize Americans from all walks of life – veterans, businesspeople, the faith community, and others – who share our belief that the United States must continue to be a beacon for those seeking safety and freedom.
  3. No more bigotry and hatred. Our experts have exposed how the far right encourages violence that targets religious minorities and vulnerable communities overseas. We will apply our expertise in confronting anti-Semitic and anti-LGBT violence to the disturbing rise in hate crime and harassment in the United States. We will join forces with all Americans who reject Islamophobia and who won’t stand for a religious test to enter the country.
  4. No cozying up to dictators. When the United States stays true to its ideals, people seeking freedom around the world have an ally and supporter. We will stand firm against efforts to accommodate authoritarian regimes’ attacks on human rights, and we will continue to make the case that our nation is strongest when our foreign policy choices reflect our principles.



-Elisa Massimino


Published on November 22, 2016


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