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The Obama Administration and National Security

Steve Vladeck

Professor of Law
American University Washington College of Law

Stephen I. Vladeck is a Professor of Law at American University Washington College of Law, where his teaching and research focus on federal jurisdiction, constitutional law (especially the separation of powers), national security law, and international criminal law. A nationally recognized expert on the role of the federal courts in the war on terrorism, he was part of the legal team that successfully challenged the Bush Administration’s use of military tribunals at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, 548 U.S. 557 (2006), and has co-authored amicus briefs in a host of other lawsuits challenging the U.S. government’s surveillance and detention of terrorism suspects. Vladeck has also drafted reports on related issues for a number of organizations, including the First Amendment Center, the Constitution Project, and the ABA’s Standing Committee on Law and National Security.

Professor Vladeck, who has won awards for both his teaching and his scholarship, is a senior editor of the peer-reviewed Journal of National Security Law and Policy, is a regular contributor to PrawfsBlawg, http://www.prawfs.com, and is admitted to practice before the State of New York (Third Department), the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Supreme Court. A 2004 graduate of Yale Law School, Vladeck clerked for the Honorable Marsha S. Berzon on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and the Honorable Rosemary Barkett on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. While a law student, he was Executive Editor of the Yale Law Journal and the Student Director of the Balancing Civil Liberties & National Security Post-9/11 Litigation Project, and he was awarded the Potter Stewart Prize for Best Team Performance in Moot Court and the Harlan Fiske Stone Prize for Outstanding Moot Court Oralist. He earned a B.A. summa cum laude in History and Mathematics from Amherst College in 2001, where he wrote his senior thesis on “Leipzig’s Shadow: The War Crimes Trials of the First World War and Their Implications from Nuremberg to the Present.”

Elisa Massimino

CEO and President
Human Rights First

Elisa Massimino is President and CEO of Human Rights First, one of the nation’s leading human rights advocacy organizations. Established in 1978, Human Rights First 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.   

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. In May 2008 and 2009 the influential Washington newspaper The Hill named her one of the top public advocates in the country.  

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. Massimino serves as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center, where she teaches human rights advocacy. She is a member of the bar of the United States Supreme Court.

William LeoGrande

Dean
American University School of Public Affairs

Dean of the School of Public Affairs and a specialist in Latin American politics and U.S. foreign policy toward Latin America, Professor LeoGrande has been a frequent adviser to government and private sector agencies. He has written five books, including Our Own Backyard: The United States in Central America, 1977 – 1992. Most recently, he was co-editor of A Contemporary Cuba Reader: Reinventing the Revolution.  Previously, he served on the staffs of the Democratic Policy Committee of the United States Senate, and the Democratic Caucus Task Force on Central America of the United States House of Representatives. Professor LeoGrande has been a Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellow, and a Pew Faculty Fellow in International Affairs. His articles have appeared in various international and national journals, magazines and newspapers.

Frank Gaffney

President
Center for Security Policy

Frank Gaffney is the Founder and President of the Center for Security Policy in Washington, D.C. The Center is a not-for-profit, non-partisan educational corporation established in 1988. Under Mr. Gaffney's leadership, the Center has been nationally and internationally recognized as a resource for timely, informed and penetrating analyses of foreign and defense policy matters. 

Mr. Gaffney is the host of Secure Freedom Radio, a nationally-syndicated radio program heard weeknights throughout the country. On Secure Freedom Radio, Mr. Gaffney addresses current and emerging threats to national security, sovereignty and our ways of life. Featured guests have included Newt Gingrich, John Bolton, Donald Rumsfeld and many current and former policymakers and elected officials. 

Mr. Gaffney is the publisher and associate author of Shariah: The Threat to America (Center for Security Policy Press 2010).  With an introduction by former CIA Director R. James Woolsey, New York Times bestseller Andrew C. McCarthy and Lt. General Harry Soyster as well as contributions from the 19-member Team B II, this highly acclaimed report provides a comprehensive and articulate “second opinion” on the official characterizations and assessments of the threat of political Islam as put forward by the US Government. Shariah: The Threat draws upon the work of the Center for Security Policy and offers practical steps for mobilizing the our law enforcement, our elected officials and the American public to defend out country from those who would do us harm.   

Mr. Gaffney also contributes actively to the security policy debate in his capacity as a weekly columnist for the Washington Times, TownHall.com, and Newsmax.com. He is a contributor to BigPeace.com and his columns also appear periodically in WorldNetDaily.com, and FrontPageMagazine.com. He is a featured weekly contributor to Lars Larson’s syndicated radio program as well as Greg Garrison’s show and a frequent guest on syndicated programs with hosts like: Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, Hugh Hewitt, Janet Parshall, and Jim Bohannan. In addition, he appears often on national and international television networks such as Fox News, CNN and BBC.  Over the years, his op.ed. articles have appeared in such publications as: The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The New Republic, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Christian Science Monitor, The Los Angeles Times, National Review, Newsday, American Legion Magazine, and Commentary. 

In April 1987, Mr. Gaffney was nominated by President Reagan to become the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy, the senior position in the Defense Department with responsibility for policies involving nuclear forces, arms control and U.S.-European defense relations. He acted in that capacity for seven months during which time, he was the Chairman of the prestigious High Level Group, NATO's senior politico-military committee. He also represented the Secretary of Defense in key U.S.-Soviet negotiations and ministerial meetings. 

From August 1983 until November 1987, Mr. Gaffney was the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear Forces and Arms Control Policy under Assistant Secretary Richard Perle.  

From February 1981 to August 1983, Mr. Gaffney was a Professional Staff Member on the Senate Armed Services Committee, chaired by Senator John Tower (R-Texas). And, in the latter 1970's, Mr. Gaffney served as an aide to the late Senator Henry M. "Scoop" Jackson (D-Washington) in the areas of defense and foreign policy. 

Mr. Gaffney holds a Master of Arts degree in International Studies from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies and a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service. 

Mr. Gaffney's leadership has been recognized by numerous organizations including: the Department of Defense Distinguished Public Service Award (1987), the U.S. Business and Industry Council's Defender of the National Interest Award (1994), the Navy League of the United States' "Alfred Thayer Mahan Literary Achievement Award" (1999), and the Zionist Organization of America's "Louis Brandeis Award" (2003). 

Mr. Gaffney was born in 1953 and resides in the Washington area.