August 19, 2011
Statement of Elisa Massimino Celebrating the Life of Human Rights First Co-Founder Jerry Shestack
Washington, DC – Today, Human Rights First President and CEO Elisa Massimino issued the following statement celebrating the life of Lawyers Committee for International Human Rights (now Human Rights First) Co-Founder Jerry Shestack, who passed away on August 18, 2011. “Human Rights First was lucky to have the friendship, support and wisdom of this giant of the legal and human rights communities for so many years. As leader of the ABA, Jerry was referred to as ‘The Pied Piper of Just Causes,’ and he lived up to that title each and every day of his life. As a co-founder of our organization, Jerry instilled in us his pragmatist work ethic and his passion for making the ideals of justice and human dignity a reality in the lives of people all over the world in ways that are practical, meaningful and enforceable. We have lost a true friend and champion.” Shestack, former president of the American Bar Association and U.S. Ambassador to the Commission on Human Rights during the Carter Administration, served on Human Rights First’s Board of Directors for nearly 15 years and served as its chair from 1978 to 1979. He was also a member of the inaugural class of the organization’s Emeritus Board that formed last year.