Michelle Riestra serves as legal counsel for ADF International in Washington, D.C., where she engages in legal advocacy at the Organization of American States.
In this role, Riestra advises Latin American allies on public international law and human rights issues. She also advocates at the United Nations, Inter-American Court of Human Rights, and related international institutions.
In 2016, Riestra began her work with ADF International as a law clerk. In that role, she researched and drafted memoranda on financial and structural issues relevant to the OAS. Prior to joining ADF International, she served as a research assistant with the Legal Barriers Project, “HealthInfoLaw.Org,” an online initiative of the George Washington University School of Public Health. During her legal studies, Riestra also clerked with the Honorable Jay A. Garcia-Gregory, a United States District Court judge in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Riestra earned her bachelor’s degree, magna cum laude, in legal studies from St. John’s University in New York. She subsequently acquired a master’s degree in public health from the George Washington University Milken Institute of Public Health and her Juris Doctor from the George Washington University Law School. At GW Law, she served as a member of the student editorial board of the Federal Circuit Bar Journal and as a symposium editor of the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy. In 2013, Riestra completed the ADF leadership development program to become a Blackstone Fellow. She is admitted to the bar of the District of Columbia. Riestra is fluent in English and Spanish.