Italian Ambassador Confers High Honor on Georgetown Lawyer

Photo by Natalia Janetti
E. David Harrison (left) honored by Italian Ambassador
E. David Harrison (left) honored by Italian Ambassador

One of Italy’s highest honors was bestowed on Georgetown attorney E. David Harrison by Italian Ambassador Claudio Bisogniero in ceremonies at the Italian Embassy on Monday.

Harrison was decorated with the title Commendatore of the Order of the Italian Star  in recognition for his long-time service providing legal advice to the Italian government in Rome and to the embassy in Washington, D.C.

In honoring Harrison, the Ambassador praised him for his “profound and deep legal knowledge…very valuable insight…and his institutional memory….You are truly a friend of the embassy and of Italy.”

Harrison & the Italian Ambassador (Photo by: Natalia Janetti) Harrison & the Italian Ambassador

With that, the Ambassador presented Harrison with the commendatore medal, an official document bestowing the title on him, and gave a sparkling wine toast.

Harrison, in remarks, recalled how he was involved in the purchase of the Firenze Estate as the residence for Italy’s ambassadors.  He also noted his work to resolve legal issues for the construction of the embassy on land on Whitehaven Street, now the location of the embassy when it moved from 16th Street NW.

“It has been my privilege to have continued over the many intervening years to give legal advice to eight ambassadors, countless diplomats and members of the embassy staff…,” said Harrison.  “As the embassy’s legal advisor, I have formed both professional and personal relationships with many of these persons whom I will forever hold dear.

“I also have received a good and thorough basic education in Italian law from my relationship and interaction with the members of the administrative staff and the diplomats of this embassy.  They have taught me the need to balance my legal advice between the two legal systems and to suggest the best path to follow taking to account the needs and restrictions of both systems of law.  It has been a very rewarding experience which I hope will continue for many more years.”

Harrison also has been the legal advisor to the Italian Cultural Institute, and has participated in many of its cultural events over the years.

(top left), Hope Harrison, E. David Harrison, Ambassador Bisogniero, Dana Harrison, Jason Harrison; (front) Eli Harrison, Benjamin Harrison (Photo by: Natalia Janetti) (top left), Hope Harrison, E. David Harrison, Ambassador Bisogniero, Dana Harrison, Jason Harrison; (front) Eli Harrison, Benjamin Harrison

Harrison had previously been honored by Italy when he was designated as an “Ufficale of the Order of Merit.”

Attending the ceremonies were Harrison’s son, Jason Harrison, his daughter-in-law Dana Harrison and his three grandchildren, Hope, Eli and Benjamin, as well as friends and other officials at the embassy.

Harrison is frequently called upon for his expertise on real estate and restaurant development, as well as diplomatic issues relating to the United States, Italy and other countries around the globe.

Throughout the nation’s capital, Harrison also is considered an insider in social and general business matters.