Alexander Acosta

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Alexander Acosta
File:Alexander Acosta.jpg
United States Secretary of Labor
Nominee
Taking office
TBD*
President Donald Trump
Succeeding Ed Hugler (Acting)
Dean of Florida International University College of Law
Assumed office
July 1, 2009
Preceded by Leonard Strickman
United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida
In office
June 11, 2005 – June 5, 2009
Acting: June 11, 2005 – August 3, 2006
President George W. Bush
Barack Obama
Preceded by Marcos Jiménez
Succeeded by Willy Ferrer
Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights
In office
August 22, 2003 – June 11, 2005
President George W. Bush
Preceded by Bradley Schlozman (Acting)
Succeeded by Wan J. Kim
Personal details
Born Rene Alexander Acosta
(1969-01-16) January 16, 1969 (age 49)
Miami, Florida, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Jan Williams
Education Harvard University (BS, JD)
*Pending Senate confirmation
This is a Wikipedia article mirror, updated 19 February, 2017.

Rene Alexander "Alex" Acosta (born January 16, 1969)[1] is an American attorney and dean of the Florida International University College of Law.[2] A Republican, he was appointed by President George W. Bush to the National Labor Relations Board and later served as Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights and United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida. On February 16, 2017, President Donald Trump nominated Acosta for Secretary of Labor.[3][4][5]

Background

Acosta is the only son of Cuban immigrants.[6] He is a native of Miami, Florida, where he attended the Gulliver Schools. He received a A.B. degree in economics from Harvard College and a J.D. degree from Harvard Law School.[citation needed]

Following law school, Acosta served as a law clerk to Samuel Alito, then a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, from 1994 to 1995.[citation needed] Acosta then worked at the Washington, D.C. office of the law firm Kirkland & Ellis, where he specialized in employment and labor issues.[citation needed] While in Washington, Acosta taught classes on employment law, disability-based discrimination law, and civil rights law at the George Mason University School of Law.[citation needed]

From 1998 to 2000 Acosta was a senior fellow at the socially conservative Ethics and Public Policy Center. [1]

On December 31, 2013 Acosta became the new chairman of U.S. Century Bank,[7] the largest domestically owned Hispanic community bank in Florida and one of the 15 largest Hispanic community banks in the nation. He spearheaded the effort to establish the J.M. degree in banking compliance, BSA and anti-money-laundering at FIU Law. Acosta also serves as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Gulliver Schools.[citation needed]

Executive Branch service

He served in three presidentially appointed, senate-confirmed positions. He was a member of the National Labor Relations Board, appointed by George W. Bush, from 2002 to 2003, where he participated in or authored more than 125 opinions.[8] Following the NLRB, he was Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice on August 22, 2003. He also served as Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Civil Rights Division.[citation needed] More recently, Acosta served as the U.S. Attorney for Southern District of Florida, and was the longest serving U.S. Attorney in the District since the 1970s.[citation needed]

U.S. Attorney for Southern District of Florida

While Acosta served as U.S. Attorney, the Southern District prosecuted a number of high-profile defendants, including Jack Abramoff for fraud, José Padilla for terrorism, and Charles “Chuckie” Taylor Jr. for torture, (the first torture case of its kind in the U.S.).[citation needed]

The District also targeted white collar crime, prosecuting several bank-related cases, including one against Swiss bank UBS. The case resulted in UBS paying $780 million in fines, and for the first time in history, the bank provided the United States with the names of individuals who were using secret Swiss bank accounts to avoid U.S. taxes.[citation needed]

Other notable cases during his tenure include the corruption prosecution of Palm Beach County Commission Chairman Tony Masilotti, Palm Beach County Commissioner Warren Newell, and Broward Sheriff Ken Jenne; the conviction of Cali Cartel founders Miguel and Gilberto Rodríguez Orejuela, for the importation of 200,000 kilos of cocaine, which resulted in a $2.1 billion forfeiture; and the white-collar crime prosecutions of executives connected to Hamilton Bank.[citation needed]

Acosta also emphasized health-care fraud prosecutions. Under Acosta’s leadership, the District also focused on health care fraud and because the top district in the nation in health care fraud prosecution, charged more than 700 individuals responsible for more than $2 billion in fraud.[citation needed]

Dean of the Florida International University College of Law

On July 1, 2009, Acosta became the second dean of Florida International University College of Law. During Acosta’s tenure FIU Law has risen to #100 in the U.S. News and World Report Rankings, improved its student to faculty ratio from 16.2 to 1, to 12.8 to 1, and reduced its class size by 40%.[citation needed]

Secretary of Labor nomination

After the nomination of Andrew Puzder to United States Secretary of Labor was withdrawn, President Donald Trump nominated Acosta to fill the position[9][10][11] and announced this in a press conference on February 16, 2017.[12][13]

Awards and recognition

Acosta has twice been named one of the nation’s 50 most influential Hispanics by Hispanic Business Magazine. He serves on the Florida Innocence Commission, on the Florida Supreme Court’s Commission on Professionalism, and on the Commission for Hispanic Rights and Responsibilities.

References

  1. Weaver, Jay; Yanez, Luisa (May 28, 2009). "U.S. Attorney Alexander Acosta to lead FIU's law school". The Miami Herald.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "U.S. Attorney R. Alexander Acosta to head FIU law school". Miami Herald. May 27, 2009. Retrieved August 18, 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Trump to name Alexander Acosta as labor secretary nominee". Retrieved February 16, 2017.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. CNN, John King, Manu Raju and Dan Merica. "Trump to announce Alexander Acosta as labor secretary pick". Retrieved February 16, 2017.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Trump to name Alexander Acosta as new Labor secretary nominee". Retrieved February 16, 2017.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Miami Herald: "Former U.S. attorney in Miami and FIU law dean picked by Trump to head Labor" By Jay Weaver February 16, 2017
  7. "Former U.S. Attorney becomes chairman of U.S. Century Bank". By Brian Bandell of South Florida Business Journal. December 12, 2013. Retrieved February 24, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Morrow, Brendan. "R. Alexander Acosta: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. www.whitehouse.gov: Press release
  10. http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/white-house/trump-set-announce-alexander-acosta-new-labor-secretary-pick-n721771
  11. Lua error in Module:Citation/CS1/Identifiers at line 47: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value).
  12. washingtonpost.com 17 February 2017: In an erratic performance, President Trump shows his supporters who’s boss
  13. nytimes.com: ‘I Inherited a Mess,’ Trump Says, Defending His Performance

External links