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President George W. Bush
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Assistant Attorney General R. Alexander Acosta
R. Alexander Acosta was selected by President Bush to serve as Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice on August 22, 2003. The Civil Rights Division is responsible for enforcing federal civil rights statutes, including those statutes that prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, sex, disability, religion, and national origin in education, employment, credit, housing, public accommodations and facilities, voting, and certain federally funded and conducted programs.
Prior to his service as Assistant Attorney General, Mr. Acosta served as a Member of the National Labor Relations Board ("NLRB"), an independent federal agency responsible for administering and interpreting the National Labor Relations Act, the principal private-sector national statute regulating labor relations. Mr. Acosta has also served as Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Civil Rights Division.
A native of Miami, Florida, Mr. Acosta earned his bachelor's degree from Harvard College and his law degree from the Harvard Law School. After graduation, he served as a law clerk on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and then worked at the Washington office of the Kirkland and Ellis law firm, where he specialized in employment and labor issues.
Mr. Acosta is the first Hispanic to serve as an Assistant Attorney General at the Department of Justice. He is the 2003 recipient of the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Education Fund's Excellence in Government Service Award and the DC Hispanic Bar Association's Hugh A. Johnson, Jr. Memorial Award. He has also taught several classes on employment law, disability-based discrimination law, and civil rights law at the George Mason School of Law.