Department of Justice Seal Department of Justice
FRIDAY, JUNE 20, 2003
(202) 514-2008
TDD (202) 514-1888


Ralph F. Boyd, Jr. To Depart; R. Alexander Acosta Nominated As Assistant Attorney General

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Attorney General John Ashcroft today announced that President George W. Bush has nominated R. Alexander Acosta to be the new Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, following the departure of Ralph F. Boyd, Jr. next month. Mr. Boyd, who has served as Assistant Attorney General since July 2001, is leaving to return to the private practice of law.

“It has been an honor to serve the country as Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights. The Justice Department is an outstanding organization, made up of truly dedicated public servants who do a very difficult job with little public recognition. It has been a singular honor to serve under the leadership of President George W. Bush and Attorney General John Ashcroft. I am grateful for their faith in me, and for the opportunity to join them in the service of a cause greater than ourselves.”

“Ralph has been a tremendous asset to the Justice Department, and has done an outstanding job enforcing our nation's civil rights laws and securing the civil liberties of all Americans,” said Attorney General John Ashcroft. “He is a leader of the highest integrity and professionalism. I thank him for his exemplary service to the Justice Department and America, and wish him the very best.”

The Attorney General added, “I am confident that the great traditions of the Civil Rights Division will be carried forward through the nomination and confirmation of Alex Acosta to succeed Ralph.”

Mr. Acosta will be the first Hispanic Assistant Attorney General to lead the Civil Rights Division, if confirmed. Mr. Acosta currently serves as a Member of the National Labor Relations Board. Prior to this position, he served as Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. Earlier in his career, Mr. Acosta taught several classes on civil rights law, disability-based discrimination law and employment law at George Mason University.

A native Spanish-speaker from Miami, FL, Mr. Acosta earned his bachelor's degree from Harvard College and his law degree from the Harvard Law School.

Mr. Acosta recently received the Mexican American Legal Defense Fund Excellence in Government Service Award for his work on language minority issues, including initiatives on language access to government-funded services and access to voting. Mr. Acosta’s nomination has already been endorsed by the Hispanic Bar Association and the American Association of People with Disabilities.