President Donald J. Trump nominated R. Alexander Acosta to be the 27th United States Secretary of Labor. The Senate confirmed Acosta on April 27, in a bipartisan vote of 60-38, and he was sworn in on April 28, 2017.
Secretary Acosta is the son of Cuban refugees, a native of Miami and first-generation college graduate. He earned his undergraduate and law degrees from Harvard University.
Following Harvard Law, he worked as a law clerk for Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr., at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. He then worked at the law firm of Kirkland & Ellis and went on to teach at George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia School of Law.
Secretary Acosta has served in three presidentially appointed, Senate-confirmed positions. In 2002, he was appointed to serve as a member of the National Labor Relations Board, where he participated in or authored more than 125 opinions. In 2003, he was appointed Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, and from 2005 to 2009 he served as the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida.
Most recently, Secretary Acosta served as the dean of the FIU College of Law.
“Good jobs should also be safe jobs,” Acosta said. “Congress has enacted workplace safety laws. The Department of Labor enforces these, and if confirmed, I will work to enforce the laws under the department’s jurisdiction fully and fairly. As a former prosecutor, I will always be on the side of the law and not any particular constituency.”