R. Alexander Acosta is an American lawyer and the current dean of the Florida International University College of Law in Miami, Florida. Until 2009, he was also the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida.
Acosta is a native of Miami, Florida, and attended the Gulliver Schools in Miami. He received his bachelor's degree from Harvard College and his law degree from Harvard Law School. After graduation (1994-1995) he served as a law clerk to Samuel Alito, then a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Acosta then worked at the Washington, D.C. office of the law firm Kirkland & Ellis. While in Washington, Acosta also taught classes on employment law, disability-based discrimination law, and civil rights law at the George Mason University School of Law. Acosta received the Excellence in Government Service Award in 2003 from the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund and the Hugh A. Johnson, Jr. Memorial Award from the DC Hispanic Bar Association. From 1998-2000 Acosta was a senior fellow at the socially conservative Ethics and Public Policy Center.
Acosta served as a member of the National Labor Relations Board before becoming a Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the United States Department of Justice Civil Rights Division. He was the first Hispanic to serve as an Assistant Attorney General at the Department of Justice.