WASHINGTON (CBSMiami) – President Donald Trump has tapped former U.S. Attorney for Miami, Alexander Acosta, to be the head of the Department of Labor.
If confirmed, Acosta would be the first Hispanic member of President Trump’s cabinet.
Acosta, a Miami native, graduated from Gulliver Preparatory Academy, went on to Harvard and a stellar career in law and public service.
Acosta was appointed the U.S. Attorney for the southern district of Florida by President George W. Bush.
During his time in office, a number of high profile cases were prosecuted including Jack Abramoff for fraud and José Padilla for terrorism.
Acosta was, at the time, the longest-serving U.S. Attorney for the southern district.
“He left an indelible mark across all sectors of law enforcement,” said David Weinstein, an attorney who served as a U.S. prosecutor under Acosta.
Acosta is known for having an even keel, a level head. Might he bring stability to a new presidential administration that has been marked by upheaval and bluster?
“One would think he would have a calming effect on the way things are operating in Washington,” Weinstein said. “He’s someone who likes to get all the facts together before he makes a decision.”
In July 2009, he became a dean at Florida International University’s law school.
Acosta’s law students were downright giddy to learn of his nomination.
“How exciting!” exclaimed future lawyer Andrea Reilly. “We really appreciate having Dean Acosta here. He’s been a wonderful dean. We will miss him.”
In nearly eight years as the second dean of FIU’s law school, Acosta has served as a magnet.
“He’s a very impressive person,” said law student Tucker Pryor. “That’s one of the reasons why I chose this school. Dean Acosta is very influential.”
FIU President Mark Rosenberg said the university’s loss is the nation’s gain.
“The country is getting somebody who has absolute integrity, someone who is very conscientious and thoughtful,” Rosenberg said.
Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart sent out a statement applauding Acosta’s nomination.
“He has an impressive record of achievement, having served on the National Labor Relations Board, as well as receiving presidential appointments to both U.S. Attorney for Southern District of Florida and Assistant Attorney General during his career,” said Diaz-Balart. “He is a man of great principle, integrity, and courage, and I am confident he will do an excellent job serving our nation.”
President Trump’s original nominee for the labor department chief was Andy Puzder who withdrew his name from consideration over a tax issue, involving the hiring of an undocumented immigrant as a housekeeper.