Alberto J. Mora to lead ABA global programs

Alberto J. Mora, senior fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government's Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, has been named associate executive director for global programs at the American Bar Association and director of the ABA Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI), effective May 21.

Mora, who will lead ABA ROLI's $40 million international development program and oversee the association's other international entities, brings to the association broad experience in international law and government. Mora was the chief legal officer at Mars, Incorporated (2008-13) and Walmart International (2006-08) before his current position at the Carr Center, where he teaches and conducts research on issues related to human rights, foreign policy and national security.

Mora's extensive career in international affairs began with his work as a foreign service officer during the 1970s. He later served from 1989-93 as general counsel at the United States Information Agency, where he was the chief legal officer for USIA and Voice of America, directing the agency's legal affairs with 200 USIA posts in 130 countries.

Mora was general counsel (chief legal officer) of the Navy and Marine Corps (2001-05) with management responsibility for more than 800 attorneys and personnel across 146 offices throughout the United States and overseas. In that role, he also served as the departments' chief ethics officer.

Additionally, Mora served as the reporting senior of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, as the department's chief ethics officer and, on occasion, as acting secretary of the Navy. In 2006, Mora was recipient of the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award in recognition of his opposition to the abusive interrogation of detainees held at the Guantánamo Bay base.

ABA President Hilarie Bass said, "The American Bar Association is thrilled that someone of Alberto's experience, reputation and integrity is joining our organization as associate executive director of global programs. The ABA's rule of law programs in more than 50 countries, as well as its Center for Human Rights, will all benefit from having someone with Alberto's leadership skills to support and enhance their critically important programs."

ABA Executive Director Jack Rives noted, "I am delighted to welcome Mr. Mora as leader of our international rule of law and human rights programs. He has an exceptional background and proven abilities in this critical area."

Mora replaces Elizabeth Andersen, who recently announced her appointment as executive director of the World Justice Project.

"I am deeply honored to have been entrusted with the leadership of this extraordinarily important program," said Mora. "At home and abroad, the duty to protect and advance human dignity begins with ensuring that human rights and the rule of law are observed. No organization is more committed to these ideals than the ABA, and I am proud to be able to contribute to its efforts."

Since its founding as the Central European and Eurasian Law Initiative in 1990 after the fall of the Berlin Wall, ABA ROLI has become one of the nation's largest non-profit international development programs that promotes the rule of law. It now offers technical legal assistance and other programs in more than 50 countries and has almost 400 personnel at its Washington, D.C., office and throughout the world. Its programs are concentrated in four thematic areas: governance and justice system strengthening; human rights and access to justice; transitions, conflict mitigation and peacebuilding; and inclusive and sustainable development.

Other ABA international programs that Mora will oversee include the ABA Center for Human Rights. CHR addresses critical human rights issues through a range of activities, including its Justice Defenders Program, which provides pro bono assistance to human rights advocates around the world, and its Atrocity Prevention Project, which works to identify and address conditions that may lead to mass atrocities.

Published: Tue, May 15, 2018