Alberto J. Mora is the American Bar Association's Associate Executive Director for Global Programs. In this capacity, he directs the ABA's global Rule of Law Initiative, oversees the ABA's Human Rights Center, and coordinates the ABA's relationship with the United Nations and specialized agencies and functions. These responsibilities entail the management of approximately 500 staff members based in Washington, D.C. and in more than 50 countries.
Mora's career includes broad experience in the law, government, industry, and academia. He joined the ABA from the Harvard Kennedy School, where he was a resident Senior Fellow at the Carr Center for Human Rights policy, a relationship he maintains albeit as a non-resident fellow. At the Kennedy School, Mora led a three-year research program to assess the policy costs and consequences of the U.S. use of torture in the war on terror and taught a graduate-level course on this subject. In 2014, Mora was an Advanced Leadership Fellow at Harvard.
A practicing attorney since 1982, Mora served as the General Counsel of the Department of the Navy from 2001-06. As the chief legal officer for both the Navy and Marine Corps, in this capacity he managed more than 640 attorneys and personnel across 146 offices throughout the United States and overseas and supervised elements of the Navy's Judge Advocate General Corps and the Marine Corps Staff Judge Advocates. Additionally, he served as the Reporting Senior of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, as the Department's Chief Ethics Officer and, on (brief) occasions, as Acting Secretary of the Navy.
In addition to his service with the Navy, Mora's other government service includes service in the U.S. State Department as a Foreign Service Officer, as General Counsel of the United States Information Agency in the George H.W. Bush administration, and as a member of the Broadcasting Board of Governors in the Clinton administration.
Prior to his Harvard fellowship, Mora was employed as the General Counsel of Walmart International and of Mars, Incorporated, the world's third largest food company. A private, family-owned company founded in 1911, at the time of Mora's tenure Mars employed more than 73,000 associates located at over 230 sites, operated 135 factories in 68 countries, and generated global revenues of more than $33 billion annually. At both companies, Mora designed, deployed, and managed the company's international compliance systems.
Mora began his legal career in Miami, Florida, as a civil trial lawyer. He was a partner in Holland & Knight and, before joining the Navy, was of counsel to Greenberg Traurig.
Mora holds a Bachelor's degree and Honorary Doctorate from Swarthmore College and a law degree from the University of Miami School of Law. A member of the Council of Foreign Relations, he sits on the Board of Directors of Human Rights First and, previously, Freedom House. He is the author of multiple op-eds, articles, and speeches, among which is "The Strategic Costs of Torture", Foreign Affairs (Sept/Oct 2016). Among other honors and recognitions received by him, in 2006 Mora was awarded the John F. Kennedy Memorial Foundation's Profile in Courage Award in recognition of his consistent opposition while serving as Navy General Counsel to the cruel interrogation of detainees in the post-9/11 period. His detainee-related activities at the Navy have been widely reported in periodicals, books and documentaries. In 2013, he was included in Mariana Cook's book "Justice" as one of 99 individuals who have made a significant contribution to human rights in recent years.