CHICAGO, Nov. 10, 2022 — American Bar Association Executive Director Jack L. Rives today announced plans to leave the association at the end of February 2023 after more than 12 years in which he oversaw an enhancement of the ABA member experience, explosive growth in domestic and global grant awards to conduct a range of rule of law initiatives and implementation of several strategic programs to ensure the ABA’s position as the largest voluntary association of lawyers in the world.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at the American Bar Association. It’s been an incredible honor to work with our dedicated member-leaders and exceptional staff,” Rives said. “I look forward to continuing to work through the next several months and assure a great transition.”
As executive director, Rives has overall management responsibility for staff operations at the association’s headquarters in Chicago; at its Washington, D.C., office; and at program sites in California, Texas and some 60 countries throughout the world. He oversees a staff of more than 1,000 and a consolidated budget of more than $200 million.
During his tenure, Rives has overseen the expansion to almost 700 ABA free CLE offerings for members and a $56 million increase — to $93 million in this year’s budget — in the ABA’s domestic and international grant awards for programs that advance the rule of law and other ABA goals. He overhauled staff organization and reduced operating costs by 40% since 2015, saving $43 million in annual expenses. He assured curated content to members based on areas of interest, successfully adapted technological innovations, greatly improved online legal services and rejuvenated the ABA’s website.
“Jack has dedicated more than 12 years of service to advancing the American Bar Association’s mission and ensuring the association meets the changing needs of lawyers and the legal profession,” said ABA President Deborah Enix-Ross. “Upon his departure, he will leave the association positioned to provide unparalleled service to lawyers worldwide, advance the rule of law in the U.S. and globally and build on the ABA’s role as the voice of the legal profession. His leadership and service are very much appreciated by ABA members, leaders and staff.”
The executive director is also responsible for membership and non-dues revenues programs, directs implementation of the ABA’s strategic goals and has responsibility for the programs and activities adopted by the ABA’s governing and policy-making bodies, the Board of Governors and House of Delegates.
The American Bar Association will conduct a nationwide search for its next executive director. Once Rives departs, Deputy Executive Director Alpha Brady will serve as interim executive director until a permanent replacement is named.
Rives joined the ABA on Law Day (May 1) in 2010 after a 33-year career in the United States Air Force, which culminated in his service as The Judge Advocate General, the senior U.S. Air Force attorney. Rives was the first military attorney to attain the three-star rank of lieutenant general. He led some 4,600 legal professionals worldwide, including 2,600 active duty, reserve component and civilian lawyers. Among his many military awards and decorations are the Distinguished Service Medal with oak leaf cluster and the Defense Superior Service Medal.
Media: please contact Carol Stevens (202-662-1095 / [email protected])
The ABA is the largest voluntary association of lawyers in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law.