Former Pentagon official takes the helm of LACC

Former Pentagon official Frank O. Mora has joined FIU as the director for the Latin American and Caribbean Center (LACC).

With more than 30 years of experience, both as an academic and government official, Mora will lead the premier center that serves as a nexus between academia and public policy in the Western Hemisphere. In his vision for the center, Mora plans to utilize FIU resources to help solve economic, political, social and technological problems in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Mora1“LACC has always been a think-tank for those issues that challenge the region and the opportunities that could foster progress,” said FIU President Mark B. Rosenberg who founded LACC in 1979. “We are fortunate to welcome Dr. Mora, as he brings both an academic mind and real-world experience to the job.”

Prior to joining FIU, Mora spent the past three and a half years guiding the U.S. Defense Department policy in the Americas as deputy assistant secretary of defense for the Western Hemisphere. There he oversaw policy issues and defense relations, U.S. government funding of hemispheric defense cooperation, and the integration of U.S. Northern Command and U.S. Southern Command, while also providing policy advice to the U.S. Secretary of Defense.

During his tenure with the Pentagon, Mora pursued greater collaboration of security and disaster-response efforts throughout the Americas. He also oversaw the U.S. response to Haiti’s Jan. 12, 2010 earthquake. As a result of that earthquake, as well as one in Chile, Mora helped to implement a multi-national coordination system for future humanitarian disasters in the hemisphere, which allows nations to share contacts and information about resources being brought to disasters.

“FIU has enormous intellectual capital in the form of students, faculty and staff,” said Frank Mora, now Director of LACC.  “We must highlight and integrate this capital and put it to use towards our work in Latin America. LACC is the reference point for this integration.”

John Stack, executive director of FIU’s School of International and Public Affairs and associate dean of the College of Arts & Sciences expressed great enthusiasm for the new addition to the team.

“Dr. Mora’s insight and dedication to Latin America and the Caribbean are such tremendous assets to our students and the community-at-large,” said Stack. “His commitment to collaboration is a welcome addition to the Miami community, which serves as a gateway to both Latin America and the Caribbean.”

Mora, who also spent time at the National War College, grew up in Miami and earned his bachelor’s degree from George Washington University. He earned his master’s and doctorate degrees from the University of Miami.