President Joe Biden on Thursday nominated Frank O. Mora—former director of FIU’s Kimberly Green Latin American and Caribbean Center (LACC) at the Steven J. Green School of International & Public Affairs—as permanent representative of the United States to the Organization of American States (OAS).
As ambassador, he would be a leading administration voice on matters affecting the Western Hemisphere. It’s a familiar role for Mora, who served as deputy assistant secretary for defense for the Western Hemisphere from 2009 to 2013, during which time he helped lead the U.S. response to the devastating 2010 earthquake in Haiti.
“We are proud to see Frank nominated for this critical position in the Hemisphere. Frank is someone who understands what it is like to be on the ground, dealing with the day-to-day realities in the region,” said President Mark B. Rosenberg.
At FIU, Mora served as director of LACC from 2013 to 2019. In 2014, LACC was awarded the U.S. Department of Education National Resource Center/Title VI designation and again in 2018. His experience and deep understanding of the region helped elevate FIU's LACC to a place of preeminence at the university and beyond, becoming nationally and internationally known as one of the top centers of its kind in the country and serving as a nexus between academia and public policy in the Western Hemisphere.
A professor in the Department of Politics and International Relations, as well as senior researcher at the Jack D. Gordon Institute for Public Policy, Mora has promoted immersive studies programs that help students become part of the solution to problems around the world, including the university’s 24-year-old Haitian Summer Institute.
“I am deeply honored to be nominated by President Biden to serve as OAS Ambassador,’’ said Mora. “I am grateful for the opportunity. If confirmed, I promise to be a steward of American values such as democracy and human rights in our hemisphere and beyond.”
Before coming to FIU, Mora taught national security strategy and Latin American studies at the National War College, National Defense University and served as chair of the department of international studies at Rhodes College. He has worked as a consultant to the Library of Congress, the U.S. State Department, U.S. Southern Command, as well as the Organization of American States.
Mora’s nomination must be confirmed by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, as well as the full Senate. If confirmed, he will succeed Carlos Trujillo, a member of the FIU Board of Trustees who served as ambassador to the OAS under the Trump Administration.