The American Society of International Law (ASIL) announces the appointment of Mark D. Agrast to serve as the Society's eighth executive director beginning October 20, 2014. Mr. Agrast succeeds Elizabeth Andersen, who left the Society this summer after nearly eight years to lead the American Bar Association's (ABA) Rule of Law Initiative. Mr. Agrast, who is an ASIL member, currently serves as deputy assistant attorney general in the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Legislative Affairs, where he has worked since 2009.
Prior to joining the Justice Department, Mr. Agrast was a senior vice president and senior fellow at the Center for American Progress from 2003 to 2009, and from 1992 to 2003 he held senior staff positions with two members of the U.S. House of Representatives. He previously practiced international law with the Washington office of Jones Day. He also has served in numerous leadership capacities in the ABA, including as a member of its Board of Governors and its Executive Committee, a past chair of the Section of Individual Rights and Responsibilities and the Commission on Immigration, and current chair of the Commission on Disability Rights. He is a longtime member of the ABA's House of Delegates. Mr. Agrast has co-chaired the National Lesbian and Gay Law Association (now the National LGBT Bar) and served as that organization's ABA Delegate. He has also been a leader of the World Justice Project since its inception and has played a central role in designing and implementing its Rule of Law Index, a quantitative assessment measure of the extent to which countries adhere to the rule of Law. Mr. Agrast graduated summa cum laude from Case Western Reserve University, pursued his postgraduate studies as a Rhodes Scholar at the University of Oxford, and received his JD in 1985 from Yale Law School, where he was editor in chief of the Yale Journal of International Law.