Mr. William Acosta

Dallas, Texas

Regional Administrator, Office of Human Development Services, U.S. HHS Region VI (Retired)

Mr. William Acosta  held the position of regional administrator for the Office of Human Development Services of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Region VI, for 22 years before his retirement in June 1989. He has extensive experience in social services ranging from grassroots work to the administration of multimillion-dollar programs in New York State. He became a naval aviator in 1953. After serving active duty, Mr. Acosta joined the Naval Air Reserve and later was promoted to the grade of Navy Captain until his retirement from the reserve in 1984.

He received his AB degree in sociology from UCLA in 1950 and a master’s degree in social work with a specialization in social group work from USC in 1957. After retirement, Mr. Acosta entered law school at the Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University in Houston. In May 1992, he graduated with a juris doctorate degree in law.

In the late 1950s and 1960s, he worked with juvenile gang groups in Los Angeles, with incarcerated youth under the jurisdiction of the California Youth Authority as a psychiatric social worker. Mr. Acosta also worked as the community services coordinator and project director for the East Los Angeles Youth Training and Employment project with youth on probation and parole, high school dropouts, and county jail releases. He worked with the LA Head Start program and later as a community development consultant in Panama. In the 1970s, he worked with more than 300 Peace Corp volunteers in Bogota, and directed Peace Corp operations in the Dominican Republic.

Among a number of boards and councils that he has served, Mr. Acosta chaired the Hispanic Advisory Committee to the Dallas ISD and was a founding member of Fiesta Educativa, a Texas organization serving Spanish-speaking families caring for children with developmental disabilities. He was executive producer for Juntos Para Siempre and Youth 2000.