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Board of Immigration Appeals

The Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA or Board) is the highest administrative body for interpreting and applying United States immigration laws. The BIA is authorized 15 Board Members, including a Chairman and Vice Chairman. Primarily, the BIA reviews appeals from certain decisions that immigration judges and district directors of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) render, ensuring that the immigration laws receive fair and uniform application. The BIA decides each appeal on a case-by-case basis, affording each case the necessary time and consideration to ensure fairness. BIA decisions are binding on all immigration judges and DHS officers. Certain BIA decisions are designated for publication in the Administrative Decisions Under Immigration and Nationality Laws of the United States.

The BIA also supervises the Recognition and Accreditation Unit.

Biographical information on the current BIA members follows.

Biographical Information

David L. Neal | Charles Adkins-Blanch | Patricia A. Cole
Michael J. Creppy | Edward R. Grant | Anne J. Greer
John W. Guendelsberger | David B. Holmes | Garry D. Malphrus
Ana Landazabal Mann | Neil P. Miller | Hugh Mullane
Roger Pauley | Linda S. Wendtland | Temporary Board Members


David L. Neal
Chairman

Attorney General Eric Holder appointed David L. Neal as chairman in March 2012. Mr. Neal received a bachelor of arts degree in 1981 from Wabash College, a master's degree in 1984 from Harvard Divinity School, and a juris doctorate in 1989 from Columbia Law School. From June 2009 to March 2012, Mr. Neal served as acting chairman, BIA. From January to May 2009, he served as vice chairman, BIA. From 2007 to 2009, he served an appointment as chief immigration judge, after serving as acting chief immigration judge since 2006. From 2005 to 2006, Mr. Neal served as an assistant chief immigration judge. From 2004 to 2005, he served as an immigration judge at the Headquarters Immigration Court. From 2003 to 2004, Mr. Neal served as special counsel to the Director, EOIR. From 2001 to 2003, he served as chief counsel for the Senate Immigration Subcommittee. From 1996 to 2001, Mr. Neal was an attorney advisor for the BIA. From 1993 to 1996, he practiced immigration law in Los Angeles. From 1990 to 1993, he was the director of policy analysis for the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Mr. Neal is a member of the District of Columbia and New York State Bars.

Charles Adkins-Blanch

Attorney General Eric Holder appointed Charles Adkins-Blanch as vice chairman of the Board in January 2013. Mr. Adkins-Blanch received a bachelor of arts degree in 1984 from Grinnell College and a juris doctorate in 1990 from the National Law Center, George Washington University. He served as a BIA member from 2008 until his appointment as vice chairman. From 2004 to 2008, he served as an immigration judge at the Headquarters Immigration Court and, from 1995 to 2004, Mr. Adkins-Blanch served in EOIRís Office of the General Counsel, as general counsel from 2000 to 2004, as acting general counsel from 1999 to 2000, and as an associate general counsel from 1995 to 1999. From 1990 to 1995, he worked for the BIA as an attorney advisor entering on duty through the Attorney Generalís Honors Program. From 1989 to 1990, he clerked in private practice with the firm of Maggio & Kattar, specializing in immigration and nationality law. Mr. Adkins-Blanch is a member of the District of Columbia and Virginia State Bars.

Patricia A. Cole

Attorney General Janet Reno appointed Patricia A. Cole in July 1995. Ms. Cole received a bachelor of science degree in 1971 from Wilson College, Chambersburg, Pa., and a juris doctorate in 1981 from the University of Maryland. From 1993 to 1995, she was a senior policy analyst at the U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform in Washington, D.C. From 1987 to 1993, Ms. Cole served at the former Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) as appellate counsel, associate general counsel, legislative counsel, and assistant general counsel. From 1985 to 1987, she was a trial attorney for INS in Houston. Ms. Cole is a member of the Maryland State Bar.

Michael J. Creppy

Attorney General Eric Holder appointed Michael J. Creppy in February 2011.  Mr. Creppy received a bachelor of arts degree in 1975 from Fisk University, a juris doctorate in 1978 from Howard University School of Law and a masters of law degree in 1979 from Georgetown University Law Center.  From April 2006 to February 2011, he served as EOIR’s chief administrative hearing officer.  From May 1994 to April 2006, he served as chief immigration judge, overseeing the numerous immigration courts around the country.  Prior to joining EOIR, Mr. Creppy worked for the former Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) in various capacities: from 1988 to 1994, in the Office of the General Counsel as deputy general counsel for litigation; from 1986 to 1988, as an associate general counsel primarily focusing on the employer sanctions and anti-discrimination provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act; and from 1984 to 1986, as chief legal officer for the INS district office in Los Angeles.  From 1983 to 1984, he served as a trial attorney with the Office of Immigration Litigation, Civil Dvision, Department of Justice.  From 1981 to 1983, Mr. Creppy was a trial attorney for the former INS district office in New York.  From 1979 to 1981 he served as a judicial law clerk for the Superior Court for the District of Columbia.  Mr. Creppy is a member of the District of Columbia Bar.

Edward R. Grant

Attorney General Janet Reno Edward R. Grant as a Board Member in January 1998. Mr. Grant received a bachelor of arts degree in 1979 from Georgetown University and a juris doctorate in 1982 from Northwestern University School of Law. From 1995 to 1998, he served as counsel in the U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Immigration and Claims. From 1992 to 1995, he served as a deputy associate general counsel, Refugee and Asylum Law Division, and as legislative counsel for INS. From 1987 to 1990, Mr. Grant worked for the Chicago law firm of Hinshaw & Culbertson, and from 1982 to 1984 with the Philadelphia law firm of Drinker Biddle & Reath. From 1984 to 1987, Mr. Grant served as executive director and general counsel of Americans United for Life in Chicago. Mr. Grant is a member of the Illinois State and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Bars.

Anne J. Greer

Attorney General Michael Mukasey appointed Anne J. Greer in August 2008. Ms. Greer received a bachelor of arts degree in 1980 from Allegheny College, Meadville, Pa., and a juris doctorate in 1992 from George Mason University School of Law, Arlington, Va. From 2003 to 2008, she served as an assistant chief immigration judge. From 1992 to 2003, she worked as a senior panel attorney, supervisory attorney advisor, and attorney advisor for the BIA. From 1989 to 1992, Ms. Greer was a law clerk at the U.S. Department of Commerce, Office of the Chief Administrative Law Judge, in Washington, D.C. She has been an adjunct professor of law at George Mason University School of Law since 1996. Ms. Greer is a member of the District of Columbia and Commonwealth of Virginia Bars.

John W. Guendelsberger

Attorney General Eric Holder appointed John W. Guendelsberger in August 2009. Mr. Guendelsberger received a bachelor of science degree in 1973 from Ohio State University and a juris doctorate in 1977 from Ohio State University College of Law. He received a master of laws degree in 1987 and a doctor of the science of law degree in 1993, both from Columbia University School of Law, and a diploma of advanced studies in 1992 from the University of Paris I (Pantheon-Sorbonne). From 2003 to 2009, Mr. Guendelsberger served as senior counsel to BIA Chairman. During this time, from 2007 to 2009, he served six-month appointments as a temporary Board member. From 1995 to 2003, Mr. Guendelsberger served as a Board member. He worked for three years as a staff attorney with Ohio Legal Rights Service, a state agency advocating the rights of persons with mental or developmental disabilities. From 1980 to 1995, he was a professor of law at Ohio Northern University College of Law, where he specialized in immigration law, comparative law, and international law. He has written numerous articles in the area of immigration law and has represented aliens on a pro bono basis before Immigration Judges and the Board of Immigration Appeals. Mr. Guendelsberger is a member of the Ohio State Bar.

David B. Holmes

Attorney General Janet Reno appointed David B. Holmes in June 1995. Mr. Holmes received a bachelor of arts degree in 1970 from Middlebury College and a juris doctorate in 1973 from the National Law Center, George Washington University. From 2003 to 2005, he served as acting Vice Chairman. From 1977 to 1981, Mr. Holmes worked as an attorney advisor, and from 1981 to 1995, he served as the BIA’s chief attorney examiner. From 1974 to 1977, he served on active duty as a captain in the U.S. Army. Mr. Holmes is a member of the District of Columbia and Commonwealth of Virginia Bars.

Garry D. Malphrus

Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey appointed Garry D. Malphrus in August 2008.  Mr. Malphrus received a bachelor of arts degree in 1989 and a juris doctorate in 1993, both from the University of South Carolina.  From 2005 to August 2008, he served as an immigration judge at the Arlington Immigration Court.  From 2001 to 2005, Mr. Malphrus served as associate director of the White House Domestic Policy Council.  From 1997 to 2001, he worked for the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary, which included serving as chief counsel and staff director on the Subcommittee on Criminal Justice Oversight and the Subcommittee on the Constitution.  From 1995 to 1997, Mr. Malphrus served as a law clerk for the Honorable Dennis W. Shedd, U.S. District Judge for the District of South Carolina.  From 1994 to 1995 he was a law clerk for the Honorable William W. Wilkins of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.  From 1993 to 1994, he was a law clerk for the Honorable Larry R. Patterson, Circuit Judge for South Carolina. Mr. Malphrus is a member of the South Carolina Bar.

Ana Landazabal Mann

Attorney General Eric Holder appointed Ana Landazabal Mann in November 2011. Ms. Mann received a bachelor of arts degree from Rutgers University in 1982 and a juris doctorate from George Washington University in 1985. From 1996 to November 2011, Ms. Mann served as a senior legal advisor to the Chairman of the BIA, during which time she also served as a temporary board member. From 1986 to 1996, Ms. Mann was an attorney advisor for the BIA. Ms. Mann joined DOJ through the Attorney Generalís Honors Program when she clerked at the Drug Enforcement Administration from 1985 until 1986. Ms. Mann is a member of the New Jersey State Bar.

Neil P. Miller

Attorney General Janet Reno appointed Neil P. Miller in July 1999. Mr. Miller received a bachelor of arts degree in 1967 and a juris doctorate in 1974, both from the University of Arizona. From 1995 to 1999, he served as the chief attorney examiner for the BIA. From 1987 to 1995, he served as a deputy chief attorney examiner with the BIA. From 1980 to 1987, Mr. Miller worked for the BIA as an attorney advisor. Mr. Miller was in private practice in Tucson, Arizona, and worked with the Foreign Operations Section of the Passport Office, Department of State. Mr. Miller is a member of the State Bar of Arizona.

Hugh Mullane

Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey appointed Hugh Mullane in August 2008.  Mr. Mullane received a bachelor of business administration degree in 1989 from Siena College and a juris doctorate in 1993 from Georgetown University Law Center.  From 2005 to 2008, he served as special counsel, Office of Legal Policy, Department of Justice (DOJ).  From 2004 to 2005, he worked as the Director of Immigration Security for the Homeland Security Council at the White House. From 1995 to 2004, he served as a senior litigation counsel, Civil Division, DOJ.  From 1994 to 1995, Mr. Mullane was an attorney with the Federal Trade Commission.  From 1993 to 1994, he was a law clerk for the Honorable David G. Larimer, U.S. District Judge for the Western District of New York.  Mr. Mullane is a member of the District of Columbia and New York State Bars.

Roger Pauley

Attorney General John Ashcroft appointed Roger Pauley in September 2001. Mr. Pauley received a bachelor of arts degree in 1962 from Harvard College and a juris doctorate in 1964 from Harvard Law School. From 1980 to 2001, he served as Director, Legislation, Office of Policy and Legislation, Criminal Division, DOJ. From 1975 to 1980, he worked in the Criminal Division, DOJ, in a variety of positions. From 1973 to 1974, Mr. Pauley served on the staff of the Committee on the Judiciary in the U.S. House of Representatives. From 1966 to 1973, he served in the appellate section of the Criminal Division, DOJ. Mr. Pauley is a member of the District of Columbia and New York State Bars.

Linda S. Wendtland

Attorney General Michael Mukasey appointed Linda S. Wendtland in August 2008. Ms. Wendtland received a bachelor of arts degree in 1982 from the University of Virginia and a juris doctorate in 1985 from the University of Virginia. From 1996 to 2008, she served as assistant director and senior litigation counsel at the Office of Immigration Litigation (OIL), Civil Division, DOJ. From 1990 to 1996, Ms. Wendtland was in private practice. From 1985 to 1990, she served as a trial attorney at OIL, entering on duty through the Attorney General’s Honor Program. Ms. Wendtland is a member of the District of Columbia and Commonwealth of Virginia Bars.




Temporary Board Members

As authorized by 8 C.F.R. ß 1003(a)(4), the Director of EOIR may designate immigration judges, retired Board members, retired immigration judges, and current or retired EOIR administrative law judges to act as temporary Board members. With the approval of the Deputy Attorney General, the Director may also designate senior EOIR attorneys who have at least ten years of experience in the field of immigration law. All temporary Board members listed here have been approved by the Deputy Attorney General.

A temporary Board member has the authority of a permanent Board member to adjudicate cases assigned to him or her, except that no temporary Board member may vote on any matter decided by the Board en banc, such as the publication of precedent cases.


Molly Kendall Clark

Molly Kendall Clark has served as a Senior Legal Advisor to the Chairman of the BIA since 1995. She received her bachelor of arts from Colorado College in 1974 and her juris doctorate from Suffolk University in 1978. She was an attorney advisor for the BIA from 1978 to 1981 and 1983 to 1991. She worked in the General Counsel's Office of the former Immigration and Naturalization Service from1981 to 1982. She also worked with the immigration periodical Interpreter Releases from 1982 to 1983. She is a member of the District of Columbia Bar.

Teresa L. Donovan

Teresa L. Donovan has served as an attorney advisor at the BIA since 1998. She received her B.A. from the Washington State University, her J.D. from Gonzaga University School of Law, an LL.M. from Boston University School of Law, and an M.A. from Christendom College. During her tenure at the BIA, she has served as training faculty for both the BIA and the Office of the Chief Immigration Judge. Ms. Donovan has also taught immigration law at the George Mason University School of Law since 1996 and has directed that schoolís immigration law clinic since 2003. She previously served on detail to the Civil Divisionís Office of Immigration Litigation, and she practiced immigration law for eight years before entering government. She is a member of the Virginia, Washington State, and District of Columbia Bars.

Sharon C. Hoffman

Sharon C. Hoffman has served as an attorney advisor at the BIA since 1996. She received her B.A. degree from Dickinson College, her J.D. from the Washington and Lee School of Law, and an LL.M from The Judge Advocate Generalís School of the Army. During her tenure at the BIA, she has served as training faculty and on detail to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Immigration. Prior to joining the BIA, Ms. Hoffman was an attorney advisor at the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals (ASBCA) and during her military career served in many capacities, including Chief of Administrative Law and Claims and as a Captain in the Judge Advocate Generalís Corps of the Army (JAGC). She is a member of the Virginia Bar.

Ellen Liebowitz

Ellen Liebowitz has served as a Senior Legal Advisor to the Chairman of the BIA since 2008. Ms. Liebowitz received a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Delaware in 1987 and a juris doctorate from the University of Maryland in 1990. She was a Senior Counsel to the Chairman of the BIA from 2007 to 2008 and an attorney advisor for the BIA from 1991 to 2007. Prior to joining the Board, she clerked for the Circuit Court for Harford County, Maryland. She is a member of the Maryland Bar.

Elise Manuel

Elise Manuel has been an attorney with the Board of Immigration Appeals since 1991. She received her B.A. from Northwestern University in 1983 and her J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center in 1987. During her tenure at the BIA, she has served in a variety of positions, including Senior Panel Attorney, Team Leader, and member of the Boardís training faculty. In 2003, Ms. Manuel served on detail with the Civil Divisionís Office of Immigration Litigation. She began her legal career as a staff attorney with the Legal Assistance Foundation of Chicago from 1987-1991, where she represented low-income clients in a variety of civil and administrative matters. She is a member of the Illinois bar.


Updated February 2014

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Juan P. Osuna
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