Office of the Chief Immigration Judge

The Office of the Chief Immigration Judge (OCIJ) is led by the chief immigration judge, who establishes operating policies and oversees policy implementation for the immigration courts. OCIJ provides overall program direction and establishes priorities for approximately 400 immigration judges located in 63 immigration courts and two adjudications centers throughout the Nation.

Biographical Information

MaryBeth Keller | Christopher A. Santoro | Print Maggard | Mary Cheng
Rico J. Bartolomei | Daniel J. Daugherty | Eric L. Dillow | John R. Doolittle II
Irene C. Feldman | James K. Grim | Amy C. Hoogasian | Carrie C. Johnson-Papillo
David M. Jones | Matthew W. Kaufman | Joy Lampley-Fortson | Scott D. Laurent | Lisa Luis
 H. Kevin Mart | Clay Martin | Sheila McNulty | Philip J. Montante Jr. | Deepali Nadkarni
Sirce E. OwenNancy J. Paul | Rodin Rooyani | Jose A. Sanchez |Theresa M. Scala
Elisa M. Sukkar | Jack H. Weil | Daniel H. Weiss | Ryan R. Wood

 

MaryBeth Keller
Chief Immigration Judge

Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch appointed MaryBeth Keller as the chief immigration judge in September 2016. Immediately prior to her current position, and beginning in February 2008, Judge Keller served EOIR as the assistant chief immigration judge (ACIJ) for issues of immigration judge conduct and professionalism. She also supervised courts and served as the agency representative and chief negotiator in contract negotiations and related matters with the National Association of Immigration Judges employee union. Judge Keller received a Bachelor of Arts in 1984 from the Catholic University of America and a Juris Doctor in 1987 from the University of Virginia School of Law. From July 2004 to February 2008, Judge Keller served as general counsel at EOIR. During that time, from July 2006 to February 2008, she served as acting ACIJ for Conduct and Professionalism, and from October 2004 to April 2006, she served as acting chief administrative hearing officer. From 1988 to 2004, Judge Keller served as a senior manager and as an attorney at the Board of Immigration Appeals, EOIR. From 1987 to 1988, she served as a judicial law clerk in the 5th Judicial District of Iowa, in Des Moines, Iowa. Judge Keller is a member of the Iowa State Bar.

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Christopher A. Santoro
Principal Deputy Chief Immigration Judge

Christopher A. Santoro was appointed as the principal deputy chief immigration judge in May 2018. Judge Santoro received a Bachelor of Arts from Tufts University and a Juris Doctor from the Boston University School of Law. Immediately prior to his current appointment Judge Santoro served as acting assistant director for Policy for the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR). From June 2017 through February 2018 he served as EOIR chief of staff. From July 2015 through January 2016, he served as deputy chief immigration judge (acting). From March 2012 through July 2015 Judge Santoro was an assistant chief immigration judge and oversaw operations in 11 immigration courts, new immigration judge training, and intergovernmental and external affairs. In May 2017, Judge Santoro retired as the chief trial judge for the U.S. Air Force Reserve after nearly 30 years of active and reserve duty, including more than 10 years as a military trial judge and deputy chief judge, four years as a judge on the U.S. Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals, and assignments as senior regional prosecutor and appellate counsel. From 2009 to 2011, he served as special advisor for Enforcement and Removal Operations, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Department of Homeland Security (DHS). From 2005 to 2009, Judge Santoro served in leadership roles in the Office of Inspection, Transportation Security Administration, DHS, including deputy director, senior advisor, and counsel. From 2001 to 2005, Judge Santoro was a trial attorney in the Criminal Section, Civil Rights Division, Department of Justice. From 1988 to 1995, Judge Santoro served as a patrol officer for the Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, Police Department. Judge Santoro is a member of the Colorado, District of Columbia, and New Hampshire Bars.

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Print Maggard
Deputy Chief Immigration Judge

Print Maggard was appointed as a deputy chief immigration judge in November 2015. Judge Maggard received a Bachelor of Arts in 1982 from Western Kentucky University, a Masters of Public Administration in 1987 from Golden Gate University, a Juris Doctor in 1990 from University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, and a Master of Laws in environmental law in 1999 from the George Washington University. From July 2015 to March 2016, Judge Maggard served as chief immigration judge (acting), and from January 2012 to July 2015, as an assistant chief immigration judge. From May 2009 to December 2011, Judge Maggard served as an immigration judge at the San Francisco Immigration Court. From July 2006 to April 2009, he served as an assistant chief counsel for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Department of Homeland Security, in San Francisco. From July 1985 to July 2006, he served in the U.S. Air Force in various capacities including: military judge; regional counsel; deputy regional counsel; deputy chief circuit defense counsel; area defense counsel; chief, military justice; and a member of the adjunct faculty at the Air Force Judge Advocate’s School. Judge Maggard is a member of the State Bar of California.

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Mary Cheng
Deputy Chief Immigration Judge

Mary Cheng was appointed as a deputy chief immigration judge in March 2017. Judge Cheng received a Bachelor of Arts in 1993 from New York University and a Juris Doctor in 1997 from New York Law School. From November 2015 to March 2017, she served as an assistant chief immigration judge based in New York. From April 2009 to March 2015, Judge Cheng served as an immigration judge at the New York City Immigration Court. From March 2003 to April 2009, Judge Cheng served as an assistant chief counsel for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Department of Homeland Security, in New York. From June 2002 to March 2003, she worked as an assistant district counsel for the former Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), in New York. From August 2000 to May 2002, Judge Cheng was in private practice in New York. During this time, from June 2001 to June 2002, Judge Cheng served as an administrative law judge for the New York City Department of Finance. From September 1998 to July 2000, she worked as an assistant district counsel for the former INS in New York. From September 1997 to September 1998, Judge Cheng worked as a judicial law clerk at the New York City Immigration Court, entering on duty through the Attorney General’s Honors Program. Judge Cheng is a member of the New York State Bar.

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Rico J. Bartolomei
Assistant Chief Immigration Judge

Rico J. Bartolomei was appointed as an assistant chief immigration judge, based in San Diego, in April 2012, and previously from October 2006 to January 2009. Judge Bartolomei received a Bachelor of Arts in 1983 from the University of Notre Dame and a Juris Doctor in 1986 from Georgetown University Law Center. From January 2009 to April 2012, and from September 1994 to October 2006, Judge Bartolomei served as an immigration judge at the San Diego Immigration Court. From 1991 to 1994, he served as a staff attorney for the Board of Immigration Appeals, Executive Office for Immigration Review. From 1987 to 1991, he worked as an attorney with the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps. Judge Bartolomei is a member of the District of Columbia and Massachusetts Bars.

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Daniel J. Daugherty
Assistant Chief Immigration Judge

Daniel J. Daughtery was appointed as an assistant chief immigration judge, based in Las Vegas, in November 2017. Judge Daugherty received a Bachelor of Science in 1984 from Defiance College, a Juris Doctor in 1987 from the University of Toledo, and a Masters in National Security in 2006 from the U.S. Navy War College. From 2015 to 2017, he served as an immigration judge at the Las Vegas Immigration Court. In 2015, he honorably retired as the Chief Judge for the Navy-Marine Corps Trial Judiciary, after serving more than 25 years on active duty in the U.S. Marine Corps. From 2011 to 2014, he served as the Chief Trial Judge for the Department of the Navy. From 2008 to 2011, and 2002 to 2005, he served as a military judge. From 1994 to 1997, he served as the Assistant Prosecuting Attorney for Delaware County, Ohio. From 1989 to 1994, he served intermittently as a defense attorney and prosecutor. Judge Daugherty received the William K. Suter award for Distinguished Judicial Service from the Judge Advocates Foundation, and he also earned the Legion of Merit. Judge Daugherty is a member of the Ohio State Bar.

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Eric L. Dillow
Assistant Chief Immigration Judge

Eric L. Dillow was appointed as an assistant chief immigration judge, based in Harlingen, in March 2019. Judge Dillow earned a Bachelor of Arts in 1986 from the University of Illinois, a Juris Doctor in 1990 from the University of Nebraska College of Law, and a Master of Urban Planning in 1992 from the University of Illinois. From 2012 to 2018, he served as a veteran advocate and veteran’s treatment court mentor trainer for the Douglas County Veterans Treatment Court, Omaha, Nebraska, and the Lancaster County Veterans Treatment Court, Lincoln, Nebraska. In 2012, he retired as a colonel and judge advocate from the U.S. Air Force. From 1990 to 2012, he served as a judge advocate for the U.S. Air Force in the following locations: Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota; Travis Air Force Base, California; Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska; Ahmad al-Jaber Air Base, Kuwait; HQ, AIRSOUTH, Naples, Italy; Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington; Yokota Air Base, Japan; Task Force 134, Baghdad, Iraq; Bolling Air Force Base, Washington, D.C.; Kabul, Afghanistan; and Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico. Judge Dillow is a member of the Nebraska State Bar.

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John R. Doolittle II
Assistant Chief Immigration Judge

 John R. Doolittle II was appointed as an assistant chief immigration judge, based in Houston, in October 2018. Judge Doolittle earned a Bachelor of Science in 1989 from the University of Tampa, a Juris Doctor in 1994 from the Washburn University School of Law, and a Master of Science in 2014 from the U.S. Army War College. He retired as a colonel and judge advocate from the U.S. Army. From 2004 to 2017, he was judge advocate for the U.S. Army in the following locations: Fort Knox, Kentucky; Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida; Parwan, Afghanistan; Fort Gillem, Georgia; and Fort McPherson, Georgia. From 2000 to 2004, he was a trial attorney/assistant chief counsel with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Department of Homeland Security, in Atlanta. From 1998 to 2000, he was a trial attorney/assistant district counsel with the former Immigration and Naturalization Service, Department of Justice, in Harlingen, Texas. From 1994 to 1998, he was an active duty judge advocate with the U.S. Army at Fort Benning and Fort McPherson, Georgia. Judge Doolittle is a member of the State Bar of Georgia.

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Irene C. Feldman
Assistant Chief Immigration Judge

Irene C. Feldman was appointed as an assistant chief immigration judge, based in Tucson, in November 2015. Judge Feldman received a Bachelor of Arts in 1983 from Mount Holyoke College, a Juris Doctor in 1988 from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, and a Master of Science in 1995 from Boston University, Ben Gurion University of the Negev in Israel. From 2008 to 2015, Judge Feldman served as an immigration judge at the Eloy Immigration Court. From 2001 to 2008, Judge Feldman served as an assistant U.S. attorney in Arizona and in Puerto Rico . From 1996 to 2001, Judge Feldman worked as an assistant district counsel, Office of the District Counsel, for the former Immigration and Naturalization Service, in New Jersey and New York. From 1989 to 1994, Judge Feldman served as an assistant prosecutor in the Office of the County Prosecutor, Bergen County, N.J. Judge Feldman is a member of the State Bar of Arizona and the New Jersey State Bar.

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James K. Grim
Assistant Chief Immigration Judge

James K. Grim was appointed as an assistant chief immigration judge, based in Orlando, in November 2017. Judge Grim earned a Bachelor of Arts in 1988 from the University of Nebraska, Omaha, and a Juris Doctor in 1992 from the University of Nebraska College of Law in Lincoln. From 2009 to 2017, Judge Grim served as an immigration judge at the Orlando Immigration Court. From 2008 to 2009, Judge Grim served as a deputy chief counsel with the Office of the Chief Counsel, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in Orlando, Florida. From 2005 to 2008, he served as an attorney with the Office of the Assistant Chief Counsel, Customs and Border Protection, DHS, in Tampa, Florida. From 1995 to 2005, he served as a trial attorney with the former Immigration and Naturalization Service and as an assistant chief counsel with the Miami Office of the Chief Counsel (DHS), in Bradenton and Miami, Florida. From 1992 to 1995, he served as an attorney with Legal Services of Southeast Nebraska in Lincoln, Nebraska, and in private practice in Fremont, Nebraska. Judge Grim is a member of the Nebraska Bar.

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Amy C. Hoogasian
Assistant Chief Immigration Judge

Amy C. Hoogasian was appointed as an assistant chief immigration judge, based in San Francisco, in November 2015. Judge Hoogasian received a Bachelor of Arts in 1990 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Juris Doctor in 1994 from John Marshall Law School. From October 2010 to November 2015, Judge Hoogasian served as an immigration judge at the San Francisco Immigration Court. From 2009 to 2010, she served as chief legal counsel at SAGIN LLC. From 2005 through 2009, Judge Hoogasian served as senior corporation counsel at ULINE Inc. From 1999 to 2005, she served as an assistant chief counsel for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Department of Homeland Security, in Chicago. From 1995 to 1999, Judge Hoogasian served as attorney to the chairman at the Illinois Pollution Control Board. In 1995, she served as an assistant state’s attorney at the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office, in Waukegan, Ill. Judge Hoogasian is a member of the Illinois State Bar.

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Carrie C. Johnson-Papillo
Assistant Chief Immigration Judge

Carrie C. Johnson-Papillo was appointed as an assistant chief immigration judge, based in Newark, in March 2019. Judge Johnson-Papillo earned a Bachelor of Arts in 2000 from Fairfield University and a Juris Doctor in 2003 from Washington University (Saint Louis) School of Law. From 2008 to 2018, she served as a deputy chief counsel with the Office of Chief Counsel (OCC), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in New York. From 2005 to 2008, she served as the deputy chief in the Knowledge Management Division, Office of the Principal Legal Advisor, ICE, DHS, in Washington D.C. From 2003 to 2005, she served as an assistant chief counsel, OCC, ICE, DHS, first in Newark and later in New York. Judge Johnson-Papillo is a member of the State Bar of New York.

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David M. Jones
Assistant Chief Immigration Judge

David M. Jones was appointed as an assistant chief immigration judge, based in Baltimore, in March 2019. Judge Jones received a Bachelor of Arts in 1988 and a Juris Doctor in 1992 both from Brigham Young University. He also received a Masters of Law in Military Law (criminal) in 2003 from The Judge Advocate General’s School of the U.S. Army. Prior to his appointment, Judge Jones served 26 years on active duty as a judge advocate in the U.S. Marine Corps, where he spent almost his entire career litigating and adjudicating criminal cases. Upon his retirement, Judge Jones was serving as an appellate judge on the Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals. Prior to that, he served 11 years as a criminal trial judge, and an additional 11 years in a variety of prosecution and defense billets. Judge Jones is a member of the Utah State Bar.

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Matthew W. Kaufman
Assistant Chief Immigration Judge

Matthew W. Kaufman was appointed as an assistant chief immigration judge, based in Denver, in February 2019. Judge Kaufman received a Bachelor of Arts in 1998 from the University of Arizona and a Juris Doctor in 2002 from Arizona State University College of Law. From September 2006 to May 2015, Judge Kaufman served as assistant chief counsel, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in Tucson, Ariz. From 2004 to 2006, he served as an attorney, Customs and Border Protection, DHS, in Tucson, Ariz. From 2003 to 2004, Judge Kaufman served as assistant attorney general for the Washington State Office of the Attorney General, in Yakima, Washington. From 2002 to 2003, he worked as an attorney for Cetrus Consulting Group, in Seattle. Judge Kaufman is a member of the State Bars of Arizona and California, and the Washington State Bar.

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Joy Lampley-Fortson
Assistant Chief Immigration Judge

Joy Lampley-Fortson was appointed as an assistant chief immigration judge, based in New Orleans in March 2019. Judge Lampley-Fortson earned a Bachelor of Science in 1992 from the University of Florida and a Juris Doctor in 1996 from the University of Florida College of Law. From 2017 to 2019, she served as the executive director of the Georgia Commission on Equal Opportunity by appointment of the governor. From 2007 to 2017, she served as a trial attorney/assistant chief counsel with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Department of Homeland Security, in Atlanta. From 2001 to 2007, she served as an assistant U.S. attorney with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia, Department of Justice. From 1997 to 2001, she served as an assistant solicitor with the Office of the City Solicitor in Atlanta. Judge Lampley-Fortson is a member of the State Bar of Georgia.

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Scott D. Laurent
Assistant Chief Immigration Judge

Scott D. Laurent was appointed as an assistant chief immigration judge, based in Los Angeles, in November 2017. Judge Laurent received a Bachelor of Arts in 1986 and a Juris Doctor in 1989 from the University of Missouri. From 2012 to 2017, Judge Laurent served as an immigration judge at the Los Angeles Immigration Court. Before moving to the Los Angeles court, he served as an immigration judge in Lancaster, California, from 2008 to 2012. Prior to his appointment as an immigration judge, Judge Laurent served as a senior attorney for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) representing the agency in matters involving national security, fugitive cases and other criminal immigration matters. Judge Laurent has also served as an assistant chief counsel for DHS and the former Immigration and Naturalization Service in Chicago and Los Angeles. Judge Laurent began his legal career as a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Edith L Messina of the 16th Judicial Circuit Court in Jackson County, Missouri, from 1989 to 1991. Judge Laurent is a member of the Missouri Bar.

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Lisa Luis
Assistant Chief Immigration Judge

Lisa Luis was appointed as an assistant chief immigration judge, based in Houston, in March 2019. Judge Luis received a Bachelor of Science in 1990 from the University of Houston and a Juris Doctor in 1994 from the University of Houston Law Center. From 2010 to 2019, she served as an immigration judge at the House Service Processing Center. From 2008 to October 2010, she served as an assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Texas, U.S. Attorney’s Office, Department of Justice. From 2003 to 2008, Judge Luis worked for the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Office of the Chief Counsel, Houston, Texas, in various capacities, including assistant chief counsel, acting deputy chief counsel and senior attorney. From 1995 to 2003, she was an assistant district counsel for the former Immigration and Naturalization Service, Office of the District Counsel, in Houston. During that time she was appointed as a special assistant U.S. attorney for the DOJ, U.S. Attorney’s Office, Southern District of Texas, from 1999 to 2001. From 1994 to 1995, she served in the Attorney General’s Honors Program, DOJ, Executive Office for Immigration Review, Houston Immigration Court, as a judicial law clerk. Judge Luis is a member of the State Bar of Texas.

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H. Kevin Mart
Assistant Chief Immigration Judge

H. Kevin Mart was appointed as an assistant chief immigration judge, based in Louisville, in November 2015. Judge Mart received a Bachelor of Arts in 1976 from the University of Dayton and a Juris Doctor in 1982 from Georgetown University Law Center. From October 2010 to November 2015, Judge Mart served as an immigration judge at the Miami Immigration Court. From 1995 to October 2010 Judge Mart worked in private practice in Miami and Orlando, Florida, specializing in immigration law. From 1992 to 1995, Judge Mart worked in private practice specializing in litigation in Cincinnati, Ohio, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and in 1991 served as an assistant attorney general for the U.S. Virgin Islands. From 1982 to 1990, Judge Mart worked in private practice at Brown & Wood; and Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson, in New York. Judge Mart is a member of the State Bar of California, New York State Bar, Ohio State Bar, and the U.S. Virgin Islands Bar.

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Clay Martin
Assistant Chief Immigration Judge

Clay Martin was appointed an assistant chief immigration judge, based in San Antonio, in August 2017. Judge Martin earned a Bachelor of Arts in 1984 from Hendrix College and a Juris Doctor in 1987 from St. Mary’s University School of Law. From 2016 to 2017, he served as an immigration judge at the Pearsall Immigration Court. From 2008 to 2016, he served as a senior attorney with the Office of the Chief Counsel, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in San Antonio. From 2002 to 2008, he served as an assistant chief for ICE, DHS, also in San Antonio. From 1995 to 2002, he served as a chief deputy prosecuting attorney for the West Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, State of Arkansas. From 1992 to 1995, he served as an assistant district attorney for the Bexar County District Attorney’s Office, in San Antonio. From 1987 to 1991, he was a civil ligation attorney at various private law firms in Texas. Judge Martin is a member of the Arkansas and Texas State Bars.

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Sheila McNulty
Assistant Chief Immigration Judge

Sheila McNulty was appointed as an assistant chief immigration judge, based in Chicago, in November 2015. Judge McNulty received a Bachelor of Arts in 1984 from Miami University of Ohio and a Juris Doctor in 1991 from New England School of Law. From November 2010 to November of 2015, she served as an immigration judge at the Chicago Immigration Court. From 2000 to 2010, Judge McNulty served as a special assistant U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, in Chicago. From 1991 to 2000, she served as a trial attorney for the former Immigration and Naturalization Service, entering on duty through the Attorney General’s Honors Program. From 1985 until 1991, Judge McNulty worked as a community activist and organizer in Cambridge, Massachuettes. Judge McNulty is a member of the Illinois Bar.

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Philip J. Montante Jr.
Assistant Chief Immigration Judge

Philip J. Montante Jr. was appointed as an assistant chief immigration judge, based in Buffalo, in March 2019. Judge Montante earned a Bachelor of Business Administration from Drake College, a Master’s in education from Florida Atlantic University, and a Juris Doctor from Samford University. From April 1990 to August 1997, Judge Montante served as an immigration judge in Miami. From 1975 to 1990, he was in private practice. During this time, in 1989, Judge Montante was certified by the Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court as a circuit court mediator. From 1975 to 1976, he served as a special assistant attorney general and in 1976, was appointed as a chief municipal court judge in Broward County, Florida. From 1971 to 1975, he held various positions in the state attorney’s office for the 17th judicial circuit of Florida, including prosecutor, chief assistant state attorney, and assistant state attorney. Judge Montante also served as chairman, Florida Bar Grievance Committee, and as special grievance committee counsel for the Florida Bar. From 1976 to 1996, he was an adjunct professor at Florida Atlantic University. He also served as chairman of the Judicial Nominating Commission. Judge Montante served three terms on the President’s Commission on White House Fellowship’s regional panels and in 2001, was appointed to the President's Commission on White House Fellowships. He served as the chair or co-chair of the U. S. Immigration Court Committee and American Bar Association for 6 years and as member of the executive committee of the Federal Bar in Miami for 4 years. Judge Montante is a member of the District of Columbia, Florida and New York Bars.

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Deepali Nadkarni
Assistant Chief Immigration Judge

Deepali Nadkarni was appointed as an assistant chief immigration judge, based in Falls Church, in March 2011. Judge Nadkarni received a Bachelor of Arts in 1991 from Mercer University and a Juris Doctor in 1994 from Emory University School of Law. From October 1995 to March 2011, Judge Nadkarni served as an attorney advisor, supervisory attorney-examiner, and senior panel attorney for the Board of Immigration Appeals, Executive Office for Immigration Review. From 1994 to 1995, she served as a judicial law clerk entering on duty through the Attorney General’s Honors Program. Judge Nadkarni is a member of the State Bar of Georgia.

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Nancy J. Paul
Assistant Chief Immigration Judge

Nancy J. Paul was appointed as an assistant chief immigration judge, based in Omaha, in November 2017. Judge Paul earned a Bachelor of Science in 1985 from the University of Nebraska and a Juris Doctor in 1988 from Creighton University School of Law. From 2016 to 2017, Judge Paul served as an immigration judge at the Omaha Immigration Court. From 2010 to September 2016, she served as a board member and treasurer for the Great Plains Colon Cancer Task Force, in Omaha, Nebraska. From 2008 to 2010, she served as a military commission judge for the Office of Military Commissions, in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. From 2003 to 2010, she served as a military judge for the U.S. Air Force (USAF), at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, and Travis Air Base, California. During that time period, she also served as an adjunct instructor for the Air Force Judge Advocate General’s School. From 2000 to 2003, she served as the chief of Operations and International Law, USAF, at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona. From 1997 to 2000, she served as a deputy and acting staff judge advocate for the USAF at Hurlburt Field, Florida. From 1994 to 1997, she served as the chief of the Adverse Actions Division, USAF, at Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii. From 1993 to 1994, she served as a deputy staff judge advocate for the USAF, at Plattsburgh Air Force Base, New York, and from 1992 to 1993, she served as area defense counsel for the USAF, at Offutt Air Force Base. From 1988 to 1992, she served as the chief of Military Justice and General Law at Offutt Air Force Base. Judge Paul is a member of the Nebraska Bar.

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Sirce E. Owen
Assistant Chief Immigration Judge

Sirce E. Owen was appointed as an assistant chief immigration judge, based in Atlanta, in October 2018. Judge Owen earned a Bachelor of Science in 1996 from Johns Hopkins University, a Master of Business Administration in 2002 from Georgia State University, and a Juris Doctor in 2005 from Georgia State University. From 2016 to 2018, she was a deputy chief counsel in the Office of Chief Counsel, Office of the Principal Legal Advisor, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in Atlanta. From 2008 to 2016, she was an assistant chief counsel with ICE, DHS, in Atlanta. From 2005 to 2008, she was an associate attorney with Mozley, Finlayson & Loggins LLP, in Atlanta. Judge Owen is a member of the State Bar of Georgia.

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Rodin Rooyani
Assistant Chief Immigration Judge

Rodin Rooyani was appointed as an assistant chief immigration judge, based in Los Angeles, in January 2016. Judge Rooyani received a Bachelor of Arts in 1995 from George Mason University and a Juris Doctor in 1998 from the University of Maryland School of Law. From April 2009 to January 2016, she served as an immigration judge at the Los Angeles Immigration Court. From November 2004 to April 2009, Judge Rooyani served as an assistant U.S. attorney for the National Security Section, Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California. From 1998 to 2004, she served as a trial attorney with the former Immigration and Naturalization Service and as an assistant chief counsel with the Department of Homeland Security entering on duty through the Attorney General’s Honors Program. Judge Rooyani is a member of the Maryland and California Bars.

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Jose A. Sanchez
Assistant Chief Immigration Judge

Jose A. Sanchez was appointed as an assistant chief immigration judge, based in Boston, in February 2019. Judge Sanchez earned a Bachelor of Arts in 1984 from Fordham University at Lincoln Center and a Juris Doctor in 1987 from Northeastern University School of Law. From 1995 to 2017, he served as an associate justice of the trial court for the Trial Court of Massachusetts, in Lawrence, Massachuesettes. From 1987 to 1995, he served as a trial attorney for the Committee for Public Counsel Services, in Cambridge, Mass. From 1976 to 1981, he served as an air traffic controller for the FAA, in New York, New York. Judge Sanchez is a member of the Massachusetts State Bar.

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Theresa M. Scala
Assistant Chief Immigration Judge

Theresa M. Scala was appointed as an assistant chief immigration judge, based in Seattle, in November 2017. Judge Scala received a Bachelor of Science in 1986 from Ithaca College and a Juris Doctor in 1992 from Nova Southeastern University Law Center. From 2010 to 2017, Judge Scala served as an immigration judge at the Tacoma Immigration Court. From 1994 to 2010, she served as an assistant chief counsel and deputy chief counsel for the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, in Miami and Orlando, Florida. Judge Scala began her legal career with the Executive Office for Immigration Review in Miami, Florida, where she served as attorney advisor and judicial law clerk from 1992 to 1994. Judge Scala is a member of the Florida Bar.

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Elisa M. Sukkar
Assistant Chief Immigration Judge

Elisa M. Sukkar was appointed as an assistant chief immigration judge, based in Miami, in April 2008. Judge Sukkar received a Bachelor of Science in 1983 from Florida International University and a Juris Doctor in 1987 from Nova Law School. From March 1995 to April 2008, Judge Sukkar served as an immigration judge at the Miami Immigration Court. From 1987 to 1995, she was in private practice in Miami, specializing in immigration law. Judge Sukkar is a member of the Florida Bar.

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Jack H. Weil
Assistant Chief Immigration Judge

Jack H. Weil was appointed as an assistant chief immigration judge, based in York, in December 2009. Judge Weil received a Bachelor of Arts in 1985 and a Juris Doctor in 1988, both from the University of Maryland. From 1994 to 2009, Judge Weil served as an immigration judge at the El Centro Immigration Court. From 1990 to 1994, he worked as associate counsel to the director, Executive Office for Immigration Review. From 1988 to 1990, Judge Weil was a judicial law clerk at the San Diego Immigration Court. In 2001, he joined the faculty of the National Judicial College where he teaches “Bias and Ethics for Administrative Law Judges“ and serves as faculty assistant in the course on distance training of judges. He is co-author of “Deskbook on Evidence for Administrative Law Judges” published by the National Judicial College in 2006. Judge Weil is a member of the Maryland State Bar.

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Daniel H. Weiss
Assistant Chief Immigration Judge

Daniel H. Weiss was appointed as an assistant chief immigration judge, based in Dallas, in August 2017. Judge Weiss earned a Bachelor of Arts in 1986 from the University of Pennsylvania and a Juris Doctor in 1990 from the University of Maryland School of Law. From 2016 to 2017, Judge Weiss served as an immigration judge at the Dallas Immigration Court. From 2010 to 2015, he served as a senior attorney in the Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit, Civil Rights Division (CRT), Department of Justice (DOJ). From 2005 to 2010, he served as a trial attorney, then deputy chief, in the Special Litigation Section, CRT, DOJ. From 1992 to 2000, he served as an assistant public defender for both the Appellate Division and Trial Division, Office of the Public Defender, State of Maryland. From 1991 to 1992, he served as an attorney for the Fidelity and Deposit Companies of Maryland, in Baltimore. From 1990 to 1991, he served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Ellen. L. Hollander, Circuit Court for Baltimore City. Judge Weiss is a member of the Maryland State Bar.

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Ryan R. Wood
Assistant Chief Immigration Judge

Ryan R. Wood was appointed as an assistant chief immigration judge, based in Bloomington, in March 2019. Judge Wood earned a Bachelor of Arts in 2000 from Hamline University, a Juris Doctor in 2004 from the Hamline University School of Law, and a Master of Business Administration in 2015 from the Hamline University School of Business. From January 2005 to October 2009, he was a judge advocate with the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General Corps, serving in the 4th and 7th Infantry Divisions. From October 2009 through November 2014, he served as an assistant chief counsel for the Office of the Chief Counsel, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Department of Homeland Security, in Fort Snelling, Minn. From November 2014 to April 2017, he served as a special assistant U.S. attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Minnesota, Department of Justice. From 2017 to 2019, he served as an immigration judge at the Bloomington Immigration Court. Judge Wood is a member of the Minnesota State Bar.

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Updated May 7, 2019

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