Who are the Board Members & Judges?
The Departmental Appeals Board (DAB) provides impartial, independent review of disputed decisions in a wide range of Department programs under more than 60 statutory provisions. The DAB generally issues the final decision for the Department, which may then be appealed to federal court. The DAB may issue a recommended decision for action by another official. The DAB has three broad areas of jurisdiction each with its own set of judges and staff. The DAB also has a leadership role in implementing Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) across the Department since the DAB Chair is the designated Dispute Resolution Specialist under the Administrative Dispute Resolution Act of 1996. DAB staff includes trained mediators and facilitators. The DAB's ADR responsibilities include providing ADR services and training and coordinating and facilitating negotiated rulemaking committees.
The DAB resolves disputes with outside parties such as state agencies, Head Start grantees, universities, nursing homes, doctors, and Medicare beneficiaries. In a single year, disputes heard by the DAB may involve as much as $1 billion in federal grant funds.
Constance B. Tobias (Chair) was appointed as Chair of the Board on April 29, 2007. She previously served at the Department of Veterans Affairs as a Chief Veterans Law Judge of the Board of Veterans' Appeals, as Counsel to the Chairman, and as a staff attorney. She received her J.D. from Cornell University and a Bachelor's Degree from Saint Augustine's College.
Sheila A. Hegy started as a Board Member in January 2005. She was previously an Assistant Regional Counsel in the HHS Office of the General Counsel, Region V. Before that, Judge Hegy was an associate at Sonnenschein, Nath & Rosenthal in Chicago; an attorney with Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation, Champaign, Illinois; and, a Staff Attorney/Motions Law Clerk on the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Judge Hegy received her J. D. from the University of Illinois College of Law.
Christopher S. Randolph was appointed as a Board Member on November 29, 2015. He previously served as an Administrative Appeals Judge on the Medicare Appeals Council. Prior to that, he was the DAB’s Project Manager for the Fully Integrated Duals Advantage (FIDA) demonstration project, the Special Assistant to the Chair, and both the Director and the Deputy Director of the Medicare Operations Division. Judge Randolph was also a law clerk at the D.C. Board on Professional Responsibility’s, Office of Bar Counsel, a prosecutor with the Prince George’s County State’s Attorney’s Office, a litigator at a small firm, a solo practitioner, and an associate county attorney at the Prince George’s County Office of Law. He earned his J.D. at the Howard University School of Law.
Leslie A. Sussan was appointed as a Member of the Board on September 3, 2006. She had served as a senior staff attorney in the Appellate Division at the Board since 1990. Her prior practice included seven years as a litigating attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice, as well as positions as Director of the Child Advocacy Center of DC, attorney for Migrant Legal Action Program, and legal editor for Aspen Hospital Manual. She received a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center in 1977.
Susan S. Yim was appointed as a Member of the Board in January 2015. She previously served as an Administrative Appeals Judge on the Medicare Appeals Council since 2009. Prior to that, she was a Staff Attorney and Team Leader in the DAB’s Civil Remedies Division, as well as an Attorney-Advisor at the Board of Veterans’ Appeals in the Department of Veterans Affairs. Judge Yim also had eight years in private practice. She earned her J.D. from Tulane University School of Law.
Administrative Law Judges
Margaret G. Brakebusch joined the DAB, Civil Remedies Division in June 2015. Previously, Judge Brakebusch served as an ALJ with the National Labor Relations Board from 2001 until 2013. From 1994 until 2001, Judge Brakebusch was an ALJ for the Social Security Administration and she served as Hearing Office Chief Judge during the latter years of her work with Social Security. Prior to her appointment as an ALJ, Judge Brakebusch was a trial attorney with the National Labor Relations Board. Before entering the field of law, Judge Brakebusch practiced as a clinical social worker. Judge Brakebusch is a graduate of Bethel University and she has a J.D. from the University of Memphis and a Master of Science in Social Work from the University of Tennessee.
Richard C. Goodwin joined the DAB, Civil Remedies Division in November 2016. Judge Goodwin served as an ALJ with the Food and Drug Administration from September 2015 until November 2016. He has over twenty years of judicial experience, including as an ALJ for the U.S. Department of Transportation and Social Security Administration. Judge Goodwin was in private practice in Annapolis, Maryland for almost 20 years. Judge Goodwin was commissioned as an Infantry Office, U.S. Army in 1964. He served over 34 years as an Infantry Officer and Judge Advocate in the U.S. Army, having been awarded the Legion of Merit and two Meritorious Service Medals, before retiring from his position as Colonel, Judge Advocate General’s Corps. Judge Goodwin has acted as both Chair of the Judicial Division of the American Bar Association and the National Conference of Administrative Judiciary. He received his Bachelors of Arts in Economics from William and Mary, Master’s in Business from Xavier University, and J.D. from Northern Kentucky University. Judge Goodwin is admitted in Maryland, District of Columbia and Ohio.
Wallace S. Hubbard joined the DAB, Civil Remedies Division in January 2017. Previously, he served for 19 years as an Administrative Law Judge for the Social Security Administration. During that time, he served two terms as the Hearing Office Chief for the Jackson Hearing Office and was detailed to the Appeals Council Disability Review Board for a year. Prior to his appointment as an ALJ, Judge Hubbard spent 15 years working for the Social Security Administration, making his way from Staff Attorney to Administrative Appeals Judge with the Appeals Council. He started his legal career at the Mississippi State Board of Health working on licensure sanctions. Judge Hubbard earned his Bachelor of Science and Master of Business Administration degrees from Delta State University and his Juris Doctor from Mississippi College School of Law.
Carolyn Cozad Hughes has been an Administrative Law Judge for the DAB, Civil Remedies Division since October 2000. She previously was an ALJ for the Social Security Administration, Office of Hearings and Appeals, beginning in 1994. Prior to her appointment as an ALJ, Judge Hughes was an attorney with DHHS and a Clinical Professor of Law at IIT/Chicago Kent College of Law. She is a graduate of Stanford University and has a J.D. from Northwestern University School of Law.
Steven T. Kessel began to hear cases for the DAB in 1984. He served with the DAB on a full-time basis from 1988 until his retirement in January 2011. Judge Kessel returned to the DAB as a Senior ALJ in August 2011. From 1976 until 1982, Judge Kessel was an attorney with the Federal Trade Commission Bureau of Competition. He is a graduate of Columbia University School of Law.
Mary M. Kunz joined the DAB, Civil Remedies Division in May 2018. Previously, she served as an Administrative Law Judge with the Social Security Administration from 2001 through 2017. She began her career with the SSA as a Staff Attorney in 1983 and later served as an Appeals Officer for the Appeals Council and as the Regional Attorney in the Philadelphia Region. As an ALJ, she was assigned to a national Medicare cadre, handling multi-party litigation, and provided national training on a wide variety of administrative law topics to new classes of Administrative Law Judges. Judge Kunz received a J.D. degree from Hamline Mitchell College of Law, a M.S. degree from St. Cloud State University, and a B.A. degree from the University of Minnesota.
Catherine Ravinski joined the DAB, Civil Remedies Division in July 2014. Judge Ravinski previously served as an ALJ with the Social Security Administration’s Office of Disability Adjudication and Review in Miami beginning in 1994, including 9 years as Hearing Office Chief Judge. Prior to that, she was an Administrative Appeals Judge, Appeals Officer, Civil Actions analyst, and Hearings and Appeals analyst for the Social Security Administration’s Appeals Council in Virginia from 1985-1994, and a staff attorney in the Mayagüez Puerto Rico Hearing Office from 1976-1985. Judge Ravinski is a graduate of Wellesley College, and received a J.D. from Suffolk University Law School in Boston.
Leslie C. Rogall was appointed as an Administrative Law Judge for the DAB, Civil Remedies Division, in August 2015. Judge Rogall previously served as Administrative Law Judge with the Social Security Administration’s Office of Disability Adjudication and Review, and spent the majority of her tenure as the Hearing Office Chief Administrative Law Judge of the Washington, DC Hearing Office. She held the position of Deputy Assistant General Counsel with the Department of Veterans prior to her appointment as an Administrative Law Judge, and served for four years as a judge advocate in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps. Judge Rogall, a native of New Jersey, is a graduate of Rutgers College and the Rutgers School of Law - Newark.
Keith W. Sickendick has been an Administrative Law Judge since 1995. He accepted an appointment with the DAB in September 2001. He previously served with the Office of Hearings and Appeals, Social Security Administration, including a period as Hearing Office Chief Administrative Law Judge. Judge Sickendick was a trial attorney with the Commercial Litigation Branch, Civil Division, U.S. Department of Justice from 1989 to 1995. He served as a Judge Advocate on active duty in the United States Army from 1982 to 1989. He is a graduate of Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri and the University of Missouri School of Law.
Bill Thomas joined the DAB, Civil Remedies Division in July 2016. Judge Thomas previously worked as an ALJ with the Social Security Administration, Office of Disability Adjudication and Review. Before his appointment as an ALJ, Judge Thomas prosecuted government fraud and other federal crimes in Chicago, Illinois as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney. Prior to that, he worked for SSA's Office of General Counsel in Chicago with a focus on labor and employment law and federal district and appellate litigation. Judge Thomas received his J.D. and Masters of Laws in health law from Loyola University Chicago, and his B.S. in Biological Sciences from Wright State University.
Leslie A. Weyn joined the DAB, Civil Remedies Division in July 2016. Previously, Judge Weyn served as an ALJ with the Social Security Administration, Office of Disability Adjudication and Review, in the Huntington, WV and Baltimore, MD hearing offices. Prior to her appointment as an ALJ, Judge Weyn served the DAB in a variety of legal roles, including Attorney Advisor, Technical Attorney, Administrative Officer, and Acting Administrative Appeals Judge. She also served as an attorney advisor in the HHS Office of General Counsel. Before joining HHS, Judge Weyn was a health law associate in private practice, taught legal research and writing at the George Washington University Law School, and clerked for the Hon. John P. Wiese of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. Judge Weyn graduated from Smith College and the University of Virginia School of Law.
Administrative Appeals Judges
Gilde B. Breidenbach has been an Administrative Appeals Judge since January 2007. Prior to that, Judge Breidenbach was a senior attorney with the DAB and an attorney in private law practice. Judge Breidenbach is a 1990 graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law.
Stephen M. Godek joined the Medicare Appeals Council as an Administrative Appeals Judge in November 2015. He previously served as a Board Member since 2008. Prior to joining the DAB, Judge Godek served in HHS as a Senior Counsel in the Office of Counsel to the Inspector General, Administrative and Civil Remedies Branch and as a Senior Attorney in the Office of General Counsel, Public Health Division. He has also worked for the Department of Justice as a Special Assistant United States Attorney, U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida. Judge Godek received both his Bachelor's Degree and his J.D. from the University of Virginia.
Clausen J. Krzywicki has been an Administrative Appeals Judge of the Medicare Appeals Council since 1995. He was previously an Appeals Officer and attorney with the Office of Hearings and Appeals of the Social Security Administration. Judge Krzywicki is a graduate of the George Mason University School of Law.
Debbie K. Nobleman joined the Medicare Appeals Council as an Administrative Appeals Judge in October 2016. Beginning as an Attorney-Advisor in the Immediate Office, Judge Nobleman drafted decisions for the Medicare Operations Division (MOD) and quickly became involved in helping the Board Chair manage the appeals backlog. She later served as the Deputy Director of the Civil Remedies Division and then as the Special Assistant to the Chair. Most recently, she held the positon of MOD Director. Before joining the DAB, she was an associate at Sidley Austin, LLP. She also served as a Judicial Law Clerk for the District of Columbia Court of Appeals. Judge Nobleman received her J.D. from the Howard University School of Law and her B.A. in History from the University of California.
Stanley I. Osborne, Jr. has been an Administrative Appeals Judge since 2011. He has served as a Director and Deputy Director in the DAB’s Medicare Operations Division and a Deputy Director in the DAB’s Civil Remedies Division. Before joining the DAB, he was an Attorney-Advisor with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Judge Osborne also worked several years in private practice. He earned a Juris Doctor degree from Wake Forest University School of Law.
Deborah S. Samenow joined the Medicare Appeals Council as an Administrative Appeals Judge in June 2015. Judge Samenow has worked in the DAB’s Medicare Operations Division since 2007, holding positions as an Attorney-Advisor, Senior Attorney, Technical Attorney, Appeals Officer, and most recently as the Deputy Director. Before working at the DAB, Judge Samenow was a staff attorney at the University of Maryland, Baltimore: Center for Health and Homeland Security. She received her J.D. with a certificate in health law from the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law.