As Deputy Vice Chairman, Thomas M. Rodrigues serves as a member of Board’s top leadership team, responsible for overseeing the work of Veterans Law Judges, counsel, and other legal support personnel to identify, appropriately consider, and resolve appeals.
Prior to becoming Deputy Vice Chairman, Tom served as the Regional Director for the Office of Civil Rights, Department of Education, Boston, MA. In that role, he oversaw compliance enforcement of civil rights laws in all state education agencies, elementary and secondary school systems, colleges and universities across a six-state area. In 2019, Tom retired as a Colonel in the United States Air Force Judge Advocate General’s Corps after 23 years of active duty. While in the military, he served in multiple roles at Wing, Numbered Air Force, and Headquarters levels, including three assignments as installation Staff Judge Advocate (General Counsel). In addition, Tom served as the Air Force’s Chief Defense Counsel, responsible for the provision of full-spectrum zealous, ethical, and professional defense services for 330 thousand Air Force members. As the Chief Defense Counsel, he supervised 192 attorneys and paralegals at 69 operating locations world-wide defending 7 thousand adverse actions and 500+ felony courts-martial per year. Tom finished his service in the Air Force as the Executive Officer and Director of Staff for the 3-star Judge Advocate General, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Pentagon, Arlington VA. In this capacity, he served as the primary strategic and confidential counsel to the top-Air Force JAG leadership on all aspects of the 1400-member Air Force legal enterprise.