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About the National Appeals Division

Steven C. Silverman
Director USDA National Appeals Division

Steven C Silverman Steven C. Silverman was appointed as Director of the National Appeals Division in September of 2014. As Director, Mr. Silverman supervises a national office staff located in Alexandria, Virginia, and three regional offices located in Indianapolis, Memphis, and Denver. Mr. Silverman also leads a nationwide
team of hearing officers located across the United States.

Mr. Silverman has spent his entire career in public service. Prior to being named Director of the National Appeals Division, Mr. Silverman served for two and a half years as the Deputy Assistant Attorney General at the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the United States Department of Justice. As Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Mr. Silverman supervised a wide range of environmental litigation and appeals as well as environmental policy and legislative matters. He played a key role in the Department of Justice’s handling of actions to combat climate change, uphold rules under the Clean Air Act, negotiate the Federal Government’s cleanup responsibilities at the Hanford Nuclear Site in Washington State, and respond to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Before serving as Deputy Assistant Attorney General at the Department of Justice, Mr. Silverman served as the Deputy General Counsel at the United States Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C. As Deputy General Counsel, Mr. Silverman supervised the operations of USDA’s Office of the General Counsel?including all field operations?and managed a diverse portfolio of cases involving nearly all of USDA’s programs. He also played a key role in helping the Forest Service promulgate a historic new planning rule to guide forest management activities on 193 million acres of National Forest System land.

Mr. Silverman also served as the Acting General Counsel of USDA from August 2009 to January 2010. As the Acting General Counsel, Mr. Silverman led efforts to resolve several high profile class action civil rights lawsuits that had challenged the Department for several decades. Prior to serving as the Acting General Counsel, Mr. Silverman served for six years as USDA’s Regional Attorney of the Mountain Region of the Office of the General Counsel. As Regional Attorney, Mr. Silverman supervised the personnel and work of four USDA law offices in Denver, Missoula, Albuquerque and Ogden.

Mr. Silverman began his legal career as an Honors Lawyer at the Environmental Enforcement Section of the U.S. Department of Justice in 1987. He served as a law clerk to Judge Pamela Ann Rymer in the United States District Court for the Central District of California after graduating with Distinction from Stanford Law School. Mr. Silverman earned his undergraduate degree from Princeton University, where he graduated summa cum laude with a major in public policy from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. Mr. Silverman is a native of Des Moines, Iowa.

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Jim Murray
Deputy Director USDA National Appeals Division

Jim Murray has been involved in the field of administrative hearings and appeals since 1979. He came to the National Appeals Division in July of 2011 from the Maryland Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH), a central panel hearing agency, where he was an administrative law judge. In that capacity, Mr. Murray conducted hearings in nearly every type of administrative case a state might be responsible for, including cases requiring the application of federal law. In addition to holding hearings and deciding appeals, he provided mediation services and gave lectures on the appeals process and other matters to agency and customer groups, practicing attorneys, and law students. He was on the faculty of the Maryland Institute for Continuing Professional Education for Lawyers, and was an adjunct faculty member of the Johns Hopkins University.

While at the OAH, ALJ Murray served as a line administrative law judge, a mentor, a team leader, Deputy Director of Operations, and Director of Operations. Mr. Murray was principle author of the OAH Rules of Procedure in 1993.

Immediately prior to his tenure with OAH, Mr. Murray was a hearing officer with the Maryland State Department of Personnel. He also served as a Hearing Officer and Chief Hearing Officer with the Maryland Division of Correction for approximately 11 years and authored the Maryland Division of Correction Hearing Officers' Manual.

Mr. Murray received his Bachelor's degree (Magna Cum Laude), Master of Public Administration degree, and Juris Doctor degree from the University of Baltimore.


Last Modified: 02/22/2012


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