The U.S. Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) has appointed Rachel L. Simmons as Assistant General Counsel/Director of Hearings and Appeals. The appointment took effect in January 2012 when she succeeded Karl T. Blank, who became the agency's General Counsel.
In this position, Ms. Simmons will provide legal advice and analysis to RRB staff and be responsible for overseeing reviews of unfavorable claims determinations by hearings officers in the agency's Bureau of Hearings and Appeals. The bureau is responsible for handling appeals on a nationwide basis, making extensive use of telephone hearings and videoconferencing to issue decisions from the RRB's Chicago headquarters in a timely, efficient manner.
Prior to this appointment, Ms. Simmons had been serving as an Executive Assistant and Senior Attorney in the agency's Office of General Counsel since 2005. She also served as an Attorney Advisor and Counsel to the Chairman of the Board from 1998 to 2005, following 14 years as a General Attorney in the Bureau of Law. An RRB employee since 1984, Ms. Simmons received the Award for Excellence, the agency's highest honor for its employees, as the Outstanding Professional Employee in 1997.
Ms. Simmons graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago (B.A. 1978) and the DePaul University College of Law (J.D. 1981). She resides in Evergreen Park, Illinois, with her husband, David, and they are the parents of one daughter and one son.
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