Erin Brandenburg has been appointed as an attorney-advisor to the Management Member of the U.S. Railroad Retirement Board (RRB), Thomas R. Jayne. In this role, she will advise and counsel on a variety of financial, management, and legal issues affecting the RRB’s benefits and programs.
Prior to her appointment, Ms. Brandenburg was Deputy Circuit Executive for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. In that role, she supported the operational and administrative functions of the office, including supervising human resources, workplace relations, space and facilities, security, budget, and information technology for the court of appeals. She also advised the chief circuit judge, clerk of court, and circuit executive regarding policy matters and revised several policies and practices within the circuit.
From 2014 to 2020, she served as a federal administrative judge for the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB), where she presided over and decided appeals filed by federal employees, conducted hearings and settlement conferences, presented at employment law conferences, and assisted with the agency’s shift to electronic case management. Prior to the MSPB, she served for 11 years as a law clerk to four federal judges within the Seventh Circuit.
Outside of her federal service, Ms. Brandenburg was Senior Associate General Counsel for DePaul University, serving as the primary attorney for DePaul athletics and advising the university on student conduct, health and welfare, Title IX, academic integrity, disability issues, facility operations, and residential education and housing. She began her legal career as an associate attorney at Winston and Strawn in Chicago, Illinois, and has also taught legal writing and appellate advocacy at Notre Dame Law School.
Ms. Brandenburg calls Othello, Washington home, but has lived in Chicago for many years with her partner, Patrick Muench, and three children, ages 19, 16, and 7. She received her Bachelor of Arts in English and Philosophy from Seattle University (1997), where she played varsity basketball, and her Juris Doctor from Notre Dame Law School (2000).
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An independent federal agency headquartered in Chicago, the RRB pays about $13.5 billion a year in benefits under the federal Railroad Retirement and Railroad Unemployment Insurance Acts covering the nation’s railroad workers and their families.