The National Transportation Safety Board recently announced the appointment of Judge Stephen Woody as chief administrative law judge for the agency. Judge Woody, who has been with the NTSB for over a decade, has served in an acting capacity since Alfonso Montaño retired as chief judge in December.

Chief Judge Woody first joined the NTSB in August 2012 as an administrative law judge, where he decided cases in the Office of Administrative Law Judges Circuit I, which includes the northeastern United States and parts of the Midwest.

“In addition to holding airmen, mechanics, and mariners to the highest possible standards, our administrative law judges ensure those standards are fairly and justly applied — both of which contribute to transportation safety,” NTSB Chair Jennifer Homendy said in a statement announcing the appointment. “I’m so pleased that Chief Judge Woody will continue his tenure at the NTSB Office of Administrative Law Judges, where he and his colleagues will continue to protect safety in our skies and on our seas.”

Before arriving at the NTSB, Chief Judge Woody served as an administrative law judge with the Social Security Administration. He is a retired U.S. Air Force colonel, where he served more than 22 years as a judge advocate in a variety of positions, including as a military judge. 

Woody is a graduate of West Virginia University and the West Virginia University College of Law.

The NTSB serves as the “court of appeals” for any airman, mechanic or mariner whenever certificate action is taken by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) or the Coast Guard commandant, or when civil penalties are assessed by the FAA.