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About the Judges


Chief Administrative Law Judge Channing D. Strother joined OALJ in August 2016. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue appointed him Chief Judge on October 17, 2018. He conducts rulemaking and adjudicatory hearings throughout the country in proceedings subject to the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), 5 U.S.C. §§ 551 et seq., under approximately fifty statutes administered by USDA agencies that require APA hearings.

Prior to joining USDA, Chief Judge Strother served as an administrative law judge in the Office of Dispute Adjudication and Review (ODAR) of the Social Security Administration (SSA), first in the Johnstown, Pennsylvania Hearing Office and then in the Philadelphia East Hearing Office.

Prior to becoming a judge at ODAR, Chief Judge Strother had decades of sophisticated federal and state administrative law and litigation practice as a partner in Washington, DC law firms prominent in their specialty areas. He was also active in relevant bar leadership, writing, and education. 

Chief Judge Strother obtained both his BA and JD from the University of Virginia. He is a member of the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia Bars, and has been admitted to practice before numerous federal courts including the United States Supreme Court.


Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Jill S. Clifton joined OALJ on February 26, 2001. She became an ALJ in 1990, serving 6 years with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Departmental Appeals Board, and before that, 5 years with the Social Security Administration's Office of Hearings and Appeals. Her experience also includes private law practice in western Colorado, serving 9 years as a U.S. Magistrate Judge, primarily in Grand Junction and in Denver, and 4 years as a prosecutor. Judge Clifton received her BA from the University of Florida and JD from the University of Denver College of Law.



Judge Tierney M. Carlos

Judge Carlos joined the USDA Office of Administrative Law Judges, as an Administrative Law Judge, on March 1, 2020.

Prior to joining USDA, he was an Administrative Law Judge for the Social Security Administration, Office of Disability Adjudication and Review from 2015 to 2020.

Judge Carlos was in the United States Navy from 1993 through 2015, where he held a number of legal positions, including his final position as Director Appellate Defense, stationed in Washington, DC, supervising more than twenty Navy and Marine Corps appellate defense counsel.

Before that he was a Circuit Military Judge in Naples, Italy, managing a docket for the Europe, Africa, and Southwest Asia region and was also a Military Judge stationed in Norfolk, VA. Prior to becoming a Military Judge he held various positions in the Navy Judge Advocate General Corps, including a year tour in Iraq as Deputy Staff Judge Advocate for Multinational Forces- Iraq.

He began his legal career as Assistant District Attorney in Bronx, New York, serving in the Appeals Bureau, Grand Jury Bureau, and the Narcotics Bureau.

He is a graduate of SUNY Maritime College and Fordham Law School.