Chairman of the Board of Veterans’ Appeals
The Honorable Jaime Areizaga-Soto was nominated by President Joseph R. Biden Jr. to serve as the Chairman of the Board of Veterans’ Appeals on 15 April 2022 and was confirmed by the United States Senate on 4 August 2022. He leads a team of over 1,200 Board personnel, including more than 120 Veterans Law Judges, 900 attorneys, and 200 professional support staff. On behalf of the Secretary, the Board fully considers and resolves all final decisions on Veterans’ appeals for benefits and services from the Department of Veterans Affairs.
A citizen, soldier and Army judge advocate, Chairman Areizaga-Soto most recently served as the Principal Deputy General Counsel of the National Guard Bureau. In August 2021, he was promoted to the grade of Brigadier General making him the first Latino JAG general officer in the Armed Forces. He was mobilized from 2018 to 2021 as the Chief of the Army National Guard Trial Defense Service, a 218-soldier strong formation across each of the 54 National Guards.
In the civilian sector, the last two Governors of Virginia appointed him as the Deputy Secretary of Veterans and Defense Affairs, where he advised Governors McAuliffe and Northam on matters related to the 30 large DOD installations in Virginia and the Commonwealth's 730,000 Veterans and their military families. Previously, he was appointed by the Obama Administration as the Senior Attorney Advisor at USAID’s Office of the General Counsel. He also served as a White House Fellow assigned to the Treasury Department. Chairman Areizaga-Soto started his legal career in international law for twelve years with large U.S. law firms, including eight years in Brazil, focusing on cross-border infrastructure project finance.
Originally from Puerto Rico, Chairman Areizaga-Soto graduated from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. He holds a law degree (juris doctor) and Masters in Latin American Studies from Stanford University, a Masters in Security and Defense from the Inter-American Defense College, and a Mágister from the National Academy of Political and Strategic Studies (ANEPE) of Chile.