Judge Thomas E. Bennett

Judge Thomas E. Bennett is an administrative law judge with the Social Security Administration, where he has heard over 12,000 cases of Americans seeking benefits. This places him as the most productive administrative law judge in the history of the Social Security Administration.

Judge Bennett’s career is one of exemplary service to his country. Shortly after graduation at then Oklahoma A&M he became a infantry officer in World War II, often leading behind-the-line rescue and recovery teams through enemy territory to rescue and bring home pilots shot down during critical air missions in the South Pacific. Wounded several times, he stayed for the duration of the war, much of it in the jungle environments of the Solomon, New Georgia and Philippine Islands. He served at the Pentagon during the Korean Conflict before returning to Oklahoma and a private law practice. During the Johnson administration he returned to federal service at Washington, D.C. and the Maritime Administration before accepting the position as the chief of hearing examiners at Social Security. There he redesigned the performance standards and redefined the requirements and expectations of examiners throughout the United States, changing the cultural environment within the hearing and appeals system to one of service. Over 30 years later the impact of his transformational leadership is clearly evident.

Judge Bennett earned a Bachelor of Science degree in history from Oklahoma State University and a Jurist Doctorate degree from Harvard University.