Mr. Robert L. Woods

Assistant Secretary (Manpower and Reserve Affairs)

Mr. Robert L. Woods was appointed as the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary (Manpower and Reserve Affairs) on April 30, 2017.  As Principal Deputy ASN (M&RA) and first assistant to the ASN (M&RA), Mr. Woods serves as the Acting ASN (M&RA) during the vacancy in the ASN (M&RA) position unless the President designates a qualified civilian to serve as Acting ASN (M&RA) under the Vacancies Act or until someone is nominated to serve as the ASN (M&RA) by the President and confirmed by the Senate. 

Prior to this appointment, Mr. Woods served as Assistant General Counsel (Manpower and Reserve Affairs) from November 22, 2009. As AGC(M&RA), he was the legal advisor to the Secretariat for matters concerning military and civilian personnel policy, and he coordinates the efforts of Navy attorneys world-wide in administrative and federal court employment litigation.  He was appointed as a member of the Senior Executive Service and as Special Counsel Litigation on June 21, 2009. As Special Counsel, he was responsible for the most important litigation matters under the cognizance of the General Counsel. Prior to his appointment as Special Counsel, he served as the Department of the Navy’s Deputy Assistant General Counsel (Manpower and Reserve Affairs) from June 2007. Prior to this appointment, he served as Counsel for the Office of Civilian Human Resources (OCHR) from March 10, 2003. As OCHR Counsel he served as the principal legal advisor to the staff of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Civilian Human Resources), and the Director, OCHR. Prior to becoming OCHR Counsel, Mr. Woods served an Associate Counsel within the Office of the Assistant General Counsel (Manpower and Reserve Affairs), Department of the Navy. He has been employed by the Navy Office of General Counsel (OGC) since February 1999. Prior to his employment with the Navy, Mr. Woods was an Assistant Counsel handling labor and employment litigation with the General Services Administration and, prior to that, with the Department of Commerce.

Mr. Woods retired from the U.S. Air Force in February 1998, following more than 20 years of active duty. During his Air Force career, he was selected to attend law school under the Air Force Funded Legal Education Program. He graduated from Rutgers Law School in 1983 and was then admitted to practice law in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Following assignments as an Assistant Staff Judge Advocate and Staff Judge Advocate, Mr. Woods was selected to attend Georgetown Law Center under another Air Force scholarship program. There he earned his LL.M. in Labor and Employment Law in 1989. Following assignments as a labor and employment trial attorney at Air Force Headquarters and Staff Judge Advocate at RAF Alconbury, UK, Mr. Woods concluded his career as the Chief of the Air Force Central Labor Law Office. During his Air Force career, Mr. Woods was awarded the Air Force Commendation Medal and the Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters. He is also a graduate of the Air Force Squadron Officers' School, Air Command and Staff College, and Air War College. Mr. Woods earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from King's College in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, and his Master of Arts in Human Resources Management from Pepperdine University in Malibu, California.   

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