ECAB BOARD MEMBERS
Christopher James Godfrey, Chief Judge and Chairman
Christopher James Godfrey was appointed as one of the three permanent Members of the Employees’ Compensation Appeals Board by Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez on August 25, 2014, and was also named as the Chief Judge and Chairman. Prior to his appointment he was the Iowa Workers’ Compensation Commissioner having been appointed by Governor Thomas Vilsack in January 2006 and reappointed by Governor Chester Culver in January 2009, twice confirmed by the Iowa Senate. As Commissioner for the state of Iowa, he was administrative head and the sole appellate administrative law judge for the state’s workers’ compensation system.
His first legal employment was as a litigation counsel for IBP, inc., where he defended contested Iowa workers’ compensation cases on behalf of the self-insured corporation. Later, he was an associate attorney at Pingel & Templer, P.C., where he litigated contested Iowa workers’ compensation cases and employment law cases primarily on behalf of employers. He later worked for Max Schott & Associates, P.C., where he litigated contested Iowa workers’ compensation cases and employment law cases on behalf of employees.
Judge Godfrey holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Drake University College of Arts and Sciences and a Juris Doctor degree with Honors from Drake University School of Law. He is a member of the Iowa Bar. He is a native of Sioux City, Iowa.
Patricia Howard Fitzgerald, Deputy Chief Judge and Vice Chair
Patricia Howard Fitzgerald was appointed as one of the three permanent Members of the Employees’ Compensation Appeals Board by Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis on July 2, 2012. Prior to her appointment she was a staff attorney for the American Postal Workers Union where, since 2004, she advised the Director of Industrial Relations on matters concerning the negotiation and enforcement of the APWU/USPS national collective bargaining agreement. She also handled matters pertaining to the National Labor Relations Act, Family and Medical Leave Act, Privacy Act, and USERRA.
Earlier in her career, she was an associate attorney at Zwerdling, Paul, Kahn & Wolly, P.C., where she litigated cases on behalf of employees, labor organizations, and professional associations in various labor and employment law matters. She was also awarded a law fellowship at the Service Employees International Union where she assisted with litigation, legislative initiatives, and union organizing campaigns.
Judge Fitzgerald holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University and a Juris Doctor degree from The Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law. She is a member of the Maryland and District of Columbia Bars.
Janice Askin, Judge
Janice Askin was appointed as a permanent Member of the Employees’ Compensation Appeals Board by Secretary of Labor R. Alexander Acosta on May 13, 2019. Prior to her appointment she worked in various positions at the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation, including Mediator, Lobbyist, Settlement Division Director, Appellate Division Director, and Alternative Dispute Resolution Division Director. She served as an Administrative Law Judge from 2007-2019. She also served in clerkships with the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, and she worked for an insurance company handling workers’ compensation cases.
Judge Askin received a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration-Management, graduating Magna Cum Laude, from Southern Connecticut State University in 1990 and she received her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Connecticut School of Law in 1993.
Judge Askin retired from the United States Army after 20 years of military service, which included a deployment to Kuwait in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and a direct commission to the Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Corps.
Alec J. Koromilas, Alternate Judge
Judge Koromilas was appointed as one of three permanent Members of the Employees' Compensation Appeals Board in January 2002. In January 2003 he was elevated to Chairman and Chief Judge where he served in that capacity until 2011.
Prior to his appointment, Judge Koromilas was a practicing attorney and partner in Koromilas & Koromilas, Attorneys at Law, in Dover, New Hampshire. Mr. Koromilas is a member of both New Hampshire and Maine State Bars.
Elected to the New Hampshire House of Representatives from 1986 to 1988, he served on the House Judiciary Committee. From 1993 to 1998, Judge Koromilas was appointed to chair the New Hampshire Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board, a three-member quasi-judicial panel, to preside over and adjudicate all statewide workers' compensation claims at the intermediate appellate level.
Judge Koromilas received his Juris Doctorate from Franklin Pierce Law School in 1991 and his Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Boston University in 1986.
Valerie D. Evans-Harrell, Alternate Judge
Ms. Evans-Harrell was appointed to serve on the Board on October 2, 2015. She joined the Board as an Attorney-Advisor in April 1980 and has held the position of Supervisory Attorney since August 1990. She previously served as an Alternate Judge with the Board from July 2000-March 2001. She also spent five years as an Associate Counsel at a Washington, DC firm, Anderson & O’Bryant, PC, practicing in the field of personal injury.
Ms. Evans-Harrell received her Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Hunter College of the City University of New York in 1977 and her Juris Doctor degree from The George Washington University Law School in 1980. She is a member of the Pennsylvania and District of Columbia Bars, and is also admitted to practice before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and the United States Supreme Court.