About the Office of the Director

Filing Documents with the Director’s Office During the
COVID-19 Pandemic

The OHA Office of the Director receives cases for the Director’s assignment to an Ad Hoc Board of Appeals.  Such cases’ procedures are set forth in 43 CFR part 4, subpart G, as well as in 43 CFR part 4, subparts A and B, and 344 DM 9.  Of note, filings are properly made via the U.S. Postal Service, commercial mail delivery services, and in-person courier services.  At this time, these procedures remain in place, except that commercial mail delivery services and in-person courier filings are strongly discouraged due to possible office access limitations.

Parties seeking to file a document are requested, but not required, to provide a courtesy notice via email (DIR@oha.doi.gov), such that Office of the Director staff can limit in-office staff time to the best extent possible.  A party needing means for an alternative filing due to the COVID-19-related challenges may contact the Office of the Director for permission to file via email.  Parties are also encouraged to seek email-filing consent from other parties to the case, where applicable.  Parties seeking to file via email should be mindful that some cases’ regulatory requirements preclude extending the deadline for filing a notice of appeal, and are responsible for making best attempts to meet applicable deadlines.  Documents filed by email should not exceed 20 MB per email.

This announcement also applies to any other cases properly filed in the Office of the Director, including but not limited to those for the Director’s assignment of a hearing official in a debt collection matter or a presiding official charged with issuing a recommended decision in an NIGC matter.

The Office of the Director will continue to assess the viability of these procedures, and may update this Guidance.

Inquiries to the Office of the Director During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Until further notice, please email all inquiries to DIR@oha.doi.gov. If you must leave a voicemail at the Office of the Director’s telephone number, please state your name, phone number, case identifying information such as case name and docket number, and your question.

The OHA Director's Office provides management direction and oversight for the organization as a whole, including supervision and coordination of the various functions assigned to OHA, strategic planning, and training and professional development. Through its administrative staff, the Director's Office also provides support to the organization in the areas of budgeting, personnel, and information services.

In addition, the Director, her staff, and Ad Hoc Boards of Appeals appointed by her decide various categories of appeals from bureau and office decisions that do not lie within the jurisdiction of an established appeals board. These include certain debt collection matters, waivers of overpayments to Departmental employees, property board of survey determinations, government quarters rental rate adjustments, Uniform Relocation Assistance Act payments, and acreage limitation determinations under the Reclamation Reform Act.

Contact Information

Office of the Director
Office of Hearings and Appeals
U.S. Department of the Interior
801 N. Quincy Street, Suite 300
Arlington, VA 22203

703-235-3810 (voice)
Business Hours: 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Key Personnel

  • Shayla Freeman Simmons, Director
  • Janet H. Lin, Deputy Director
  • Rachel R. Lukens, Counsel to the Director
  • Vacant, Attorney-Advisor
  • Vacant, Executive Assistant/Paralegal Specialist
  • Emilio Nadal, IT Program Manager
  • Tawanna J. Davis, Administrative Officer
  • Kristina Mago, Management Support Specialist
  • Vacant, Budget Analyst


Departmental Manual Chapter on Organization of OHA, 112 DM 13

Departmental Manual Chapter on Delegations of Authority to OHA, 212 DM 13

Departmental Manual Chapter on Waiver of Claims for Erroneous Payments, 344 DM 9

Procedural Regulations for Cases before the Office of the Director


Was this page helpful?