Attorney General William Barr appointed Thomas M. Ayze to begin hearing cases in May 2019. Judge Ayze earned a Bachelor of Arts in 1984 from the University of Florida and a Juris Doctor in 1988 from the University of Florida Levin College of Law. He retired as a lieutenant colonel and judge advocate from the U.S. Air Force in 2010. From 2008 to 2019, he served as an assistant chief counsel, Office of the Chief Counsel, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in Miami, Florida. From 2007 to 2008, he served as a fraud, detection and national security immigration officer with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), DHS, in Miami, Florida. From 2003 to 2007, he served as an asylum officer with USCIS, DHS, in Miami, Florida. From 1988 to 2010, he was judge advocate in the U.S. Air Force in the following locations: Edwards Air Force Base (AFB), California; Clark Air Base (AB), Philippines; Tyndall AFB, Florida; H.Q. Air Reserve Personnel Center, Denver, Colorado; Elmendorf AFB, Alaska; Yokota AB, Japan; Hurlburt Field, Florida; Air Force Claims Service Center, Ohio; and Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, on active duty till 2002, and later as reservist from 2003 to 2010. Judge Ayze is a member of the Colorado Bar and Florida Bar.