The son of Tom and Marilyn Reeder, W. Thomas Reeder Jr. was born in El Paso, Texas, and attended the University of Texas, earning B.A., B.S.Ed, and MBA degrees and finishing in 1987 with a J.D. from the university's law school.
He began his career in the private sector as an associate at Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer and Feld. In 1992, he moved over to Paul, Hastings, Janofsky and Walker, first as an associate and then as a partner beginning in 1997, working in benefits law.
He took those talents to the Department of the Treasury's Office of Tax Policy in February 2000. He started as an attorney advisor and progressed through associate benefits tax counsel, deputy benefits tax counsel, and eventually the office's benefits tax counsel.
Reeder moved to the Senate Finance Committee as senior benefits counsel for the Democratic staff in May 2009. He returned to the Treasury Department in March 2013 as Health Care Counsel for the Internal Revenue Service.
Reeder is married to Ruth Fenzi Reeder. His older brother, Joe, served as undersecretary of the Army during President Bill Clinton's first term.