As an advocate for fairness, the Ombuds Office shares information on institutional policies and provides guidance to our visitors in navigating conflicts and other issues. This is to support the visitor in developing a better understanding of the system at the university and learning alternative ways of identifying and communicating concerns related to conflicts.

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Ombuds History

The word “ombudsman” originated in Sweden during the 19th century. The original definition was a public official appointed by the Swedish king to review citizens’ complaints against governmental agencies and matters. The ombuds can best be described as “the person who has an ear to the people.”

As shared in the 9/20/2021 Hi5 (Gallaudet’s University Communication):

“The road to the establishment of the Office of Ombuds started in 2006 when students of color protested the University’s flawed process which eliminated Dr. Glenn B. Anderson, ’68 & H-’14, per paper screening without a chance for an interview. When Dr. Robert R. Davila, ’53 & H-’96, became the university’s ninth president in 2007, he saw an immediate need for an ombuds office.”

President Davila asked Edgar B. Palmer, ’77, to explore and collect information on establishing an ombuds office. Palmer was the first known deaf person to attend an International Ombuds Association conference. He also chaired the search committee which led to the hiring of Suzanne Singleton Rosen, E-’88, as Gallaudet’s first Ombuds. Rosen Singleton served until 2012, and was followed by Dr. Michael L. Moore, ’68, who served as Interim ombuds for one year while a national search was conducted. The position of ombuds was vacant for one year after Dr. Moore retired. In January 2015, Stone became the university’s third Ombuds.

Through many conversations, long waits, and two searches, the one-person Office of the Ombuds finally grew to three people in Fall 2021. According to Stone, it took 13 years of lobbying by three different Ombuds to make this possible for a more diverse office.

Story of the Ombuds Sign

More About Us

The Office of the Ombuds consists of highly trained practitioners with various content knowledge areas such as restorative practices, facilitative mediation, appreciative inquiry, culturally competent conflict resolution models and approaches, and more. We seek frequent training to keep up with the tools to help our visitors to navigate issues better.

To maintain and preserve our work, skills, a superior level of professionalism, and initiative, we also adhere to our field’s professional organization, the International Ombuds Association’s Standards of Practice.

Seeking Facilitators

The Ombuds Office is always looking for experienced facilitators from the University community and outside to help our facilitation work. The facilitators are screened based on the visitors’ preferences and needs. If you are interested in becoming one of our facilitators, please contact us.

Annual Ombuds Day

In collaboration with the International Ombuds Association (IOA), Ombuds all over the world hosts an annual event to celebrate “Ombuds Day” which falls on the third Thursday of October each year. This day helps us to educate and raise awareness among the public about the history and practices of the ombuds profession including the various ombuds models, the roles they play, the services they offer, and the value provided.

Previous Annual Ombuds Day @ Gallaudet activities:

  • 2008 – the Americans with Disabilities Act compliance specialist with the District of Columbia Office of Disability Rights was invited to speak about turning conflicts into opportunities.
  • 2009 – five students were invited to participate in a panel to discuss personal and professional experiences with critical conflicts and effective resolution strategies. See the event flyer for more information. Click on the link to see a photo of the event.
  • 2010 – the students of GSR 241 .05 “Conflict and Peacemaking: International Perspectives” provided exhibits, presentations, and a panel discussion. The Ombuds sponsored refreshments for this event.
  • 2011 – five students participated in a panel to address bullying and academic and personal incivility. See for the event flyer for more information.
  • 2012 – the Office of the Ombuds co-hosted with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion a student-led campus discussion on “safe spaces.” See the event flyer for more information.
  • 2021 – the Office of the Ombuds hosted a “Coffee Chat with the Office of the Ombuds” at Ely 113.
  • 2022 – the Office of the Ombuds collaborated with the University Library with vegan donuts and conflict-management and resolution books. 
  • 2023 – 15th anniversary of the Office of the Ombuds

Contact Us


Ely Center 113

(202) 559-5079

(202) 448-7175

9:00 am-5:00 pm
9:00 am-5:00 pm
9:00 am-5:00 pm
9:00 am-5:00 pm
9:00 am-5:00 pm

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