Office of the Ombudsman

Confidential - Neutral - Independent - Informal


Ombudsmen are available to work individually with members of the NIH community.  We use a variety of tools to help visitors think through their situations, explore possible options for moving forward, and make thoughful, productive decisions.


We help people manage difficult situations and provide input in the development of policies and procedures in anticipation of possible problems and workplace disputes. We provide assistance in creative problem solving by offering guidance on improving communication, identifying and analyzing underlying issues, and improving interpersonal relationships.


We assist individuals with clarifying their goals in a particular dispute or situation and learning new skills and strategies for healthier conflict resolution and interpersonal communication in the future. Our staff can provide neutral, objective insight into the dynamics of a dispute. We encourage individuals to consider the perspectives of others involved in or affected by a situation to help them gain a broader view of the problem to be solved or how best to achieve their goals in a given situation. We often serve as a sounding board for applying new communication and conflict skills and strategies, and we help people develop options and make better-informed choices for conflict resolution.

Policy Clarification and Referrals

When visitors have questions regarding important policies and/or internal procedures ombudsmen are able to answer questions, where appropriate, and refer individuals to other professionals with subject-matter expertise.