Frequently Asked Questions

What is an Ombudsman?

An Ombudsman is an independent, neutral third party who helps Main Campus faculty with concerns, issues, or workplace complaints using confidential and informal means. To assist visitors develop strategies to address their concerns, the Ombuds can use a variety of methods from coaching to mediation and shuttle diplomacy if the visitor authorizes it. The ombuds typically works informally, outside lines of authority, to identify solutions and access information. The Ombuds Office is not an office of notice and does not keep personalized records.

Who can visit the Ombuds Office?

The Main Campus faculty ombuds office is open to all faculty whether tenure-line, full-time non-tenure line, adjunct, or visiting. The office is also open to AAPs, Post Doctoral fellows and researchers.

The Main Campus faculty ombuds serves all main campus departments and all Georgetown Schools except the Medical School and the Law School.

Who is the Ombuds and how can they be reached?

The Georgetown Faculty Ombuds, Professor Emeritus Catherine Langlois is a Certified Organizational Ombudsman Practitioner and member of the International Ombudsman Association (IOA). She upholds and applies the IOA Standards of Practice and conforms with the IOA Code of Ethics. The Main campus Faculty Ombuds can be reached by phone at 202-687-1638 or by email at or

The Ombuds will respond to calls or emails within 24 hours

What should the visitor expect when visiting the Ombuds?

First and foremost, the Visitor can expect to receive the Ombuds’ full attention to the concerns and issues brought to her attention. The Ombuds’ goal is to help the Visitor develop possible solutions to the problem at hand and to assist in identifying campus resources that could be helpful. The Ombuds can also serve as a mediator or go-between if the Visitor wishes it and authorizes it. The Visitor can bring supporting documents to the Ombuds office to clarify the facts of the case but these will either be returned to the Visitor or shredded after the meeting with the Ombuds.

How does the Ombuds maintain confidentiality and neutrality?

The Ombuds subscribes to a Code of Ethics from the International Ombuds Association (IOA). Impartiality and neutrality are key ethical principles of the IOA’s Code of Ethics. Conversations are confidential unless permission is given by a visitor to relay information and, as a matter of practice, information is destroyed after 40 days unless a process is ongoing. The Ombuds office is not an office of record. However, confidentiality cannot be promised if there is an imminent risk of serious harm or threats to public safety.