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Published February 17, 2023
The first office of its kind at the University of Wyoming -- the Office of the Ombuds -- is being led and developed by Nellie Haddad, who recently started her new position.
As an independent entity, the Office of the Ombuds provides a first-resort resource for problem-solving and exploring options. Haddad will assist staff, as well as undergraduate, graduate and professional students.
The ombuds initiative was developed in partnership with Academic Affairs, Student Affairs and the Associated Students of UW.
“This office is a great resource for students and staff that will assist in conflict resolution,” UW Provost and Executive Vice President Kevin Carman says. “We are thrilled Dr. Haddad has joined the UW community.”
The Office of the Ombuds provides informal, confidential, impartial and independent assistance to both UW staff and students who are experiencing conflicts; navigating policies or procedures; need an impartial person to work through ideas; want help strategizing for a difficult conversation; need facilitation or mediation; or just need to know what options are available.
“I consider it an honor to be part of an effort that seeks to increase effective communication, improve relationships and create bridges in the service of community,” Haddad says.
Kim Chestnut, UW vice president for student affairs, says Haddad will be “an incredible resource” for campus -- particularly for students and staff who want more information in an informal and unbiased setting.
“Both students and staff, at times, can feel overwhelmed and uncertain about how to move forward with their concerns,” Chestnut says. “While there are wonderful resources across campus, it can be reassuring to have a comprehensive option, where both our students and staff can learn more, without it being tied to any reporting, conduct or health record destination.”
Haddad attended the University of California-Berkeley, where she earned a bachelor’s degree and a Ph.D. in English literature. She was a visiting assistant professor of Shakespeare at the University of Montana, where she taught for four years. She later returned to UC-Berkeley, where she accepted the first of several administrative positions before pursuing a master’s degree in international relations from the University of South Carolina and another master’s degree in conflict resolution and mediation from Champlain College in Vermont.
Her interests included democracy, human rights and international conflict. During her studies, she interned for the U.S. Department of State at the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, and the Middle East Human Rights Desk.
Her broad mediation and conflict resolution experience includes real estate and probate disputes, roommate and neighbor disputes, and staff and faculty conflicts. She is a member of the International Ombuds Association and continues to play an active part in that organization, seeking training and community-building opportunities.