Message from the Chancellor: New University Ombuds

Chancellor Folt announces that Dawn Osborne-Adams has been selected as the new University ombuds and director of the University Ombuds Office.

Dawn Osborne-Adams (Jon Gardiner/UNC-Chapel Hill)

Dear Carolina Community,
I am pleased to announce that Dawn Osborne-Adams has been selected as the new University ombuds and director of the University Ombuds Office, effective today. We are pleased she is coming to our University to serve as our ombuds and lead this office that plays such an important role in our Carolina community.

It is critical to have an experienced leader with a wide range of experience in the ombuds position, and the span of Dawn’s career reflects this professional background. Her career combines experience across disciplines at Shell Oil Co., Binghamton University in New York and the federal judiciary. Most recently, she was a consultant ombuds for Shell in Houston, where she worked with employees to develop constructive approaches to resolving workplace disputes, navigating ethical dilemmas, managing workplace conflicts and improving communication skills.

Prior to that role, Dawn was university ombuds from 2010 to 2014 at Binghamton, where she served as the designated neutral and conflict management practitioner. She acted as the constructive problem-solving resource for students, faculty, staff, administrators, parents and the community. Her work also included developing training programs and overseeing the ombuds office operations.

Dawn’s broad experience includes training new and aspiring ombuds, serving as a faculty member for the International Ombudsman Association and service as diversity, equity and inclusion faculty at the Higher Education Resource Services Institute.
Before entering the ombuds field, Dawn directed the alternative dispute resolution program in Los Angeles for the U.S. District Court, Central District of California, the country’s largest federal trial court.

Dawn earned a bachelor of science degree in business administration from Georgetown University and a juris doctor from New York University School of Law. She also holds a certificate in dispute resolution from the Straus Institute at Pepperdine University School of Law.

She succeeds Wayne Blair, who took a position as ombuds for the Asian Development Bank in early 2018.

I thank Laurie Mesibov, who served as interim director of the University Ombuds Office, and Victoria Dowd, assistant University ombuds and program specialist, for their leadership and service to our community and taking on additional responsibilities as we conducted our national search.

I also thank Felicia A. Washington, vice chancellor for workforce strategy, equity and engagement, for her dedicated work as chair of the search committee, which also included Mary Holsenbeck Crosby, Roseanda Hall, Amy Locklear Hertel, Naquan Ramel Hill, Shayna Hill, Madelyn Sylvan Percy, Carol Otey, Vanessa Ragland, Vin Steponaitis and Meredith Tozzer.

Please join me in congratulating Dawn on her appointment and welcoming her to Carolina.

Carol L. Folt