USC has launched a new Office of the Ombuds to provide independent, confidential and impartial support for the university community.

After a national search, Katherine Greenwood, JD, PhD, will be the university ombuds at the University Park Campus and Thomas Kosakowski, JD, will be the university ombuds at the Health Sciences Campus. Michael Quick, PhD, USC provost, and Varun Soni, JD, PhD, MTS, vice provost for campus wellness and crisis intervention, made the announcements Jan. 29.

“The USC Office of the Ombuds will provide a safe place on both campuses for faculty, students and staff to navigate policies, issues, concerns and conflicts without fear of reprisal or judgement,” Quick and Soni wrote in an email sent to faculty, staff and students. “In doing do, the office will promote and embody an ethical, empathetic and engaged university culture committed to problem-solving, dispute resolution and workplace wellness.”


USC Office of the Ombuds: experience in the field

Greenwood previously served as the director of the Office of the Ombuds at the University of California, Davis, overseeing ombuds offices at both the UC Davis campus and the UC Davis Health campus in Sacramento. Prior to that role, she served as an ombuds at the University of Colorado’s Anschutz Medical Campus in Denver. Before stepping into an ombuds role, Greenwood was an international maritime attorney working with firms in New York, San Francisco and London. She also served as an adjunct faculty member at Loyola University in Chicago. In addition to her ombuds duties, Greenwood conducts numerous trainings in conflict management, leadership development and communication strategies.

Kosakowski served as the ombudsperson for the UCLA health system over the last 12 years. He also established the Ombuds Office at Claremont Graduate University and served as the interim director of the Ombuds Office at the University of California, Riverside. Additionally, he started and manages The Ombuds Blog, a national resource for the ombuds profession. Before becoming an ombuds, he worked as an attorney and served as a court-appointed mediator of the Los Angeles Superior Court. Kosakowski has also served on the Board of Directors of the International Ombudsman Association and the Board of Trustees of Occidental College.


How to reach the USC Office of the Ombuds

Their offices are now open and operational. Greenwood’s University Park Campus office can be reached at (213) 821-9556 or; Kosakowski’s Health Sciences Campus office can be reached at (323) 442-0341 or

“On behalf of USC, we welcome both Kathie and Tom to our university community, and we thank them for their willingness to serve in these vital positions,” Quick and Soni wrote.