Reese Ramos, former corporate ombudsman at Sandia National Laboratories in Livermore, California, has been named director of the newly created University Ombuds Office at Virginia Tech.

Ramos will start his new position on July 1.

“I am pleased to welcome Reese to the Virginia Tech community,” said Virginia Tech President Tim Sands. “He is an experienced, highly collaborative leader with a record of success building cross-institution relationships. I am confident Reese’s vision and energy will support our commitment to a culture of respect for all members of the university community as he leads the development of our new ombuds office.”

Reporting to the president, Ramos will build and lead the University Ombuds Office in keeping with the International Ombudsman Association’s principles of independence, neutrality and impartiality, confidentiality, and informality.

The office will serve faculty, staff, students, and others who may encounter difficulties in the scope of their interactions with the university; facilitate communication and the resolution of conflicts; advocate for fairness and a healthy campus climate; and assist all persons seeking support in reaching mutually acceptable resolutions that are consistent with the ideals and objectives of the university.

The creation of the Ombuds Office was the result of university-wide efforts led through governance by faculty and supported by staff, students, and the administration, including legal counsel, human resources, and the offices of the president and provost.

“I couldn’t be more excited to join the Virginia Tech community at such a dynamic moment in its history,” said Ramos. “One of the aspects that struck me from the beginning when interacting with members of the Virginia Tech community was their commitment to service. I look forward to helping community members in an independent environment and listen to their needs; offer information, resources, and assistance; and help people discover pathways to resolve their concerns.”

Ramos brings 23 years of experience in dispute resolution, including 17 years as an ombudsman. Throughout his career, he has developed expertise in multicultural and multi-ethnic environments, leadership, communication, conflict coaching, facilitation, mediation, conceptualizing, analyzing, and interpreting organizational policies and climate issues.

During his 11 years as corporate ombudsman at Sandia National Laboratories, Ramos provided coaching, conflict management, and dispute resolution services to managers, foreign nationals, staff, research scientists, post-docs, and technologists, and provided upward feedback to the president of the lab and its broader leadership team. He also launched new outreach efforts, including monthly workshops and periodic articles on communication skills and leadership to increase the understanding of the ombuds office and to encourage conflict management.

Prior to his time as Sandia National Laboratories, Ramos held the positions of ombudsperson, associated director, and interim director in the Office of Ombuds Services at the University of California, Los Angeles. He also served a mediator for Marin County Mediation Services in San Rafael, California; as a contracted ombudsperson for Earthjustice in San Francisco and for the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Services, also in California; and as an independent mediator and communications workshop facilitator.

Ramos received his bachelor’s degree from Pepperdine University and a juris doctor degree from the University of the Pacific’s McGeorge School of Law.

Outside of work, Ramos enjoys spending time with his wife and four daughters and is looking forward to the many outdoor activities Virginia has to offer.