APA Ombudsperson Concerning Nondiscrimination and Sexual Harassment

APA Ombudsperson Concerning Nondiscrimination and Sexual Harassment

The APA's current ombudsperson concerning discrimination and sexual harassment is Laurie Shrage, who can be reached at ombuds@apaonline.org.

Description of the Role of the Ombudsperson for Nondiscrimination

  • The Ombudsperson for Nondiscrimination is an ex officio member of the committee for the Defense of the Professional Rights of Philosophers (“CDPRP”), the Committee on Inclusiveness in the Profession, and the Academic Career Opportunities and Placement committee.
  • The Ombudsperson for Nondiscrimination shall receive complaints of discrimination and, where possible, serve as a resource to members regarding such complaints. The Ombudsperson shall serve as a resource by, among other things, (i) educating the complainant on the APA’s Statement on Nondiscrimination; (ii) advising the complainant of publicly available anti-discrimination resources; and (iii) assisting the complainant in gathering the employer’s (or prospective employer’s) relevant policies and procedures.
  • The Ombudsperson shall communicate and coordinate with the CDPRP where appropriate, particularly if there is a prima facie violation of a professional right.
  • The Ombudsperson for Nondiscrimination, in consultation with the relevant diversity committee, may deem a complaint not to merit further pursuit by the APA.
  • The Ombudsperson shall make clear to any complainants that the Ombudsperson is NOT providing legal advice and that the availability of an APA Ombudsperson is not intended to substitute for a complainant’s either making use of internal institutional mechanisms for addressing complaints of discrimination or for consulting expert legal advice. Moreover, it is not the role of the APA Ombudsperson to assist individuals through their institution’s internal mechanism for pursuing a complaint of discrimination.
  • The Ombudsperson is responsible for informing/educating APA membership about the APA’s Policy on Nondiscrimination. (The APA Nondiscrimination Statement is appended below.)
  • The Ombudsperson for Nondiscrimination is expected to apprise relevant diversity committees of instances of discrimination and, where appropriate, to consult with the committee (or committees).
  • The Ombudsperson for Nondiscrimination should, if necessary, be able to consult with a complainant rapidly, within a 24 hour period.
  • The Ombudsperson supplies an annual report to the Executive Director of the number and nature of the complaints of discrimination and, where known, how those complaints were resolved by the parties involved.
  • A link to the description of the role of the Ombudsperson for Nondiscrimination as well as his/her contact information will appear on the APA website sidebar under “Governance.” Contact information for the Ombudsperson for Nondiscrimination will appear on the “Contact Us” webpage.
  • The Ombudsperson for Nondiscrimination will be appointed by the Executive Director, on the recommendation of the committee on Inclusiveness in the Profession, for a term of three years.
  • The Placement Ombudsperson¹ has primary responsibility for addressing onsite problems arising during convention interviewing, including complaints of discrimination. The Placement Ombudsperson is to apprise the Ombudsperson for Nondiscrimination of all on-site discrimination complaints.


¹The Academic Career Opportunities and Placement Committee provides a Placement Ombudsperson for each APA meeting. The on-site Placement Ombudsperson is either the Committee Chair, or, if s/he is not attending the APA meeting, another committee member. The name and contact information of the Placement Ombudsperson is posted in the placement center at each convention and handles only complaints that arise during the specific APA meeting.