The Office of the Corporate Ombudsman, a cornerstone of the deep commitment the Red Cross has to excellence in public service and high ethical standards, provides a confidential, neutral, independent, and informal place for people to voice their concerns with the Red Cross, its programs or policies or its ability to meet its mission. We are charged under the Modernization Act of 2007 to enhance dispute resolution at, and to identify trends and patterns confronting, the Red Cross.
The Red Cross is a large and complex organization, and it can sometimes feel overwhelming to find a way to make your voice heard. We encourage you to contact us if you are unsure where or how to start addressing a concern or if you are uncomfortable seeking assistance from other offices. We will help you clarify the issues, identify options and think strategically about how you can best raise and most constructively resolve the issues of concern to you.
Whether you are an employee or a volunteer, a partner who helps us to provide services, a blood donor or a blood recipient, or a recipient of any Red Cross service, our office is open to you. We will encourage openness, act as an early warning system and serve as a relief valve for the inevitable tensions and conflicts that arise when people are working diligently under demanding and complex circumstances to serve people in need.
As a neutral broker independent of management, the Ombudsman Office is uniquely situated to serve as a listening post for a broad range of internal and external stakeholders. The Ombudsman Office hears such concerns, sometimes through a series of discussions or meetings, and works closely with the individual to craft options for moving forward or resolving the matter.
The Ombudsman uses conflict resolution processes such as facilitation, conciliation, shuttle diplomacy, and mediation to help you resolve issues.
An Ombudsman's Role
An Ombudsman Does Not:
We Are Confidential
We Are Neutral
We Are Informal
We Are Independent
Our Relationship With You
The Ombudsman Office was created to be an alternate channel of communication that people can use on a purely voluntary basis. Should one choose to use our services, these are the principles under which we will operate: the Ombudsman Office will not disclose individually identifiable information or keep any permanent records of such information; we will not accept notice of claims against the American Red Cross, nor do we have authority to do so; we will not testify with regard to confidential communications or participate in any formal proceeding; communications with the Ombudsman and staff are confidential and privileged; and this privilege is held by the Ombudsman Office and cannot be waived by others.
These tenets protect confidentiality and ensure a safe, informal, independent and neutral place for discussing concerns.
We are committed to work with integrity and to adhere to our professional standards while handling concerns in a neutral, informal and confidential manner. The Ombudsman Office will not disclose or discuss any confidential matter without the knowledge and permission of the person who raised the concern, to the extent permitted by law. For more information, you can review the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice from the International Association of Ombudsman to which we adhere.
This includes not revealing:
We will preserve confidentiality except where we determine there is an “imminent risk of serious harm” or we are given permission to make a disclosure and we agree that it would be appropriate to do so.
It can be difficult sometimes to find the most appropriate place to raise or address a concern. The Ombudsman office can assist you to clarify issues, identify options and think strategically about how you can best raise and most constructively resolve matters of concern to you.
If you believe talking about your situation directly with an Ombudsman would help, please contact us confidentially at (202) 303-5399 or 1-866-667-9331 (toll-free), by fax at (202) 639-9825, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The links below provide access to established Red Cross mechanisms for resolving concerns commonly presented to our office. They may help support and/or expedite attainment of a solution to your concern.