About the SAA Annual Meeting Ombuds

For the 2021 Annual Meeting, the SAA has chosen two ombuds to serve as informal, independent, neutral, and confidential resources for meeting attendees. The ombuds can assist meeting attendees with determining options to address issues such as harassment, free speech, academic integrity, conflicts of interest, safety, diversity, or any other concern related to the SAA Annual Meeting. The ombuds will listen to understand issues from the perspective of individuals and provide support, coaching, strategies, options, and useful resources. All issues, including sexual harassment, can be discussed confidentially and independently of the Society. Appropriate administrative channels will be offered to individuals who desire to register formal complaints. 

In addition, the SAA ombuds may, with the permission of the individuals who come to them, make recommendations to the SAA President and Executive Director about specific actions that might enhance the safety and well-being of the individuals attending the Annual Meeting. The ombuds will be accessible during the Annual Meeting hours, starting at 8:00 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time until 6:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on Thursday April 15, Friday April 16, and Saturday April 17; in addition ombuds can be available as arranged with David and Elaine. The ombuds will be available by e-mail (saaombuds@gmail.com) and phone (805-330-1035). 

Please read our Ombuds FAQ. If you have a question that has not been answered, please don't hesitate to tell the ombuds at the gmail above so we can answer it for you.

We invite you to "meet" the Ombuds by watching this video and reading more about our ombuds below. 

SAA Ombuds Introduction

David, University of California, Santa Barbara 

David RaschDavid Rasch is an associate ombuds at the University of California, Santa Barbara. David received his BA in philosophy from Colgate University and a PhD in counseling psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies. He recently retired from Stanford University, where he served as university ombuds for 14 years. Prior to his work as an ombuds, he was director of Stanford’s Faculty/Staff Counseling Center. David served for six years on the board of directors for CO-OP®, which oversees the testing and certification process for the organizational ombuds profession. In addition to his ombuds work, David also consults and teaches on topics related to writing productivity and overcoming procrastination. He served as the conference ombuds at the 2017 and 2019 American Political Science Association Annual Meetings and at the 2020 APSA Teaching and Learning Conference. He lives in California.

Elaine, Retired Corporate Ombuds

Elaine ShawElaine Shaw works as a contract ombuds, mediator and coach after a long career with several large US corporations. She retired from Pfizer Inc where she spent time as a Global Ombuds and in a variety of specialist and generalist roles in HR. She holds a Masters Certificate in Conflict Resolution from Kansas State University, an MA in Labor Relations from University of Illinois, a BA in psychology from Illinois Wesleyan University and she studied law at Michigan State University College of Law. Elaine served on the Board of Directors for the International Ombudsman Association (IOA) as well as the Board of Directors for the Certified Organizational Ombudsman Practitioner® (CO-OP®) credentialing program. Elaine is currently serving as the Ombuds for the International Ombudsman Association and as a “Bravely Pro” (http://workbravely.com). She also volunteers as a Registered Yoga Teacher and lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan. 


  • May 03, 2021

    Submission System Opens

  • September 14, 2021

    Submission Deadline 3PM EDT

  • November 10, 2021

    Meeting Payment Confirmations Sent

  • November 15, 2021

    Membership Join Deadline for Nonmember Participants

  • December 01, 2021

    Withdrawal Deadline

  • December 06, 2021

    Participation Decision Letters from Program Committee

  • January 30, 2022

    Membership Renewal Deadline for Current Member Participants

  • March 01, 2022

    Advance Registration Closes

  • March 05, 2022

    Meeting Safety Policy Advance Reporting Form Deadline