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Office Staff

Thomas Griffin

Interim Campus Ombudsperson/Director of Ombuds Services

Ombudsperson, UCLA Health and Health Sciences

For the past 16 years Thomas Griffin has helped thousands of professionals and students discover meaning and fulfillment in the midst of their conflict at UCLA. After serving the general campus, he was named Ombudsperson for UCLA Health and Health Sciences, and now Interim Campus Ombudsperson and Director of Ombuds Services.

In the past he has held the role of Employee Relations Director at Warner Bros. Entertainment, mediated wetland usage amongst environmental advocacy groups, and advocated for housing justice at Los Angeles’ Inner City Law Center. He has provided training to individuals from around the world, including teenagers in the Pakistan Evolution - Igniting Potential movement, nurses at Kaiser Permanente, and Fulbright scholars from the Middle and Far East in collaboration with the U.S. Department of State.

After becoming first in the University of Colorado system to successfully quadruple major, Thomas earned Juris Doctor and Master of Dispute Resolution degrees from Pepperdine University and the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution. Thomas holds a certificate in Diversity and Inclusion from Cornell University and is a fellow of the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution.

Natalie Landau Gibson


Natalie Landau Gibson is an Ombudsperson for the General Campus at the University of California, Los Angeles. With a particular interest in cross-cultural and interpersonal experiences, she enjoys working with people in conflict to create positive outcomes, and appreciates working with members of the UCLA community.

Natalie has been part of the office for over 5 years, and provides Ombuds services including facilitations, workshops, and trainings, to the campus community as well as at conferences in the US and abroad. Prior to joining the Office of Ombuds Services at UCLA, Natalie worked as a Junior Associate Ombudsman in the Office of the Ombudsman at the United States Department of State in Washington, D.C.

Natalie holds a BA in Socio-Cultural Anthropology from Boston University, and an MA in Ethics, Peace, and Global Affairs, with concentrations in Human Rights, Social Justice, Conflict Transformation & Peacebuilding, from The American University School of International Service in Washington, D.C. Natalie is a California state-certified mediator and holds professional certificates in Conflict Management Coaching: The CINGERGY Model; and, Diversity and Inclusion from Cornell University. She is a member of the International Ombudsman Association (IOA).

Ariella Morrison


Ariella Morrison is an Ombudsperson for the General Campus with 10 years of experience supporting individuals, teams, and organizations through challenging situations. A graduate of the University of Michigan and Wayne State University Law School, Ariella also has training in mediation, conflict resolution, and coaching.

Before joining UCLA, Ariella worked as a Program Director at OneJustice, where she provided nonprofit management consulting, workshop facilitation, leadership development programming, and strategic planning support to legal aid professionals. In addition, Ariella has served as a Panel Mediator with the Riverside Superior Court and a Restorative Justice Mediator with Centinela Youth Services.

Ariella completed the International Ombuds Association’s Foundations of the Organizational Ombuds Course in 2022. She has trained with Rockwood Leadership Institute’s Art of Leadership program and Liberty Hill Foundation’s Commissions Program for Emerging Leaders. Her approach to working with visitors is collaborative, culturally sensitive, creative, and compassionate.

Brenda Woods-Patin

Intake Coordinator and Office Manager

Brenda is the initial point of contact in the Office of Ombuds Services. She has an extensive history on the UCLA campus. She was a student first earning her B. A. prior to becoming a career employee. Brenda has worked with students, staff, faculty and administration during her tenure at UCLA. Her graduate work focus was in counseling.* Brenda is a state-certified mediator. Other relevant training includes: Ombuds 101; Ombuds 101 Plus; Effective Mediation of Cross Cultural and Community Disputes; The Art of Win-Win Negotiations; Advanced Mediation Training: Mediation as a Career; Conflict Management Across Cultures: Strategies for a Culture Sensitive Ombudsman Practice; Coaching Strategies for Ombudsman; Challenges to Informality and Other Standards; Essential Questions and Interviewing Skills for Ombudsman. Certificate in Diversity and Inclusion from Cornell University.

Brenda was a member of University of College Ombuds Association (UCOA) before it merged with the Ombudsman Association (OA). That merger became the International Ombudsman Association (IOA). Brenda was elected and served on the Board of Directors of the International Ombudsman Association from 2006-2008. She remains an active member of the International Ombudsman Association.

“I want people to feel comfortable when they communicate with our office. It is important for me to know they feel welcomed and are in a professional environment. We work hard to assure people that we are a confidential office and that they understand our mission and role as an informal, and neutral resource.”

*The office of Ombuds Services does not provide legal or psychological counseling.

Disclaimer: Please Remember

By only telling a staff member of the Office of Ombuds Services about your situation, you have not formally notified any University official of your conflict, dispute or complaint. In order for the University to take action to remedy your conflict, dispute or complaint, you must share it with someone who represents the University. The staff members in the Office of Ombuds Services do not represent the University and therefore cannot receive formal complaints.

Meeting with an ombudsperson does not affect your ability to pursue formal complaints. An ombudsperson can help you find the appropriate person to speak to in order to request that the University take some action, if that is what you want. Important rights may be affected by the actual date when formal action is initiated and/or when UCLA is informed of allegedly wrongful behavior, and in some situations, you may wish to consult with an attorney regarding your rights.

The Office of Ombuds Services will resist being called to testify as a witness in any formal or legal proceedings to reveal confidential communications. The office also does not maintain any permanent records of individual matters.