Region II

Regulatory Ombudsperson


Member, Regulatory Ombud Subcommittee


Policy and Practice Committee

Short Description

The Regulatory Ombuds provide regulatory liaison assistance to members and other advisers in their NAFSA region. Appointment to the position is made by the Vice President for Public Policy and Practice in consultation with the respective Regional Chair; in some regions, service as a Regulatory Ombud may also be concurrent with service on the Regional Team. The Reg Ombud refers the individual to the NAFSA Web site, the Adviser’s Manual, and/or the KC-ISSS representative(s) for basic inquiries about immigration knowledge or when repeated errors result in the need for case intervention

Major Functions and Responsibilities

Within the overall purview above, this position works in the following functional areas:

  1. Provide case intervention/regulatory problem solving and engage in practice advocacy.
  2. Provide case-based technical assistance to IE professionals and to government officials at the local/district/regional levels.
  3. Report trends and disseminate information to the Region regarding the interpretation of agency practices.
  4. Assist Regional Conference Planning by being the point person to invite representatives of local/district/regional government offices to present sessions at the Regional Conference.
  5. Contribute to NAFSA’s data collection efforts, primarily through IssueNet’s Get Liaison Help, the interactive online tool developed for regulatory problem solving and case assistance

Oversight of Task Forces

The chair of the subcommittee may recommend task forces by completing task force charges and submitting to the Vice President for Public Policy and Practice. If the task forces are approved, the chair of the subcommittee will appoint chairs for those task forces and have direct oversight of the task forces.

Relationships with Other Committees

A member of the Policy and Practice Committee will be assigned as liaison to the Regulatory Ombud Subcommittee and will coordinate with the chair of the subcommittee regarding planning meetings and events, and with members of the subcommittee regarding questions/problems identified by IssueNet’s “Report an Issue” and questions for liaison calls with agencies.

Regulatory Ombuds will collaborate with the KC-ISSS Regional Representatives in their regions

Relationships with the Staff

The Chair of the Subcommittee will consult and coordinate with Regulatory Practice staff. The staff liaison is the main contact between the subcommittee chair and other departments within the NAFSA office, and helps bring their resources and expertise to bear on specific projects. Chairs of Task Forces, those who volunteer to manage subcommittee responsibilities in NAFSA Commons, Regulatory Ombuds with Regional Conference responsibilities, those involved in training or development for IssueNet, etc. may also work with Regulatory Practice staff.

Volunteer Commitment

The term of appointment is one year with expected renewal for at least a second full year.

On average, 4-5 hours per week per month will be needed to complete the ongoing work. The heaviest periods of work will occur in:

  • March--Regulatory Ombud Subcommittee Training
  • April/May--preparing for and attending the leadership meetings right before the Annual Conference
  • Late summer-Fall—Preparing for Regional Conferences (depending on regional structure)

Travel, per diem, and lodging expenses are reimbursed for national meetings, where attendance is required, except for those surrounding the national conference. The travel to/from the national conference, along with any meals and lodging for meetings before/during the conference, is not covered. Lodging for large meetings (Regulatory Ombud Subcommittee Training for example) is provided in double rooms; members may pay the difference between a double and a single if they wish to room alone, assuming space is available.

Other operating expenses members incur in their offices/at home, such as photocopying, are not reimbursed. Large copying jobs should be referred to staff. Conference calls are set up by staff and covered by the association as necessary. A phone allowance is available for Regulatory Ombuds if their institutions prefer not to support office phone calls for NAFSA volunteer activities. A travel allowance is available to cover some expenses related to the Service Center meetings.

Required Qualifications

  • NAFSA member
  • Minimum two years DSO/ARO experience and demonstrated expertise with current US immigration policy & practice within an educational setting
  • Ability to communicate with colleagues and government officials in a collegial and diplomatic fashion
  • Institutional support for this volunteer commitment

Desired Qualifications

  • Availability to attend Regulatory Ombud training, national conference, and Service Center meetings as necessary
  • Experience working with SEVIS
  • Strong organizational skills