University of The Bahamas announces appointment of ombudsman

The University of The Bahamas has announced the appointment of Marisa Mason-Smith as the first ombudsman for the institution and in The Bahamas.

In this role, Mason-Smith will, through consulting, mediation and negotiation, provide impartial, neutral, and confidential third party assistance to students, faculty, staff and administrators seeking dispute resolution. Reporting to the Board of Trustees, Mason-Smith will formulate, manage and monitor the overall goals, programmes, budget and direction of the Office of Ombudsman while overseeing informal mediation services, developing and maintaining confidential notes and statistical data on complaints and concerns.

The Office of the Ombudsman reports to the Board of Trustees and acts as a liaison between individuals or groups and campus administration.

Mason-Smith has more than 25 years of experience in strategic leadership roles in the public and private sectors. Previously, she strategically created, developed and implemented human resource policies, procedures and standards for clients and organizations. She is a justice of the peace and has received numerous awards including Boss of the Year; The Executive HR of the Year and most recently the national meritorious award for HR Development and Mentorship.

Mason-Smith also served as chairperson of the National Women’s Advisory Council and has served on several boards and non-governmental organizations during her professional career. She has served as the first chairperson of CARILEC Human Resources and Training Board for the Caribbean region. She is past president and an active member of the Zonta Club of New Providence and throughout her career has championed and promoted the human resources profession throughout The Bahamas and the Caribbean. In 2018, she served as the assistant general manager of human resources and training at Bahamas Power and Light, later transitioning to become president and CEO of People First International (PFI). Prior to joining UB, she was a consultant for the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and worked on the Citizen and Security Justice Programme, executed through the Ministry of National Security, focusing on employability training.

She is an adjunct UB faculty member and holds a Master of Science degree in human resource development and productivity management from the University of Manchester, England and Manchester Business School; and a Bachelor of Science degree in business management with a concentration in human resources management from Florida Atlantic University. She holds numerous professional certifications in human resource management and development.

She is the proud mother of one daughter, attorney Krysta A. Mason-Smith, and is presently pursuing a Ph.D. in organizational development.

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