March 10, 2011

Researcher Calls for Ombuds to be Regular Part of Disaster Response

Later this month, a PhD candidate at the George Mason University's Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution will defend her dissertation examining the federal response to Hurricane Katrina in August 2005. Cindy Mazur argues that future emergency response activities would benefit from the inclusion of an Ombuds be in the management of large scale disasters.

Mazur's dissertation, "Seven Days in the Crescent City: Kartina's Handlers, Crisist Discourse, and Story Lines," uses narrative analysis, positioning theory and grounded theory, to examine communications among local, state and federal officials. Also included are congressional testimony, third-person accounts, memoirs, blogs, emails, personal notes, in person interviews, documentaries, newspaper, magazine, and journal articles, and other dissertations. Mazur proposes an Ombuds as the conceptual model to assist the key disaster officials onsite during the crisis phase. Mazur (who already holds an MDiv from Princeton, JD from Syracuse Law, and LLM from Georgetown Law) is the Director for Alternative Dispute Resolution at the Federal Emergency Management Agency. (ICAR Doctoral Defense, Biography; FEMA ADR Home.)

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