GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (GRPS) — Grand Rapids Public Schools is opening the Office of the Ombuds in the district to assist scholars, families, and staff with navigating the system, resolving issues, and getting results.

The launch of the office coincides with National Ombuds Day. The purpose of the role is to provide families with an impartial, independent, informal, and confidential navigator to assist in connecting our community with the resources necessary to address their needs.

Maleika Joubert Brown has been selected to serve as the district’s first Ombudsperson. Watch the video below to learn more about her and hear her vision for the new role.

“The creation of this office is a direct result of feedback we’ve received from our community about challenges they face when interacting with our district. Our goal is to ensure every family feels heard and cared for and that’s what this is all about,” GRPS Superintendent Leadriane Roby said. “Maleika Joubert Brown rose to the top in a competitive interview process because of her well-established commitment to improving our scholars' lives. From her many years in the classroom, to her service as the Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, she embodies the GRPS spirit and I know she’ll serve our community well as we launch the new Office of the Ombuds at GRPS,”

“The opportunity to be able to make an even bigger difference,” Mrs. Brown said when asked what excites her about the new role. “My entire career has been here in Grand Rapids Public Schools… Everything that I do, every project that I take on, I keep my scholars, my students in the back of my mind — just making sure that everything I do will empower them to be greater.”

The office of the Ombudsperson can be reached by calling 616.819.3006 or emailing Those contacting the office should reach out and request an appointment to maintain confidentiality. Details left in email or voicemail may be subject to release through the Freedom of Information Act.