Kimberly Jackson Davidson

  • Ombudsperson


  • MA, African languages and literature, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • BA, English, Spelman College


Kimberly Jackson Davidson has served as the second ombudsperson (ombuds) for Oberlin College since July 1, 2016. Though new to the field, Davidson is not new to Oberlin. She has served in several capacities at Oberlin over the past 18 years: lecturer in African American studies and rhetoric and composition, 1999-2001; assistant dean of students and class dean, 2001-2004; associate dean of students/class dean/judicial coordinator, 2004-2016.

During her first 16 years at Oberlin, Davidson served the campus community in a variety of ways beyond the responsibilities associated with her formal title. In August 2001, Davidson participated in 50 hours of Social Justice Mediation training to serve as a volunteer mediator via the Oberlin College Dialogue Center (OCDC). The center was renamed for the first ombudsperson, the Yeworkwha Belachew Center for Dialogue (YBCD). As a volunteer mediator, Davidson co-mediated situations involving coworkers, supervisors and supervisees, roommates, rifts among student organization leaders, and employees in community nonprofits.

In her role as associate dean, Davidson gained an understanding of the interworkings of the institution from a variety of perspectives: hiring, union negotiations, policy writing and enforcement, ADA complaint investigation and adjudication, academic advising, and threat assessment. All of this exposure helps to ground Davidson as an ombuds as she provides an impartial ear and confidentiality to visitors seeking informal assistance with conflict and challenges related to their work and studies at Oberlin College.

During her first 13 months in office, Davidson has worked to revive the office and the Center for Dialogue after two years of relative dormancy. 

Davidson has completed International Ombudsman Association’s (IOA’s) Foundations Course, and continues to pursue training and certification in such areas as conflict coaching, Non Violent Communication, and dialogue facilitation.

Davidson volunteers with IOA and continues to participate in IOA trainings and events to strengthen her capacity as an ombuds.

Fall 2021

Conflict. Can We Transform It? — FYSP 160
Frameworks and Practices for Transforming Conflict — LEAD 205
Individual Study — LEAD 900
Individual Study — LEAD 900B
Individual Study — LEAD 901

Spring 2022

Individual Study — LEAD 900
Individual Study — LEAD 900B
Individual Study — LEAD 901


Kimberly Jackson Davidson Serves on National Higher Education Committee

March 29, 2018

Ombudsperson Kimberly Jackson Davidson is serving on the Higher Education Committee of 50, also called “Forward50.” This national committee is comprised of forward-thinking higher education leaders who are tasked with producing practical policy solutions and recommendations for members of Congress.