Ayanna Epps is a Program Analyst with the Ombudsman Division, which is part of the Office of Civil Rights and Liberties, Ombudsman and Traveler Engagement (OCRL-OTE). As an Ombudsman, Epps is literally a “one-stop shop” for a wide range of employee matters. With a team of four colleagues, Epps is often the first contacted by employees who need assistance.
Epps and the Ombudsman team provide many services, including problem resolution, providing referral information, explaining policies and procedures, coaching individuals on how to constructively deal with challenges, facilitating dialogue and mediating disputes. The Ombudsman Division’s problem-resolution services are confidential, independent, impartial and informal.
“What I do matters because I help employees find solutions to their problems. By helping employees find resolution to issues or challenges that arise in their professional lives, our goal is that they, in turn, maintain focus on TSA’s important security mission. The Office of the Ombudsman serves as the ‘pulse’ for the TSA community in many ways. Supporting as many employees as we do provides our office with a unique insight into larger issue trends and themes across the agency that we can then communicate to senior leadership.
The most rewarding part of my job is my ability to be a part of the solution. I am an advocate for fair processes, procedures and programs. When an employee calls me for assistance, I really enjoy helping them navigate the entire spectrum of resolution options. From the moment I answer that call and conduct an intake, to identifying the appropriate assistance to help navigate their issue, I enjoy being a part of the process to help employees find solutions that work best for them.
The most challenging part of my work is to ensure a fair process with the best outcome. Another challenge is knowing that I can’t guarantee a resolution to an employee’s issue. I want each employee to find value in their Ombudsman experience and gain knowledge about TSA’s resolution options. My colleagues and I work hard to help everyone who requests assistance and will do everything we can to help employees.”
From the Office of Strategic Communications/Public Affairs