Deputy Ombudsman

  • Portland City Auditor
  • Portland, OR, USA
Full Time Customer Service Government

Job Description

City of Portland Ombudsman’s Office seeking applicants for a Deputy Ombudsman (Complaint Investigator I)

Opens: February 1, 2021

Closes: February 19, 2021

Salary range: $65,811 - $109,491 Annually

The Position

We are looking for someone who is compassionate, curious and fair-minded to serve as a Deputy Ombudsman in the City of Portland Ombudsman’s Office. The Ombudsman’s Office seeks to ensure that City government treats members of the public in a manner that is fair, equitable, and just.

This position reports directly to the City Ombudsman. The Deputy Ombudsman investigates the public’s complaints against City agencies and makes recommendations to safeguard people’s rights and promote higher standards of fairness, equity, and justice in the provision of City services.

The Ombudsman’s Office is part of the elected City Auditor’s Office to ensure its independence. The mission of the Auditor’s Office is to promote an open and accountable government.

Responsibilities of the Deputy Ombudsman include:

  1. Taking complaints;
  2. Conducting administrative investigations;
  3. Identifying and analyzing complex issues of fact and policy;
  4. Analyzing data;
  5. Resolving complaints using a variety of conflict resolution strategies;
  6. Exercising sound judgment and tact;
  7. Communicating orally and in writing to various audiences;
  8. Conducting community outreach;
  9. Working with diverse constituencies; and
  10. Developing considered and persuasive recommendations.

There is no college degree specific to the work – we are looking for an intellectually curious person who is committed to principles of justice, is comfortable scrutinizing government actions, has excellent analytical skills, and is adept at communication and conflict resolution. We are especially interested in a person who also has data analysis skills (statistical sampling techniques, quantitative and qualitative analysis).

We are committed to building a diverse and inclusive work environment for people of all backgrounds and ages. We recognize that there may be great candidates who don’t immediately have all the skills described below – apply anyway and tell us how your background and experience might fit this position.

To qualify:

Candidates must have any combination of the following or describe how they will achieve it within one year of hiring:

  • A Bachelor’s Degree
  • Three years of investigative experience

To apply:

Three documents are required for a complete application: 1) a cover letter, 2) a resume, and 3) a brief writing exercise. The content of each is described below.


Describe how you meet the following minimum qualifications, which are required to be successful in this position. If you are unsure if you meet a requirement, describe how you can develop your knowledge and abilities to meet it within one year. It is advised that you use the numbered list below to ensure you respond to each item. Where possible, connect items in your resume to these requirements. Do not skip any requirement. 

  1. Knowledge of theory, principles, practices, and techniques of administrative investigation.
  2. Ability to define complex issues, analyze problems, evaluate alternatives, and develop recommendations.
  3. Ability to conduct thorough, objective complaint investigations; reach sound impartial conclusions based on investigation results; maintain confidentiality regarding process and outcomes in accordance with all legal requirements.
  4. Ability to exercise initiative and sound independent judgment within established guidelines.
  5. Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with managers and staff, elected officials, representatives of other government agencies, and others.
  6. Ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing; present conclusions and recommendations clearly, logically, and persuasively to diverse audiences; prepare concise and comprehensive reports, correspondence, and other documents appropriate to the audience.

If you meet either of the preferred qualifications, please briefly describe how in your cover letter.

  • Ability to collect, evaluate, and interpret a broad range of data, either in electronic, written, statistical, or narrative form.
  • Background in public interest law, investigative journalism, or related field.


List professional and volunteer experience; education and training; and the time periods for each. If you speak more than one language or have specialized skills, please list those.


In addition to the cover letter and resume, please submit an essay describing 1) your experiences or participation with any of the following, and 2) what you learned from them:

  • exposure to racial inequities and actions you took to help resolve them;
  • steps taken to make workplaces and/or public spaces inclusive;
  • experiences as a member of a historically underrepresented group in government decision-making;
  • experiences living, working with, and/or interacting with individuals from diverse backgrounds and identities;
  • experiences ensuring equitable and inclusive workplace operations and/or program outcomes.

If your experiences are different from those listed and you have a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, please explain how you will manifest that commitment in this position.


Applicants must submit a cover letter, resume, and writing exercise statement through the City of Portland’s online application system. Emailed, mailed, or faxed applications will not be accepted.

Application materials will be reviewed to determine if candidates meet the qualifications listed above or have a plan to do so within one year. To successfully pass the initial screening process, you must ensure that your cover letter addresses each numbered point and includes examples that illustrate your experience and expertise. It is advised that applicants organize their cover letters using the numbered list to ensure each is addressed. Only candidates who meet the minimum qualifications will be eligible for an interview.

All completed applications for this position must be submitted no later than 11:59 p.m. on the closing date of this recruitment. Please do not attach materials not requested.

If you are requesting Veteran's Preference, attach a copy of your DD214 and/or Veteran's Administration letter stating your disability to your profile, as well as checking the box identifying yourself as a Veteran. You must request Veteran's Preference AND include a copy of your documentation for each recruitment you apply for. Veteran's Preference documentation must be submitted no later than 11:59 PM on the closing date of this recruitment.


Employee benefits: The City of Portland is committed to offering medical, dental, vision, basic life, and long-term disability coverage that provides quality care, support and value to eligible employees and their family members. Additional benefits such as flexible spending accounts, supplemental life insurance and employee assistance program coverage are available to ensure employees have the appropriate tools to safeguard themselves and their family. The City of Portland participates in PERS, the Oregon Public Employee Retirement System.  Find more information on the City of Portland's benefits here: Benefits Information | The City of Portland, Oregon.

Civil Service:  This position is in the Classified Service. It is subject to the Human Resources Administrative Rules for the Auditor’s Office, City Code, and City Charter.

Work status: Non-citizen applicants must be authorized to work in the United States at the time of application.

Veteran’s preference: If you are requesting Veteran's Preference, attach a copy of your DD214 and/or Veteran's Administration letter stating your disability to your profile, as well as checking the box identifying yourself as a Veteran. You must request Veteran's Preference AND include a copy of your documentation for each recruitment you apply for. Veteran's Preference documentation must be submitted no later than 11:59 PM on the closing date of this recruitment.

Equal employment opportunity:  It is the policy of the City of Portland that no person shall be discriminated against based on race, religion, color, sex, marital status, family status, national origin, age, mental or physical disability, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or source of income. The City values diversity and encourages everyone who is interested in employment with the City to apply.

Disability, Pregnancy, and Religious Accommodations: If you identify as a person with a disability, are pregnant or nursing, or observe a religious practice(s), and would like to request a reasonable accommodation when applying for this job, please make your request in your letter of interest or contact Administrative Specialist Andrew Bryans at

Technical assistance: If you have questions about how to apply or require any assistance in submitting your application, please contact Administrative Specialist Andrew Bryans at

For more information about the Auditor’s Office:

Education Requirements

Bachelor's Degree


$65,811 - $109,491