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Education Ombudsman

Our Team

Ombudsman for Public Education

Kimberly R. Humphrey, Esq. is an attorney who has fought to advance civil and human rights for marginalized communities at the federal and state levels for nearly two decades. She has championed change on a range of social justice issues including juvenile and criminal system reform, educational access, women’s pay equity, and disability rights. She most recently served as the Legal Director of Federal Courts at the Alliance for Justice (AFJ), where she was notably a lead partner in the historic campaign to confirm the first Black woman to the Supreme Court, Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson. As director she managed policy research, was the Congressional and White House liaison for court oversight and diverse judicial appointments and oversaw public education campaigns. Prior to joining AFJ, Kimberly served as a legislative liaison and senior analyst in the Policy and Compliance Division of Baltimore City's Department of Human Resources and as Legislative Counsel at the ACLU of Maryland, where she led educational equity policy at the county, state, and federal levels, among other issues. Kimberly served on the Maryland Commission for the School-to-Prison Pipeline and Restorative Practices, successfully advocated for a distinct racial equity review of Maryland's education funding formula and was a founder of the Maryland Alliance for Race Equity in Education (MAREE). She is committed to community-led change and elevating the voices of disenfranchised communities. She champions workplace fairness and advocates for business leaders of all backgrounds to expand economic opportunity for communities of color. Kimberly is a proud graduate of Spelman College, and she earned her JD and Certificate in Law and Public Policy from the Catholic University, Columbus School of Law.

Assistant Ombudsman for Special Education

Jenifer Sousa-Dodds was hired as the Assistant Ombudsman for Special Education in December 2023. She brings a deep commitment to special education, influenced by her upbringing with a sister who had special needs.She holds a Master’s degree in Educational Transformation from Georgetown University (2021), focusing on Advocacy & Policy. Previously, Jenifer served as a graduate fellow with the Office for Students in the Care of DC (SCDC), researching special education approaches for incarcerated students. Her experience includes roles as a Program Support Specialist at the DC Special Education Hub and as an educational aide in a DCPS self-contained classroom. Residing in Ward 1 with her husband, Jenifer's unique blend of personal and professional experience equips her to effectively address special education concerns.

Assistant Ombudsman for Public Education

Brianne Sullivan was hired as an Assistant Ombudsman for Public Education in March 2020. Ms. Sullivan obtained a Bachelor's degree in Political Science and Economic Development from Tulane University and a Master's degree in Elementary Education and Special Education from Johns Hopkins University. Brianne is a highly accomplished professional with a diverse background in education and community development. She served as a 2nd-grade teacher in DC public charter schools, where her commitment and expertise helped her students achieve remarkable growth in state testing. Before her teaching career, Brianne served as the Director of a Boys & Girls Club program in rural South Carolina, near her hometown where she successfully designed and implemented innovative recreational programming for 80 students in grades K-5. Now, as a member of the Office of the Ombudsman, she continues to contribute her passion for education and community engagement to effect positive change.

Assistant Ombudsman for Public Education

Stephanie Arias was initially hired as the Program Associate for the Office of the Ombudsman in May 2019. She was promoted to be an Assistant Ombudsman for Public Education in October 2021. Stephanie spent three years working with multicultural youth from elementary to high school grade levels. Before joining the Office of Ombudsman for Public Education, Stephanie, a DC native, served as a Youth Development Representative for the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services. She also served as a Bilingual Case Manager for the Collaborative Solutions for Communities, where she partnered with families and 14 DCPS elementary, middle, and high schools to reduce student truancy by providing support and services to families in need. Stephanie is trained in Solution-Focused Brief Therapy and Family Group Conferencing, and she hopes to utilize these skills when assisting families who contact the Office of the Ombudsman. In addition, Stephanie is passionate about helping students reach their educational goals. Stephanie received her BA in Criminal Justice from Trinity Washington University.

Program Associate

Da'Shae Willis was hired as the Program Associate for the Office of the Ombudsman in January 2024. As a proud Washington, DC native, she brings over 5 years of teaching experience and education policy work. Her journey began in the classrooms where she grew up, sparking a deep commitment to her hometown's students and families. With a bachelor's degree from Bowie State University and a Masters in Educational Leadership and Policy from American University, Da’Shae is dedicated to transforming education in DC. She advocates for equitable access to quality education, believing in every student's potential. Additionally, DaShae is a pillar in the community as an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. Having experienced DC as both a student and educator, Da’Shae understands its unique needs. Through her advocacy efforts, she strives to bridge gaps, foster collaboration, and ultimately, pave the way for a more inclusive and prosperous educational landscape in the nation's capital.

Program Support Specialist

Whitney Jones was hired as the Program Support Specialist for the Office of the Ombudsman in February 2022.  Before joining the office, Whitney spent the past five years as a Case Manager/Family Support Worker for SHOW Up, STAND Out under Catholic Charities, a non-profit organization in Washington, DC.  During this time, Whitney provided support services to families of students in grades K-8th who experienced barriers to continuous attendance concerns. Whitney is a North Carolina A&T State University graduate where she earned her bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication. After graduation, Whitney became the Administrative Assistant for a laboratory preschool for seven years in Greensboro, NC, and decided to further her education, where she earned a certificate in Early Childhood-Administration. Whitney has always loved children and found joy working in the preschool setting. In addition, Whitney loves to travel, spend time with family, watch Law & Order: SVU, shop, and listen to music.