Durene L. Brown
City Ombudsman

"Getting problems out of the way,
so that progress can occur."

2 Woodward Avenue, Room 114
Coleman A. Young Municipal Center
Detroit, MI 48226-3413

(313) 224-6000
(313) 224-1911 fax
TTY: 711 or (800) 649-3777

The Office of the Ombudsman for the City of Detroit will abide by and uphold Article 4, Chapter 3 of the Charter of the City of Detroit. We commit to the assessment of inquiries and complaints in a timely manner; collaboration with internal service providers and their representatives; reaching out to faith-based groups, community-based organizations, and civic organizations; and establishing a performance record by employing all resources to prioritize, investigate, mediate, and resolve problems and complaints expressed by citizens, property owners, employees, businesses, and visitors.

To ensure that the City of Detroit gets the most benefit from its Ombudsman and that operations are consistent with Ombudsmen in other cities and states, we will adopt recommendations from the United States Ombudsman Association (USOA) Governmental Ombudsman Standards which, in 2003, defined “a Governmental Ombudsman as an independent, impartial public official with authority and responsibility to receive, investigate or informally address complaints about government actions, and, when appropriate, make findings and recommendations, and publish reports”. Source: United States Ombudsman Association,

In September 2005, Durene L. Brown was unanimously appointed by the Detroit City Council to serve 10 years as the City Ombudsman, in accordance with the City Charter. Ms. Brown has over 20 years of experience in both the public and private sectors working with local government officials, as well as legislators and agencies at the state and federal government levels.

In her first 18 months in office, Ms. Brown reorganized the Office of the Ombudsman to focus on community outreach in addition to complaint resolution. She also lobbied successfully to amend state legislation when she recommended that the state legislature change the Public Health Code to include libraries in drug-free zones. This is the first time that a City of Detroit official changed a statewide law.

Ms. Brown also kicked-off a summer intern program for students who have finished their first year of college because she knows that youth involvement with local government is important to the development of our future leaders.

In 2008, Ms. Brown joined forces with the Karmanos Cancer Foundation and the Susan G. Komen for the Cure to tackle the alarming statistics of breast cancer resulting in more deaths among Black women than any other ethnic group. Ms. Brown wrote health education articles in the Michigan Chronicle and Michigan Front Page, and she raised nearly $3,000.00 to place ads in DDOT buses in an effort to increase awareness about early detection and treatment. This involvement is consistent with her history of support for fundraising/awareness events such as the AIDS Walk, Diabetes Walk, and Breast Cancer Walk.

Ms. Brown is an active member of several professional, civic, and community organizations, including past Vestry member and Junior Warden at St. John’s Episcopal Church Detroit, a member of the Michigan Municipal League Foundation Board of Trustees, the Metropolitan Detroit Chapter of the Coalition for Labor Union Women (CLUW), and a graduate of Leadership Detroit. In the past, Ms. Brown served as a Trustee on the Michigan Municipal League Board of Directors, and she co-chaired the Natural Resources Committee for the National League of Cities.

Ms. Brown is a Detroit resident and member of Creekside, her local neighborhood association. She is a University of Michigan graduate, and her daughter recently graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from Loyola University Chicago.