Sarah Onori, who now serves as Northeastern University’s Title IX investigator, will begin working as Georgetown’s Title IX and civil rights investigator later this month.
A graduate of Northeastern’s School of Law, Onori began her career in higher education after serving as in-house counsel to the City of Boston and for Boston Public Schools on a variety of legal matters, including work on harassment, discrimination and Title IX cases.
“I’m excited to start at Georgetown, which already has worked hard to create robust policies and a community free from sexual and discriminatory harassment,” Onori says. “I look forward to working with the strong team that the university has assembled to address this vital issue.”
Title IX protects people from discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities that receive financial assistance from the federal government.
As Georgetown’s new investigator, Onori will be responsible for completing the day-to-day responsibilities of Title IX investigations, with a particular emphasis on complaints of sexual assault, sexual harassment, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking involving students and employees.
She will also be responsible for conducting investigations into employee civil rights discrimination and harassment complaints, as well as conducting university climate assessments.
“Sarah comes to Georgetown with exceptional experience, extreme enthusiasm and will be a great addition to the office,” says Samantha Berner, Georgetown’s Title IX coordinator and director of Title IX compliance. “We look forward to welcoming Sarah and introducing her to the Georgetown community.”
Onori says she was drawn to the university in part because of Georgetown’s Jesuit identity.
As an undergraduate at another Jesuit university, Boston College, Onori came to value the Jesuit tradition of being people for others and the education of the whole person.
“Having a Jesuit experience was really transformative for me,” says Onori, who is the youngest of nine in a first-generation Nigerian American family. “It really brought me out of my shell.”
Onori’s hiring comes as the university continues to enhance its resources, improve processes and build trust within the community on issues involving Title IX.
Within IDEAA, which oversees the Office of Title IX Compliance, Onori joins Olabisi “Bisi” Ladeji Okubadejo, the university’s recently hired associate vice president for affirmative action, equal opportunity and compliance.
As part of the office’s initiative to better educate the campus community about university policies and procedures, Onori hopes to introduce herself at Title IX office hours and student meetings.
Her arrival also comes as colleges and universities across the country await final Title IX regulations from the U.S. Department of Education.
The Right Questions
In November 2018, the department proposed new regulations designed to improve how schools respond to sexual assault and harassment.
The proposal led university leaders to meet with members of the community over the course of 11 listening sessions.