Filtered by author: International Ombuds Association Office Clear Filter

From MIT: Mary Rowe’s 50 Years of Service to MIT and the Organizational Ombuds Profession

Mary RoweIt’s been a noteworthy year for Mary P. Rowe, an Adjunct Professor of Negotiation and Conflict Management at the MIT Sloan School of Management and a member of the faculty of the MIT Institute for Work and Employment Research (IWER). February 2023 marked the 50th anniversary of Rowe’s coming to work at MIT as the “Special Assistant to the President and Chancellor for Women and Work”—a role that soon evolved into being an early organizational ombuds, listening to all kinds of workplace concerns, from both men and women, throughout the Institute. Rowe ultimately served for 42 years as an MIT ombuds.

Read More on MIT's Website

California Travel Ban Lifted

We are thrilled to learn that California has lifted its travel ban, opening the door for those who work for the State of California to attend upcoming IOA conferences. Read more in a recent article from thehill.com.

Newsom signs bill ending California travel ban to states with anti-LGBTQ laws

"A California law banning publicly funded travel to states with laws that discriminate against LGBTQ people is no longer active under legislation signed Wednesday by Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom.

California’s Senate Bill 447, also known as the BRIDGE Project, officially repeals a 2016 law that prohibited the state from sponsoring travel to states with laws in place that discriminate “on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.”

Read More

Good Day IOA - Professionalization Task Force

Watch as IOA Executive Director Ellen Miller, IOA President Alicia Booker, and IOA President-Elect Sarah Klaper give updates on the new Professionalization Task Force as it kicks off.

Paradise Burned From Marshall Israel, Member


PARADISE BURNED. 106 DEAD, 1000 UNACCOUNTED FOR WITH 2,200 HOMES DESTROYED IN HAWAII FIRE.

Destroyed buildings and cars are seen in the aftermath of the Maui wildfires in Lahaina, Hawaii on August 16, 2023. The number of people known to have died in the horrific wildfire that leveled a Hawaiian town reached 106 on August 15. 

As the death toll in Hawaii reached 106 on Monday, the Hawaiian blaze solidified its position as the deadliest American wildfire in 105 years having surpassed the 2018 Camp Fire in California that caused $16.5 billion worth of damage and killed 85 people. More than 2,200 structures have been destroyed or damaged by the fires – about 86% of them residential. Losing everything including your home and loved ones is something I can't wish my worst enemy. 

I attended the 40th United States Ombudsman Association Conference in Honolulu Hawaii in 2020. I made friends who took me to Waikiki Beach and Maui Lahaina and it was awesome. I took the attached pictures at Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, Hawaii, United States. As I watched in the news, the ravaging fire wagging and spreading its demonic tongue and consuming whatever it touched, I remembered my friends and Colleagues in Maui Lahaina, Hawaii. Though I have lost contact with many of my friends and Colleagues, I am standing with them in this moment of grief, pain, and loss. I am thinking of them and praying for safety and comfort.

I remember ALOHA which is the true meaning and symbol of the Hawaiian culture and lifestyle: respect and love one another, and live in harmony with everything around you. Aloha is not something that is spoken, it is something that must be experienced. I experienced it in Hawaii.  In Christianity, ALOHA means “breath of God be upon you.” It's kind of like saying, “May God bless you.” It means you do something kind without expecting something in return.

My dear Friends and Colleagues in Maui Lahaina and the Hawaiian Ombudsman, please accept my sympathy and condolences. My prayers, thoughts, comfort, and support are with you…and may the BREATH Of GOD BE UPON YOU. AMEN.

ALOHA,

Marshall Israel

Ombudsman, Mediator, Peace-builder and Reconciliator

IOA Seeks New Association Ombuds

IOA is seeking applications for a new Association Ombuds. This position reports to the President and Executive Director and works in accordance with a charter and IOA Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics.  
 
We are grateful to current IOA Ombuds Breanne Taylor for her excellent work the past year.  Breanne decided to step down given a change in her current work responsibilities.

The Ombuds must be able to create a schedule to accommodate approximately 10 hours a month of work. IOA will provide a calendly link to facilitate scheduling and an email address for follow-up.
 
View the Request for Proposal (RFP) for more information and application instructions. Please feel free to reach out to IOA's Executive Director Ellen Miller with any questions. 

RFP Deadline: 28 September 2023 at 5:00 PM PT



Read More

Microsoft and Zoom: Possible Implications for Ombuds Confidentiality

By Board Member Sue Diviney and IOA Executive Director Ellen Miller 

If you use Microsoft Teams and Outlook in your work with visitors, we have discovered a possible concern for your office.  Using Teams can create visibility for both the visitor and others in their department given how Teams tracks users.    

How can you see if this is an issue for you?

Read More

The I in IOA

IOA is an international association dedicated to advancing the profession of organizational ombuds. Our mission is our guidepost, yet as a small volunteer-driven association, we recognize that our size, structure, and limited staff have all impacted our ability to advance the organizational ombuds profession globally. 

Our International Outreach Committee (IOC) has done a wonderful job identifying needs of the international community and has made a series of recommendations to the IOA Board of Directors. In response, the Board has established a special Task Force to develop a plan to implement the IOC recommendations and strategic priorities. The Internationalization Task Force will also consider the resources required to support your work and assess the value of creating a pilot regional project that would create a model for growing the profession. 

This special Task Force will begin its work in August and report back to the Board in the first quarter of 2024. We are grateful that this effort will be co-chaired by Immediate Past President Ronnie Thomson at Sandia National Laboratories and Sam Zhou at MARS. If you are an IOA member practicing outside the U.S. or have experience working to expand awareness about organizational ombuds in the international space and would like to join this group, please reach out to Ellen Miller at [email protected].   

Read More

The New IOA Concern and Complaint Policy

By IOA

We are pleased to roll out the final process piece of our culture work: the new IOA Concern and Complaint Policy and Procedures which were approved by the IOA Board of Directors at their July meeting. Both the policy and procedures will be piloted for the next 18 months so we may benefit from both utilization and experience.   

Concern and Complaint Policy and Procedures

This has been a long journey. First, we realized we couldn’t consider conduct before we articulated the culture we wanted to create. We also realized we needed to articulate that how we treat each other matters. Perhaps obvious especially to ombuds, but critical to ensuring we are all operating with the same frame. After focus group discussions with members in 2022, it was clear we needed to start with organizational values (based on the values detailed in our Code of Ethics for practice) and community norms. After gaining community input, we rolled out new Values and Norms that guide all our interactions. 

Read More

Ombuds Day 2023 Proclamations – Call for Volunteers

Our 6th annual recognition of Ombuds Day is coming up on Thursday, October 12, 2023 and the planning committee is seeking proclamations from all 50 states and Washington DC, and obtained over 30! View the list of the proclamations.

To support this work, “Ombuds Day 2023 Proclamation Request-a-thon” is scheduled for August 7-11, 2023. Volunteering for this effort is a great way to create awareness and improve understanding of the ombuds profession. It’s also a great way to meet and connect with other ombuds across the nation. If you’re interested and short on time, you can skip to the bold text below.

Process-wise, some ombuds requested proclamations from their local states, but most of the proclamations were requested by a team of volunteers. The Ombuds Day Subcommittee prepared templates that could be used for requesting proclamations across the nation, as well as instructions for how to request proclamations. To further simplify the process, the Subcommittee held request-a-thons, or scheduled dates and times for volunteers to work together by completing and submitting proclamation requests during video conferences. It worked well last year, so we’re bringing it back this August!

Read More

A Message from IOA: 2024 & 2025 Conference

A Message from IOA

As a profession committed to fairness, we appreciate hearing from members about holding annual conferences in Indianapolis for IOA2024 and Miami for IOA2025. And as an international organization, IOA is always trying to balance a variety of potentially competing needs that our members may not be aware of. We hope it is helpful to share some information that impacted IOA’s decisions to contract with hotels in Indianapolis and Miami to host our conference as well as information about hotel contracting generally:  

  • IOA's conference location is determined by a number of factors including what cities are willing to bid on our conference and if we have been to that region in the last five years.  

Read More

Advocacy Committee Update

Advocacy Committee Update:  

Our Advocacy Committee is hard at work preparing resources members can use across sectors to help advocate for ombuds offices in their organizations. These include:  

1) An IOA Organizational Engagement “Triage” Template

Read More

New IOA Resource for General Counsel and Program Designers

By Ellen Miller, IOA Executive Director 

IOA has developed a new resource to assist program designers to better understand the US case law, statutory, and other established guidance relating to ombuds confidentiality. The primer also explains why a properly structured office is an essential component to creating an implied contract between ombuds and visitors to further support the voluntary nature of the work.   

This resource meets a recurring need expressed by both ombuds and those who are developing programs and can also be tailored for other regions outside of the US. This resource will be shared at a session IOA has planned for the National Association of College of University Attorneys (NACUA)'s annual meeting later this month titled Embracing Conflict: Ombuds as Strategic Allies for Campus Counsel

Read More

UM Awards Ombuds Who Fought to Protect Employees’ Confidentiality After UM Emails Series

By Ashton Pittman, Mississippi Free Press (reposted with permission)

Headshot of Paul Caffera in a suit

The University of Mississippi awarded Ombudsman Paul Caffera as one of 12 “outstanding staff members” at its May 30, 2023, Staff Appreciation Week Awards Ceremony. He fought the university in a lawsuit between 2020 and 2022 as he sought to maintain the confidentiality of employees who had sought his office’s services. Photo courtesy Ole Miss Digital Imaging Services

Read More

International Ombuds Association’s first book, The Organizational Ombuds: Foundations, Fundamentals & Its Future: Ombuds effectiveness

Deanna Yuille Bandford and Bina Patel, seek participants for a project that explores Ombuds effectiveness at both the individual and programmatic level. Their research will be incorporated into a chapter for the International Ombuds Association’s first book, The Organizational Ombuds: Foundations, Fundamentals & Its Future.   

Participants are invited to share their personal perspectives via an anonymous survey or one-on-one interviews. 

Patel and Banford say that Ombuds are free to forward the survey link to their colleagues as this will greatly help to collect contextual data. Additionally, if participants are willing to share their story of how they entered and approach the profession, they can email the researchers: [email protected] or [email protected]

IOA DEIB: Creating an Inclusive Environment

For the last several years, IOA has intentionally worked to address Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) issues in our association, not only in terms of race, ethnicity, gender identity or sexual orientation, but also accessibility, inclusion of our international colleagues, and creating space for those new to the field. We are far from finished, and certainly have work to do, but we also know that meaningful change takes time and we are committed to making change.  

The need to redirect our attention was heightened after the 2019 Annual Conference in New Orleans. Some of you may have participated in the discussion following Robin DiAngleo’s keynote on White Fragility or attended the “UnDebate” plenary about civility within the ombuds community, and if so, you may have seen our IOA community struggling. While the goal was to host a provocative speaker that we knew would be challenging, the discussion felt unsafe for many. Others felt that it shed important light on some of the DEIB challenges at IOA for BIPOC, individuals who identify other than male, and younger professionals.

We wanted to reflect on this journey, and share with our members our efforts to date: 

Read More

Connecting with your fellow K-12 Ombuds

The K-12 Ombuds field continues to steadily grow. Connecting with other K-12 Ombuds is an invaluable way to grow as a practitioner. If you are a practicing K-12 Ombuds and would like to connect, we have you covered.

First, the IOA Online CommUnity platform provides everyone with the ability to engage with, learn from, and share resources with other Ombuds. Once in the platform, under Groups, select "Groups by IOA Sectors" and then select the "Academic: Primary & Secondary Education K/12" group. As a group, we also meet monthly via Zoom and would love to have you join us.

To learn more about the group, please contact Monique Bookstein.

IOA Online CommUnity

JIOA: Essays in Honor of Dr. Mary Rowe

 

The Journal of the International Ombuds Association

Special Issue Announcement 

Read More

IOA Announces 2023 President Award Recipients

The International Ombuds Association (“IOA”) is proud to announce the recipients of the 2023 President’s Award.  

The President’s Award recognizes distinguished individuals for their commitment to serving the ombuds field and/or the International Ombuds Association. All award recipients were recognized at the IOA's Annual Conference 3-5 April in Seattle, Washington. 

The 2023 award recipients are:

Camilo Azcarate, JD, LLM, Ombuds, European Southern Observatory 
Roy Baroff, CO-OP®, JD, Ombuds, MWI & The McCammon Group
Mollie Berg, CO-OP®, NGA Ombudsman, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency
Shannon Lynn Burton, PhDUniversity Ombudsperson, Michigan State University 
Jai Calloway, JD, MDR, Director, Ombuds Office, Harris Health System 
Susan CasinoSenior Ombuds Officer Consultant, United Nations World Food Programme 
Lynne Chaillat, Firm Ombuds, McKinsey & Company Inc. France 
Mary Bliss Conger, EdD, Consultant
Dolores Gomez-Moran, CO-OP®, MA, Senior Ombuds Officer and Mediator, United Nations World Food Programme
Brett Harris, JD, University Ombudsperson, University of Oregon Ombuds Program 
Timothy Hedeen, PhD, Kennesaw State University  
Melanie Jagneaux, CO-OP®, JD, MBA, Executive Director, Ombuds Office, Baylor College of Medicine 
Jessica Kuchta-Miller, JD, MA, University Ombuds, Duke University 
Donna Louden, Director, Ombuds Office, National Renewable Energy Laboratory 
Bruce MacAllister, JD, Ombudsman, International Foundation for Online Responsibility 
Sana Manjeshwar, CO-OP®, JD, SPHR, Global Principal Ombuds Manager, Chevron Corporation
David Miller, PhD, Ombudsman Supervisor, Decanter Bay 
Jennifer Smith Schneider, CO-OP®, PhD, Student Ombuds, University of South Florida 
Fred Wright, MS, MSW, Workplace Conciliator, Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, Victoria State Government 
 
“It is an honor to recognize these talented colleagues who have demonstrated excellence in advancing both the field and awareness about the role of organizational ombuds” said Ronnie Thomson, IOA President 2022-2023.   





















Read More

New Organizational Values/Community Norms to Launch March 22 and Member Feedback Needed on Proposed Concern and Complaint Policy and Procedures

After extensive input from IOA members and other participants, we are pleased to announce the pilot of IOA’s new Organizational Values and Community Norms that will go into effect 22 March 2023. We also invite member input on a proposed IOA Concern and Complaint Policy and Concern and Complaint Procedures.   

Good Day IOA

 

Organizational Values and Community Norms

Read More
1 Comments

2023 Board Elections Results are In

We are proud to announce the results of the 2023 Board of Directors election. These newly elected directors will take office at the Annual Meeting on 11 April 2023. The new Board will convene shortly thereafter to elect new officers.

Thank you to those members who participated in this year's election. IOA is grateful to all of the candidates who ran in this year's election for their interest in board service, as well as the Nominating Committee for dedicating their time and attention to the nomination and election process.


 

Read More