IOA Announces Inaugural Executive Director

By Marcia Martínez-Helfman, 2019–2020 IOA President & Lee Twyman, Chair, Executive Director Search Committee

Dear IOA Members & Supporters,

The selection of an executive director concludes IOA’s organizational transition to a hybrid management model. We are pleased to have received a large number of very strong applicants deeply interested in the work of the IOA. Earlier this year, finalists were interviewed and the IOA Board of Directors unanimously agreed to offer the Executive Director position to Chuck Howard. Chuck will officially begin on 1 September 2019.We are delighted to announce that Charles (Chuck) Howard has agreed to serve as the inaugural Executive Director for the International Ombudsman Association.

IOA is very fortunate to have someone so knowledgeable and engaged in the work of the organizational ombuds as well as the history of the Association. Chuck has been a colleague, advocate, and spokesperson for the profession for more than 30 years. Many of us have read and own his seminal work, The Organizational Ombudsman: Origins, Roles, and Operations - A Legal Guide and have learned a great deal from his writings and conference presentations.

Chuck was a partner of the law firm Shipman & Goodwin from 1984 through 2018 before becoming "Of Counsel" on January 1, 2019. From 1984 through 2000, he was the chair of the law firm’s Litigation Department; and from 2014 through 2018, he served as the firm’s General Counsel. Chuck maintained a national practice in representing organizational ombuds at universities, multinational corporations, and other organizations.

Chuck is currently completing his work with Shipman & Goodwin and working with the IOA Board of Directors and Executive Committee to formulate the priorities for his work as well as onboarding with staff, and planning initial outreach to members, volunteers, and IOA partners. Stay tuned for more details on this.

We want to extend special thanks to the Executive Director Search Committee. We could not have arrived at this terrific outcome without their diligent efforts. The Committee was advised by Michael Reed of Bloch & Reed, chaired by Lee Twyman, and aided by the following members: Anamaris Cousins-Price, Nick Diehl, Marcia Gee Riley, Marcia Martínez-Helfman, Melanie Jagneaux, Willem Kweens, Sana Manjeshwar, and Elaine Shaw. Thank you all so very much for taking on this very important task.

We look forward to advancing this new partnership with Chuck as the IOA continues its efforts to promote, protect, and provide services to our membership and the profession.

"I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with IOA as its first Executive Director. I am looking forward to working closely with the IOA Board of Directors and membership to continue to promote and strengthen this important role, which I believe should be included in every significant organization. I cannot imagine anything else I would rather do.”

–Chuck Howard

On behalf of the Board, we could not agree more!

All the best,

Marcia Martínez-Helfman,
2019–2020 IOA President
Lee Twyman,
Chair, Executive Director Search Committee

P.S. Please also read and share IOA's August 2019 press release announcing our new Executive Director, Chuck Howard.

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