Executive Director Chuck Howard to Retire

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Dear IOA Members,

We write to let you know that our Executive Director, Chuck Howard, will be retiring from his position effective 31 December 2021.

Prior to joining IOA in 2019, Chuck had practiced law for 44 years, including serving as a litigation partner and General Counsel of his firm, Shipman & Goodwin LLP, before retiring from the firm to work for the IOA. During his career at Shipman & Goodwin, among other areas of practice, he represented organizational ombuds programs throughout the United States and internationally for more than 30 years and was a prolific writer and speaker about and for the ombuds profession. When Chuck began as the inaugural IOA Executive Director, both he and the IOA Board of Directors were aware that his tenure in this position would not be particularly long. However, we hoped that it would help IOA envision the benefits to our profession and our organization from having an externally-focused advocate and strategist. He has now reached the point where he would like to move into a real retirement phase, or “a much less structured life” as he would define retirement.

Although Chuck's agreement with IOA was only for a part-time position, we have all benefited from his efforts. His work with IOA has been extensive and vastly more time-intensive than a part-time role would indicate. He has served as an invaluable spokesperson for the organization and the profession, advised many of us on difficult situations, provided direct assistance in the creation of many new ombuds programs, helped develop revisions to our Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics, and promoted the profession to new sectors. He has served a critical role in working with the Board and staff to advance IOA. Along the way, he has also written a new book, A Practical Guide to Organizational Ombuds, which will be published by American Bar Association and is expected to be available in December. There are not enough words to thank Chuck for all he has done over these past years, including his work on behalf of organizational ombuds prior to becoming IOA’s Executive Director.

A Search Task Force has been established to help IOA find its next Executive Director, co-led by Board members Lee Twyman and Willem Kweens. The search will commence later this September. If you are interested in serving on this search task force, please send an email to Lee Twyman at [email protected] and Willem Kweens at [email protected]

Thank you,


Melanie Jagneaux, JD, MBA, CO-OP®

2020-2021 IOA President


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Comments on "Executive Director Chuck Howard to Retire"

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Steven D. Prevaux - Friday, September 03, 2021

Thank you Chuck for your excellent leadership! We deeply appreciate your many many contributions to protect and promote Ombuds everywhere. LEADERSHIP: Inspiring others to achieve, Serving them so they can, and Celebrating them when they do.

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