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].   

Related to this work, the IOA Board of Directors will hold its October board meeting in Europe. As you may know, our strategic plan calls on IOA to identify ways to increase the participation and engagement of international members across IOA to bring more inclusion to our programs, leadership, and strategy. Our goal is to learn more about the challenges and opportunities of practice in the European Community, to help inform both the work of the Internationalization Task Force and IOA priorities going forward.

The IOA Board of Directors typically meets twice yearly in person for strategic work – once in conjunction with our Annual Conference, and the other in October. This year, our European Regional Advisory Group (RAC) is hosting a meeting for the European community 19 - 20 October in Munich, Germany and our Executive Committee and Executive Director will attend and participate in these meetings. Learn more and RSVP online today!

This will be followed by the IOA Board of Directors’ meeting in Geneva, Switzerland (the location of the largest member population in Europe) and an opportunity to connect to the NGO ombuds community on 20 October. And immediately following the Board meeting, we will hold an In-Person Foundations course on Sunday, 22 October and Monday 23 October. We are pleased to offer Foundations in the region after canceling our program in 2020 due to the COVID pandemic. Learn more and register here.

We look forward to meeting members where they are and learning how we may better serve their diverse needs.   

For more information about the European RAC meeting, please reach out to Chair Jutta Reitmeier at MARS RSVP here

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