Ombuds Day 2023

By Belinda M. Robinson, PhD
Associate Organizational Ombudsman - Federal Bureau of Investigation

For nearly six years, in conjunction with the American Bar Association’s Ombuds Day Committee, the Ombuds community is celebrated, recognized, and congratulated on the second Thursday of October, also known as Ombuds Day. This year, Ombuds Day is celebrated on Thursday, October 12. The theme for 2023 is Ombuds: Diverse in Role. United in Service.

Prior years’ themes have paid homage to the professionals who lead conflict resolution efforts and mediation services for organizations, large and small, and regardless of their internally or externally facing ombuds roles:

  •  2022Ombuds: Resilience, Respect, Resolve
  •  2021Ombuds: Exploring Options to Resolve Conflict Together
  •  2020 and 2019Ombuds: Unusual Name. Important Service

Ombuds practitioners are often described as navigators who provide a beacon of light; giving employees, and often the public, hope that their problems can be resolved fairly and equitably.

As a profession, ombuds continue to be a trusted resource and have seen recent shifts to a more inclusive nomenclature, growth in office creation, recognition in the field, and have added more research and publications to the ombuds body of work. Ombuds remain:

  • independent yet inclusive when it comes to working with organizational leadership being about positive change,
  • neutral but knowledgeable when it comes to providing the those who seek our services with options to navigate to their own solutions,
  • confidential yet communicative, keeping those with a need to know in the loop, and
  • informal, yet informative and we don’t require folks to get dressed up in their finest threads to seek our services.

Today, as Ombuds world-wide reflect upon the immeasurable number of employees who have benefited from the impactful services and challenging work of an ombuds, please take the time to view the beautiful proclamations from states that also value and recognize the importance of those who serve in an ombuds capacity.

You are also invited to tune in for the webinar entitled A Conversation with Thomas Zgambo., hosted by the ABA Ombuds Day Subcommittee.  Dr. Zgambo is the Ombudsman for the IMF and has served as an ombudsman for 26 years. In addition to his work at the IMF, he has also had roles at Polaroid, Coca Cola, MIT, and the World Bank. We look forward to his insights, and a conversation about the growth and evolution of the ombuds profession.

Please register for this year’s webinar at

Happy Ombuds Day!

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