International Ombuds Association
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SOLD OUT | Virtual Foundations Course | October 2020
Monday, October 05, 2020 6:00 AM PST to Friday, October 09, 2020
Category: Foundations Courses

Virtual Foundations of Organizational Ombudsman Practice Course

5-Day Course

6:00 AM PT – 9:00 AM PT | 9:00 AM  12:00 PM ET Monday/Tuesday
6:00 AM PT  1:00 PM PT | 9:00 AM  4:00 PM ET Wednesday
6:00 AM PT – 9:00 AM PT | 9:00 AM  12:00 PM ET Thursday/Friday

Registration & Fees | Course Description | Faculty


Registration Rates:

  • Members: $1,695
  • Non Members: $1,995

This course is sold out. 

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Course Description 

“Foundations of Organizational Ombudsman Practice” is offered multiple times each year in various locations, and now, online! The course covers the fundamentals of the organizational ombuds role based on the principles of confidentiality, neutrality, independence, and informality. Learn how to work with visitors to an office as well as how to act as a change agent within your organization. Practice key ombuds skills of listening, asking questions, clarifying, generating options, and moving to actions throughout the ombuds process. In addition, an experienced and highly committed faculty of ombuds will share best practices around setting up an office and evaluating and communicating the effectiveness of the office.

Learn more about the Foundations course.

Who should attend:

The course is designed for recently appointed ombuds. Its objectives are to help new practitioners: 

  • Recognize the dimensions and parameters of the organizational ombuds role
  • Reflect on their own personal relationship to the role
  • Develop basic skills to perform the role effectively
  • Learn best practices
  • Identify resources to learn more
  • Build a community of practice

It is also beneficial for anyone desiring to enter the profession or establish an ombuds function in industry, government, education, and public or private social services agencies. This course applies to ombuds programs in organizational settings. It does not address some features unique to other models of ombuds practice, such as classical, advocate, or legislative.

Course Limit

24 participants



Professional Development Hours (PDH)

PDH pending approval by the CO-OP® Recertification Committee.

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Melissa Brodrick 
Ombudsperson, Harvard Medical School/School of Dental Medicine/T. H. Chan School of Public Health

Melissa serves as an impartial and informal dispute resolution practitioner who provides confidential and informal assistance to Harvard faculty, staff, students and trainees and to appointees at the affiliated institutions. Her services include helping visitors to clarify their concerns, identify their goals and consider all of their options in managing or resolving their disputes. Melissa provides coaching in written and verbal communications, informal mediation, meeting facilitation, shuttle diplomacy, and information about policies/procedures and resources.  She also offers educational programs upon request.

Hector Escalante

Hector Escalante, EdD, MFA
Ombudsperson, University of the Pacific

Dr. Hector Escalante is the University of the Pacific’s inaugural Ombudsperson. He comes from both a management and academic background. Escalante holds a Doctor of Education and a Master of Fine Arts in creative non-fiction writing. He served as college professor for many years before transitioning into academic administration. He has been a provost, dean, and director of academic units. Escalante is a trained mediator, DISC profile facilitator, and a conflict resolution professional. As the University of the Pacific Ombuds, he works with individuals and groups in an organization to explore and assist them in determining options to help resolve conflicts, and has been in this role for 5 years. Escalante is also one of two ombuds for Earthjustice, a non-profit public interest environmental law organization, and currently serves on the IOA Board of Directors.

Lauren Bloom, CO-OP®
Director and Ombudsperson, University of California-Davis

Lauren has been an ombuds for over 14 years. She chose this profession because she has seen how coaching and providing conflict resolution options allow people to find creative solutions to their concerns and creates pathways for positive change.  She currently works at University of California-Davis with staff, faculty, and students and has previously worked at University of California-Berkeley as well as served as the Director and Ombudsperson at The University of Texas at Austin and at the Texas State Lottery Commission. Lauren is a member of the International Ombudsman Association (IOA), was a founding member of a Texas organizational ombuds group, and has served as a co-chair of the Ombuds of Texas. Additionally, Lauren has been a social worker at employee assistance program services, taught sociology, and worked on issues related to restorative justice, housing, domestic violence, sexual assault, child care, and business and economic development.  Lauren holds a Master of Arts in Sociology with a Portfolio in Dispute Resolution and a Master of Science in Social Work from The University of Texas at Austin. She completed her undergraduate work at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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Contact the IOA office at [email protected].