International Ombuds Association
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SOLD OUT | Virtual Foundations Course | June 2021
Monday, June 07, 2021 8:00 AM PST to Friday, June 11, 2021
Category: Foundations Courses

Virtual Foundations of Organizational Ombudsman Practice Course

5-Day Course

The course will run from 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM Pacific Time each day of the course. What time is that for me?

Please ensure that you are available to attend all sessions prior to registering for this course. Sessions are highly interactive and not recorded or able to be made up. Times are subject to change based on facilitator availability and participants will be notified well in advance if there are any changes.

Registration & Fees | Course Description | Faculty


Registration Rates:

  • Members: $1,695
  • Non Members: $1,995
This course has reached capacity and registration is now closed.
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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)

This course has been approved for 15 Professional Development Hours towards the Candidate for CO-OP® and CO-OP® credentials.

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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.

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.

Donna LoudenDonna Louden

Donna Louden is the ombuds for the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and has been an organizational ombudsman since 2000. Prior to NREL, Donna was the associate director of the Ombuds Office at the University of Colorado, Boulder and also served as an ombuds at the University of California at Irvine. Donna is a member of IOA’s Professional Development Committee and one of the coordinators for the Foundations of Organizational Ombudsman Practice course. An accomplished trainer, Donna has offered workshops in the areas of advanced skills for ombudsmen, cross-cultural conflict management, and public dialogue. She has extensive experience in conflict management, coaching, and cross-cultural conflict. Additionally, she has instructed numerous students, visiting faculty, and business executives in cross-cultural awareness/competence prior to living or conducting business abroad. Donna holds a BA from Loyola Marymount University and an MA from California State University, Fullerton.​

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Contact the IOA office at [email protected].