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SOLD OUT | Virtual Foundations Course | December 2021
Monday, December 06, 2021, 8:00 AM to Thursday, December 09, 2021, 12:00 PM PDT
Category: Foundations Courses

Virtual Foundations of Organizational Ombuds Practice Course

4-Day Course

Monday-Thursday 6–9 December 2021 | 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM PT each day

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Registration & Fees | Course Description | Faculty | Course Location | COVID Information

Registration - Max Occupancy of 24 People

Registration Rates:

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

Please Note: Due to the high demand for this course, we are limiting registration to those that are currently practicing or will begin practicing within the next three months. If you are not currently practicing and will not begin practicing within the next three months, please join the Early Notice List to be notified when registration is opened up to other interested parties.

This course has reached capacity. Registration is now closed.

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Course Description 

Foundations of Organizational Ombuds Practice is offered multiple times each year in various locations, and 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

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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Jessica Kuchta-MillerJessica Kuchta-Miller, MA, JD
Staff Ombudsperson, Washington University in St. Louis

Jessica Kuchta-Miller is the inaugural staff ombuds at Washington University in St. Louis and is a certified organizational ombudsman practitioner with extensive experience in dispute resolution, mediation, negotiation, conflict coaching, and training.  Before joining Washington University in St. Louis last fall, Kuchta-Miller was an associate ombuds at the University of Colorado Boulder where she worked with students, staff, and faculty.

Prior to becoming an organizational ombuds,  Kuchta-Miller worked for 11 years at Hamline University School of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota. At Hamline, she taught as an adjunct clinical instructor for the law school’s Mediation Clinic, where she developed curriculum and supervised law student mediators in area conciliation and housing courts. She also served for five years as a project administrator for Hamline’s nationally-ranked Dispute Resolution Institute and Mediation Center. During her time at Hamline, she was appointed by the Minnesota Supreme Court to the Alternative Dispute Resolution Ethics Board whose purpose is to promote the ethical use of alternative dispute resolution in the state courts.

A licensed attorney and a qualified neutral, she has presented at numerous conferences and seminars and has trained hundreds of individuals in mediation, negotiation, conflict resolution, and communication skills.

Teresa Ralicki
Ombuds, University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus

Bio coming soon!

Thomas ZgamboThomas Zgambo
Ombudsman, International Monetary Fund

Thomas joined the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in January 2017 after ten years as an Ombudsman at the World Bank. He spent six years as the Corporate Ombudsman at Coca-Cola Enterprises.  Before joining Coca-Cola Enterprises, Thomas spent three years as an Ombudsman and Training Specialist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he was also a Senior Lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management, teaching Negotiation and Conflict Management.  Prior to MIT Thomas was an Ombudsman at Polaroid Corporation. Thomas Zgambo is a past President of The Ombudsman Association, now the International Ombudsman Association.

Thomas served as a mediator at the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD), and has mediated Disability, public accommodation, sexual harassment, and racial discrimination cases. He also served as a member of the Human Rights Commission for the City of New Bedford, Massachusetts, USA and a member of the Governor’s Advisory Council on African-American Affairs for the State of Massachusetts, USA.

Thomas has a Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry and Materials Science from the University of North Texas and an MBA in Management of Technology from Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

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Contact the IOA office at [email protected].