IOA Annual Conference

The IOA annual conference serves as the premier venue to promote ombuds awareness, increase individual knowledge, and enhance professional skills. The annual conference features keynote and plenary speakers, workshops, presentations, and panel discussions to address a conference theme and provides countless opportunities for connection and engagement.


Upcoming IOA Conference — Save the Dates

IOA's 16th Annual Conference

Conference 22–24 March 2021

International Ombudsman Association members and supporters are invited to mark your calendars and keep an eye out for more information on 2021 events.

The International Ombudsman Association is currently working on plans for 2021 educational events. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are negotiating with the Indianapolis JW Marriot to potentially postpone our in-person 16th Annual Conference. However, our team is excited to announce that we are planning to provide a fully virtual and immersive program in Mid-March 2021.

IOA warmly invites you to submit a presentation proposal or speaker suggestions for our 2021 event, Bridging the Distance: Paving the Way for Equity and Justice. This event is scheduled for 22-24 March 2021 and will be a virtual gathering. Additionally, we are not soliciting proposals for pre-conference stand-alone half or full-day courses this year, although we encourage presentations to include components that could occur before or after the 22nd-24th window.

If you would like to be part of the conversation to help shape this unique event, please contact IOA’s Volunteer Coordination Committee at [email protected]. 


Past Annual Conferences

15th Annual Conference - Cancelled Due to COVID

"IOA Vision 2020: Innovation, Importance, and Integrity in Ombuds Work"
Main Conference 30 March – 1 April 2020
Professional Development Courses and Specialty Workshops 27 – 29 March 2020
Portland Marriott Downtown Waterfront
Portland, Oregon, USA

The IOA Board of Directors made the difficult decision, due to unanticipated circumstances beyond its control, we must cancel the 15th Annual IOA Conference as well as the pre-conference sessions and professional development courses scheduled in Portland, Oregon, 27 March – 1 April 2020. Read the full cancelation letter on our conference resources page.


14th Annual Conference

Main Conference 1–3 April 2019
Professional Development Courses and Specialty Workshops 29–31 March 2019
Sheraton New Orleans
New Orleans, Louisiana USA


13th Annual Conference

Main Conference 23–25 April 2018
Professional Development Courses and Specialty Workshops 20–22 April 2018
Richmond Marriott
Richmond, Virginia USA


12th Annual Conference

Main Conference 24–26 April 2017
Professional Development Courses and Specialty Workshops 21–23 April 2017
Minneapolis Marriott City Center
Minneapolis, MN


11th Annual Conference

Main Conference 10–13 April 2016
Pre-conference Courses and Professional Development Courses 8–10 April 2016
Seattle Westin Hotel
Seattle, WA


10th Annual Conference

Main Conference 19–22 April 2015
Pre-conference Courses and Professional Development Courses 17–19 April 2015
Sheraton Atlanta Hotel
Atlanta, GA


9th Annual Conference

4–9 April 2014
Sheraton Denver Downtown
Denver, CO


8th Annual Conference

19–24 April 2013
Hyatt Regency Miami
Miami, FL


7th Annual Conference

13–18 April 2012
Hyatt Regency Houston
Houston, TX


6th Annual Conference

1–6 April 2011
Hilton Portland & Executive Tower
Portland, OR


5th Annual Conference

"IOA and New Orleans: Rebirth, Rebuild, Respond!"
7–10 April 2010
The Marriott New Orleans
New Orleans, LA


4th Annual Conference

A joint conference with
ACCUO - The Association of Canadian College and University Ombudspersons
FCO – The Forum of Canadian Ombudsman
IOA - The International Ombudsman Association
"Evolution of the Ombudsman [1809-2009]: A Rich History, A Promising Future"
15–18 April 2009
The Fairmont Hotel, The Queen Elizabeth
Montreal QC, Canada


3rd Annual Conference

"Making a Difference-The Ombudsman Impact"
13–16 April 2008
The Boston Park Plaza Hotel
Boston, MA


2nd Annual Conference

"Strengthening Our Foundations"
11–14 April 2007
Adam's Mark Hotel
St. Louis, MO


1st Annual Conference

"Anchors Aweigh: Charting a New Course for Organizational Ombuds"
2–5 April 2006
The La Jolla Marriott and the University of California
San Diego, CA