Foundations Course - Philadelphia Oct 2018

Foundations of Organizational Ombudsman Practice
3-Day Course
Monday - Wednesday, 15-17 October 2018

8:00  a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday/Tuesday
8:00  a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Wednesday
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Early-bird discount deadline: 1 September 2018
Online registration deadline: 1 October 2018

Note: On-site registration is not permitted. You may ask to be placed on a wait list if the course has reached full capacity.


This course covers the fundamentals of the organizational ombudsman role by emphasizing the principles of confidentiality, neutrality, independence, and informality. Learn how to work with the visitor to the office as well as how to act as a change agent within your organization. Practice key ombudsman 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 ombudsmen will share best practices around setting up an office and evaluating and communicating the effectiveness of the office.

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  • How the role, scope, and duties of today’s ombudsman began and evolved
  • The four basic principles of the organizational ombudsman role: neutrality, independence, confidentiality, and informality
  • Why confidentiality is essential to the practice and how to maintain confidentiality
  • How to listen as a neutral, including effective techniques for interviewing and inquiring, reflective listening, reframing, identifying issues, and providing options
  • How to manage and work with conflict by employing a battery of skills including listening, coaching, and negotiation techniques
  • How to decide which intervention would be most effective and how to provide feedback to management
  • How to set up and operate an ombudsman office, including the fundamentals of how to log concerns, report to management, and design reports to track issues
  • How to align the ombudsman function with the mission, values, and culture of the organization
  • How to promote the ombudsman role and function, including ways to gain and keep management support


The course will benefit the recently appointed ombudsman, individuals interested in becoming ombudsmen, or anyone desiring to establish an ombudsman function in industry, government, higher education, and public or private social services agencies.

This course applies to ombudsman programs in organizational settings. It does not address some features unique to other ombudsmen disciplines such as classical, patient advocate, or legislative ombudsman.


Donna LoudenDonna Louden, ombuds, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)
Donna Louden 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.

Tom KosakowskiTom A. Kosakowski, associate director and ombudsperson for the Health Sciences, UCLA
For the past 10 years, Tom has worked with faculty, staff, and students associated with UCLA’s health system, including two hospitals, four professional schools, many research laboratories, and clinical centers. Prior to joining the UCLA Office of Ombuds Services, Tom served as the interim director of the Ombuds Office at UC Riverside and established the Ombuds Office at Claremont Graduate University. Before becoming an ombuds, Tom was an attorney, representing and counseling clients in matters before state, federal, and State Bar courts. Tom trained as a mediator with the Los Angeles County Bar and served as a court-appointed mediator for the L.A. Superior Court. Tom graduated with a bachelor’s in economics from Occidental College and earned a juris doctor from Loyola Law School. Tom has served on the Board of Directors of the International Ombudsman Association and the Editorial Board of the Journal of IOA. In addition, he has served as a trustee and president of the Board of Governors of Occidental College. He publishes the Ombuds Blog.

Nick DiehlNicholas Diehl, ombudsperson, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Nicholas Diehl is the co-director of the MIT Ombuds Office, serving students, faculty, staff, and others associated with the Institute. Prior to joining MIT in 2017, he served as the ombudsperson for the Asian Development Bank in Manila, Philippines. Nick has also served as an ombuds for the American Red Cross, National Institutes of Health and Princeton University, respectively. Nick began his work in the alternative dispute resolution field as a mediator for the New York City Unified Court System and the Brooklyn Safe Horizon Mediation Center. He was trained as a mediator through the Brooklyn Law School Mediation Clinic.  He holds a master's degree in conflict analysis and resolution from the University of North Carolina and a master’s degree in organization development from American University/NTL. Nick has served on a number of International Ombudsman Association committees and the IOA Board of Directors. He is also on the ombuds practice and emerging issues for the field.

Angela DashAngela E. Dash, PhD, founder, The Pace Institute, LLC
In 2014, Angela was appointed as the chartering ombuds for Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED) where she held the title of director, ombuds from October 2014 to March 2018. In April of 2018, she made the transition of serving as NEOMED’s internal ombuds to providing ombuds services to NEOMED as an external contractor through The Pace Institute, LLC – a professional development and alternative dispute resolution company that she founded in 2009. She continues to serve as NEOMED’s ombuds, serving all faculty, staff, and students while also providing alternative dispute resolution and professional development services to other organizations, including serving as an on-call Alternative Dispute Resolution Advisor through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Before becoming an organizational ombuds, Angela served in various leadership roles in state and county government in the state of Georgia. Her past roles include the director of the Office of Alternative Dispute Resolution of the Atlanta Judicial Circuit (Fulton County Superior Court) and program manager of the Governor’s Office of Disability Services Ombudsman. Angela is a lifelong learner. She holds a bachelor of arts degree in child development from Spelman College, a master of public administration from Troy State University, a doctor of philosophy in conflict analysis and resolution from Nova Southeastern University and a graduate certificate in professional and executive coaching from the University of Texas at Dallas. She is also a certified coach through the International Coach Federation and the Institute for Social + Emotional Intelligence and holds two senior human resources professional distinctions (SHRM-SCP and SPHR). A native of Atlanta, Georgia, Angela lives in the Atlanta area. In her free time, she loves to thrift shop and get plenty of vitamin sea.



34 participants




400 Arch Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106 USA
Hotel Reservations: +1-877-999-3223 or reserve on line.
The course fee does not include hotel room. Housing arrangements should be made directly with the hotel once you’ve received registration confirmation. Be sure to mention IOA when you’re making your hotel reservation to take advantage of the discounted room rate of $179 per night, a substantial savings from the regular room rate. The hotel reservation deadline is 24 September 2018.


On or before 9/1/18
IOA Members: $1,695
Nonmembers: $1,795
After 9/1/18
IOA Members: $1,795
Nonmembers: $1,895

The course fee does not include hotel room. Housing arrangements should be made directly with the hotel once you’ve received registration confirmation.


Contact IOA Administrative Director Jordan Burghardt.

To receive the member discount for this event, you must first become a member then proceed to event registration. View the list of our current membership benefits.

If you do not wish to join IOA, and do not already have an account with us, you may register for this event after you create an account.

If you already have an IOA account login to register now.

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