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Become an IOA Instructor

IOA’s Professional Development Committee (PDC) has recently revamped our processes for how people apply to instruct IOA courses and webinars. There are three opportunities we are highlighting, and a separate application form for each. Here are the details:
  1. You can apply to teach IOA Foundations of the Organizational Ombuds, which is taught multiple times a year both virtually and in-person. In order to be eligible to teach Foundations, you need to have taken Foundations and to have served as a practicing Ombuds for at least three years. You also need to be currently practicing as an Ombuds to IOA standards and be an IOA member. Foundations instructors are offered $500 for their instruction or they can have access to credits to take another IOA course. To apply to be a Foundations instructor, please visit: Foundations Instructor Form
  2. You can apply to present a Webinar. Webinars are presented virtually from 75 minutes to 3 hours and are recorded and posted to IOA’s Resources page. Instructors can present solo or as a group, and topics can vary. Webinar presenters are volunteering their time and do not receive payment for their presentations, but they are able to engage the entire IOA membership. Webinars are held on the third Thursday of the month at 9 AM Pacific, 12 PM Eastern. When applying, presenters should be prepared to provide the title, abstract, and learning objectives of their proposed webinar. To apply to be a Webinar presenter, please visit: Webinar Proposal Form
  3. You can apply to teach a Core Course in a topic that matters to you and that you have expertise in. Core Courses are virtual courses from 3 to 12 hours (over one day or many). They will be offered live and recorded and posted to IOA’s Resources page. Instructors can present solo or as a group, and each team of Core Course instructors is paid $400 for their instruction. Core Courses do not have to be offered in English or during a time zone that works for North America, so international instructors are encouraged to apply. You can apply to teach a Core Course that has been offered before or propose a completely new course. The application asks for the title, description, outline, and proposed audience of your proposed course. To apply to teach a Core Course, please visit: Core Course Proposal
 
Once you apply for any of these three opportunities, someone from PDC get back to you within 4 to 6 weeks. Applying does not guarantee that your application or your course proposal will be selected. PDC will evaluate each proposal based on current offerings and educational needs identified. Also, please note that you do not have to be a practicing Ombuds to apply to present a webinar or teach a Core Course. Read our FAQs for more information. Please reach out to PDC Co-Chairs Tessa Byer at [email protected] or Ernestine Duncan at [email protected] with any questions. We look forward to scheduling your courses!

Holding Space for Ombuds

By Alicia Booker, PhD, IOA President & Ellen Miller, IOA Executive Director

A Special Message to IOA Members

In the spirit of believing we are one humankind, and one global community, we must take time to pause and acknowledge the extreme devastation, pain, suffering, and grief that so many are experiencing in our community, our organizations, and in our world. As we move into the season of holidays and family celebrations, our hearts, and thoughts go to all who are suffering.    

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IOA Seeks New Association Ombuds

IOA is seeking applications for a new Association Ombuds. This position reports to the President and Executive Director and works in accordance with a charter and IOA Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics.  
 
We are grateful to current IOA Ombuds Breanne Taylor for her excellent work the past year.  Breanne decided to step down given a change in her current work responsibilities.

The Ombuds must be able to create a schedule to accommodate approximately 10 hours a month of work. IOA will provide a calendly link to facilitate scheduling and an email address for follow-up.
 
View the Request for Proposal (RFP) for more information and application instructions. Please feel free to reach out to IOA's Executive Director Ellen Miller with any questions. 

RFP Deadline: 28 September 2023 at 5:00 PM PT



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In Memoriam: Jared Lee

We have some very sad news to share, on behalf of IOA member Jennifer Moumneh:

It is with great sadness that I’m writing to share the news that our team member and dear friend, Jared Lee, passed away unexpectedly last week.

Jared Lee

Jared was a key member of UC Irvine’s Office of the Ombuds, a wonderful colleague, a rising star in the Organizational Ombuds profession, and an overall amazing human being.  He will be missed dearly.

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The Creative Energy of a Federal Ombuds

As an Associate Ombuds for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Dr. Belinda Robinson utilizes poetry as a creative outlet. She gracefully presented two examples of how she uses this medium to share appreciation for the role she has within the Ombuds community. The following was shared at the Coalition of Federal Ombudsman (COFO) conference in 2021 in recognition of Ombuds Day 2021:

The Federal Ombuds
By Belinda M. Robinson, Ph.D.
October 15, 2021

Trying times throughout the years
Erase your doubts
And calm your fears
The Federal Ombuds are here
Confidential, neutral, and informal
That’s how we do it everyday
Independent in every way
But we still managed to have
Our own day
And today we celebrate
Ombuds’ Day
Diverse in people, agency mission and vision
Yet, united in the way we work
Providing service before self
And, we’ve even added articles and books
To the Ombuds’ body of knowledge shelf
No matter the weather, crisis, or pandemic
Bring us your challenging dilemmas
And we will stand up in it
To help you determine the best way to handle them
While we provide fair and equitable resolution
Of your concerns
The Federal Ombuds are who we are
Visit us in person or virtually
Let us help you
Cause it’s what we do
Happy Ombuds’ Day
To all of you!

 

The next poem was also shared in recognition of Ombuds Day 2022 (It was originally embedded in a slideshow and was reformatted to present in this post):


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Survey Responses Requested: Building Relationships and Engaging across Organizations

Dear Ombuds Colleagues!

As many of you know, the International Ombuds Association (IOA) is publishing its first ombuds handbook The Organizational Ombuds: Foundations, Fundamentals, and its Future. Donna Buehler and Liz Hill are co-authoring a chapter discussing how organizational ombuds build relationships and engage with entities across organizations while maintaining their independence and impartiality. 

To accomplish this, Donna and Liz kindly request that you share your experience and complete their survey by Friday, May 12, 2023, at 12:00 a.m. 

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5 Tips for Submitting a Successful Speaker Proposal for IOA Conference

By IOA

The Deadline to Submit for #IOA2023 Is Monday, 17 October 2022!

Female presenter speaking to a room full of conference attendees

The International Ombudsman Association warmly invites you to submit a presentation proposal or speaker suggestion for our 18th Annual Conference, Ombuds as Change Agent? ReEngaging and Transforming Conflict. Our in-person conference is scheduled for 3–5 April 2023 in Seattle, Washington, USA. 

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Join a Focus Group to Help IOA Create a Code of Conduct

By Ellen Miller, Executive Director of IOA

Updated 15 August 2022

The IOA Ombuds has provided upward feedback that our organization may benefit from the creation of a code of conduct for both members and those who participate in association activities. IOA leadership has begun the process to create such a document, but we are only in the drafting stages and need your help.

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Joint IOA/CO-OP Accreditation Task Force Update - Member Input Requested

By Sue Diviney, Co-Chair, Joint IOA/CO-OP® Accreditation Task Force

In May 2022, IOA announced a Joint IOA/CO-OP® Accreditation Task Force had been formed to advance IOA’s Strategic Direction, specifically, Goal 1.4: Develop a program for accreditation of ombuds offices that are structured to comply with IOA and Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics.

The purpose of the Task Force is to explore the creation of an office accreditation program that will pave the way for refocusing the CO-OP® designation to certify the knowledge, skills, and experience of individuals and remove program requirements from certification. Thus, the group is charged with developing a proposal to accredit programs separately from individual certifications.

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18th Annual IOA Conference Updates

By the IOA Conference Committee & IOA Board of Directors

The IOA Conference Committee is hard at work planning the 18th Annual IOA Conference, in person in Seattle, WA, USA, 3–5 April 2023. It has been brought to our attention that the event dates run over or are adjacent to a number of major religious holidays including Ramadan, Palm Sunday, and Passover. As an organization that honors diversity and inclusivity, the Conference Committee, staff, and the Board are taking this issue seriously and considering the potential impacts on members as we begin planning the schedule for the Conference. We deeply apologize for the overlap this year and we will work to ensure that the planning allows attendees time to observe religious activities.

We have already explored whether the hotel is able to move our date; unfortunately, the hotel is unable to accommodate us. As you may know, the IOA Annual Conference has typically been held in April with the actual dates dependent upon many factors such as hotel availability and pricing. The contracts for the Annual Conference are typically signed two to three years ahead and changing those contracts is exceptionally difficult under normal circumstances. Because we had to cancel and move hotel contracts in 2020, 2021, and 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we had very limited options for the 2023 Conference.

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IOA Welcomes a New Ombuds

By Breanne Taylor

Breanne TaylorHello IOA! My name is Breanne Taylor and I am very excited to be serving as the next IOA Ombuds. I have been a member of IOA for almost 10 years and currently serve as the Associate Ombuds at Oregon State University. I am excited to be serving in this role for many reasons but primarily it is the opportunity to work with ombuds across many different sectors, experience levels, and locations that led me to pursue this role. To be in a position to support my fellow ombuds, as they serve their constituents and continue to grow and hone their own abilities within this field, is incredibly energizing.

I want to acknowledge Elaine Shaw, CO-OP®  for all her hard work as the inaugural IOA Ombuds and for the excellent foundation she established for the office. I am excited and eager to be part of its continued success in supporting this community as we adapt to new and perpetual changes. I also want to express my gratitude to Elaine for her warm welcome and guidance as I transition into this role.

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Reflections from OMV Petrom’s Ombuds Team

By Ion Anghel, Head of the Ombuds Department of OMV Petrom, Romania

Ion Anghel, Head of the Ombuds Department of OMV Petrom, RomaniaOver the last decade, I have been involved in the life of this department on a constant basis, first from the outside (as an advisor to its activities) and then from its core, as Director of this function. Looking back over time, I can say that the Ombuds’ mission here in OMV Petrom was never an easy one. This statement may surely be confirmed by all international Ombuds colleagues who have had the difficult task of launching an Ombudsman program in a company (or even more, a country) with little or no experience on this topic.

Moreover, the last years have been particularly challenging, as we have seen the whole world deal with the effects of the Covid pandemic. I think that in this new era, the importance of having somebody to talk to and address your concerns has proven to be so much more significant than before. For this reason, we have tried to stay in contact with the people in our organization even when physical presence became scarcer than before, to prevent the feeling of isolation and help build the necessary bridges to move forward. At the same time, we have had to re-invent ourselves on both a personal and professional level, as probably many of you have been required to.

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Reflections from #IOA2022: Randolph Scott

By  Randolph Scott, Interim Student Ombuds & Assistant Director of International Programs, University of West Florida

 

It was an honor to be selected as a recipient of the New & Aspiring Ombuds Scholarship for the 17th Annual IOA Conference. As a new Student Ombuds at the University of West Florida, attendance at the IOA Annual Conference was an incredibly valuable opportunity for me to learn more about the core functions and responsibilities I have as an Ombuds as well as the opportunities I have to make a positive impact on my campus.

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Reflections from #IOA2022: Madeline Kleinberg

By Madeline Kleinberg, Graduate Assistant, Office of the Ombudsperson Division of Academic & Student Affairs

 

As a graduate student still very new to the ombuds field, being able to attend the 2022 IOA Conference was such a valuable experience. The sessions I attended virtually allowed me to learn from the wealth of knowledge in the ombuds community. There seemed to be an abundance of interesting and thought-provoking sessions by a diverse group of ombuds professionals. My only experience in ombudsing has been limited to higher education, so it was eye-opening to gain insight into how broad the field is, and how impactful ombuds can be. I am looking forward to viewing some of the sessions that I was unable to attend live.

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Reflections from #IOA2022: Herschenia Brown

By Herschenia Brown, MBA, CIHC, ADR, Owner of In Agreement Dispute Resolution, LLC

The experience that I had at the IOA 17th Annual Conference – “Belonging Together Reimaged” was unmatched! As my very first time attending the conference, there was an incredible amount of comradery, knowledge, information, and tools that I now have under my belt while I explore my career trajectory as an ombuds. With so many sessions to choose from, along with the opportunity to revisit the recordings, there was no stone left unturned. Also, from the comments during the Q&A sessions, many participants were eager to communicate in the near future to explore more questions outside of a session’s timeframe.

I have two absolute favorites I would like to share:

  1. Being that my background is in financial operations, accounting, and reporting, my absolute favorite session was “D3 – Reimagining Ombuds Reporting: New Tools and Techniques for Better Data Collection”, hosted by Chuck Doran, Megan Winkeler, and Colin Rule. As an aspiring ombuds, I have learned of different tools that people use in their practices to make the reporting as efficient as possible. However, from what I gathered from the feedback from the attendees, not enough reporting tools have features that capture specific critical data with full security and encryption measures that are critical to the core of the ombuds role. This session mentioned some effective reporting tools with this functionality and more! If you didn’t get the opportunity to attend this session, then it is definitely worth checking out.

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Congratulations to 2022 Distinguished Emeritus Members

By IOA Nominating Committee

Each year, members are invited to nominate retired colleagues to be honored as Distinguished Emeritus members, in recognition of their outstanding and dedicated service to the organization and profession. This year, we had several such nominations for ombuds who have gone above and beyond. These esteemed members were recognized during the 17th Annual IOA Conference. Please join us in congratulating each of them:

Jenna Brown

Retired, University of Denver, Member Since: 2000

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Share Your Ombuds Journey

Help Us Explore Our Diverse Stories. Submit Today.

By IOA

Updated March 2022

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Introducing IOA's New Website

Begin Exploring

By the International Ombuds Association

We are delighted to announce that we have launched a new IOA website. You are invited to visit our new and improved site at www.ombudsassociation.org.

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2022 President's Message to IOA Members

President, Melanie Jagneaux

By Melanie Jagneaux, JD, MBA, CO-OP®, IOA President

IOA begins the new year strong. Steadily growing over the past two years, IOA has surpassed its 1,000 member milestone! Even as the impacts of the COVID pandemic continued, we ended 2021 in a prosperous financial position, closing the year with an approximate net surplus of more than $35,000.

We, the members of IOA, accomplished a great deal in 2021! I think it is important to pause and celebrate our successes because our efforts in 2021 will bring even more value to our membership and the ombuds profession in the years to come. If you volunteered your time and talent on an IOA Committee or Task Force, IOA has greatly benefited from your investment. If you provided valuable feedback on proposals in surveys, you helped IOA leaders make better decisions. If you shared viewpoints in town halls or member meetings you contributed to our collaborative culture. We stayed well focused on our goals, engaged openly, collaborated well, met challenges with confidence and persistence, and made important changes to ready the organization for the future.

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2021 IOA Member Updates

By IOA

We would like to thank IOA's  1,000+ members for participating in our organization in 2021. Members' support and investment in the association help us continue striving toward our mission to advance the organizational ombuds profession worldwide.

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