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Foundations Course | Albuquerque Jan 2019
Hotel Albuquerque
800 Rio Grande Blvde. NW
Albuquerque, NM 87104

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Monday, January 28, 2019, 8:00 AM to Wednesday, January 30, 2019, 3:30 PM MDT
Category: Foundations Courses

Foundations of Organizational Ombudsman Practice

3-Day Course
Monday - Wednesday, 28-30 January 2019

8:00  a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday/Tuesday
8:00  a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Wednesday
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This course is sold out

You may join the waitlist or register for our next course 29 - 31 March in New Orleans, LA on the Annual Conference website.

Registration | Location | Course Description | FacultyCourse Fees


Early-bird discount deadline: 17 December 2018
Online registration deadline: 21 January 2019

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

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Course Description 

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.

As a result of this program, you will learn:

  • 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

Who should attend:

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.

Course Limit: 34 participants

Prerequisites: None

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Ralph Johnson
Ralph Johnson is the ombuds for McKinsey & Company covering the regions of Europe/Middle East/Africa (EMEA) and the Americas. He has had a long and varied career at McKinsey. Ralph is a former consultant at McKinsey and then moved into professional development leadership roles for many years. Ralph helped lead McKinsey's operations practice for several years and then went on to help start the social sector practice. He now splits his time between Ombud for the Americas and leadership development for McKinsey's support staff.

Tom A. Kosakowski
Tom A. Kosakowski is the associate director and ombudsperson for the Health Sciences, UCLA For the past 10 years, he 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.

Donna 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.
Mary Beth Stevens
Mary Beth Stevens is an ombuds at the Los Alamos Laboratory/Department of Energy in New Mexico. She has more than 25 years of experience in crisis response and conflict resolution including 18 years as organizational ombuds in a 10,000-person national laboratory. Her educational background in psychology has been made practical by a couple of decades as an ombuds, mediator, critical incident debriefer, and facilitator of trauma survivor groups. She regularly provides training on conflict resolution, communications, and negotiations skills. She is certified by the National Council for Behavioral Health as a Mental Health First Aid instructor.

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Course Location

Hotel Albuquerque
800 Rio Grande Blvde. NW
Albuquerque, NM 87104

Hotel reservations: +1-866-505-7829 or reserve online.

The course fee does not include travel expenses or the cost of accommodations. Housing arrangements should be made directly with the hotel once you've received a registration confirmation. Be sure to mention "IOA 2019 Winter PDC Training” block of rooms, or Block Code 1901IOA to take advantage of the discounted room rate of $169.00 plus tax per night (single/double occupancy). The hotel reservation deadline is 7 January 2019.

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Course Fees

On or before 17 December 2018

IOA Members: $1,695
Nonmembers: $1,795
After 17 December 2018
IOA Members: $1,795
Nonmembers: $1,895

The course fee does not include travel expenses or the cost of accommodations. Housing arrangements should be made directly with the hotel once you’ve received a registration confirmation.

To receive the member discount for this event, you must first become a member then proceed to event registration. 

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Contact the IOA office at [email protected].