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SOLD OUT | Virtual Foundations Course | November 2020
Monday, November 09, 2020 6:00 AM PDT to Friday, November 13, 2020
Category: Foundations Courses

Virtual Foundations of Organizational Ombudsman Practice Course

5-Day Course

6:00 AM – 9:30 AM PT | 9:00 AM  12:30 PM ET Monday/Tuesday
6:00 AM  9:30 AM PT | 9:00 AM  12:30 PM ET Wednesday
11:30 AM – 3:00 PM PT | 2:30 PM – 6:00 PM ET Wednesday
6:00 AM – 9:30 AM PT | 9:00 AM  12:30 PM ET Thursday
6:00 AM – 9:00 AM PT | 9:00 AM  12:00 PM ET Friday

Times subject to change based on facilitator availability.

Registration & Fees | Course Description | Faculty


Registration Rates:

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

 This course is sold out.

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Course Description 

“Foundations of Organizational Ombudsman Practice” is offered multiple times each year in various locations, and now, online! The course covers the fundamentals of the organizational ombuds role based on the principles of confidentiality, impartiality, 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

It is also beneficial for anyone desiring to enter the profession or establish an ombuds function in industry, government, education, and public or private social services agencies. 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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Dawn Osborne-Adams, JD, CO-OP®
University Ombuds & Director, Ombuds Office, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Dawn Osborne-Adams is committed to building the capacity of individuals and organizations to engage in constructive problem-solving.

Dawn currently serves as the University Ombuds and Director of the Ombuds Office at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  Dawn’s ombuds experience also includes serving as a consulting ombuds with Shell Oil Company’s Office of Ombuds Services and as university ombudsman for Binghamton University (SUNY.)

Dawn’s professional experience has focused almost exclusively on problem resolution, as not only an ombuds, but also through roles with the United States Federal Courts, where she directed the alternative dispute resolution (ADR) program for the Central District of California, and completed district court judicial clerkships in the Central District of California and the Eastern District of New York.

Dawn began her professional career as a practicing lawyer in New York City and remains an active member of the New York State bar.  She has extensive experience both domestically and internationally as a speaker, trainer and educator, having served as faculty for the HERS Leadership Institutes, the International Ombudsman Association, and Binghamton University’s College of Community and Public Affairs.

Dawn holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Georgetown University, a juris doctor from New York University School of Law, and a certificate in Dispute Resolution from the Straus Institute at Pepperdine University School of Law.

Hector Escalante

Hector Escalante, EdD, MFA
Ombudsperson, University of the Pacific

Dr. Hector Escalante is the University of the Pacific’s inaugural Ombudsperson. He comes from both a management and academic background. Escalante holds a Doctor of Education and a Master of Fine Arts in creative non-fiction writing. He served as college professor for many years before transitioning into academic administration. He has been a provost, dean, and director of academic units. Escalante is a trained mediator, DISC profile facilitator, and a conflict resolution professional. As the University of the Pacific Ombuds, he works with individuals and groups in an organization to explore and assist them in determining options to help resolve conflicts, and has been in this role for 5 years. Escalante is also one of two ombuds for Earthjustice, a non-profit public interest environmental law organization, and currently serves on the IOA Board of Directors.

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.

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Contact the IOA office at [email protected].