International Ombuds Association
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SOLD OUT | Virtual Foundations Course | January 2021
Monday, January 11, 2021 8:00 AM PDT to Friday, January 15, 2021
Category: Foundations Courses

Virtual Foundations of Organizational Ombudsman Practice Course

5-Day Course

8:00 AM – 11:30 AM PT | 11:00 AM  2:30 PM ET Monday/Tuesday
8:00 AM – 11:30 AM PT | 11:00 AM  2:30 PM ET Wednesday
1:30 PM – 5:00 PM PT | 4:30 PM – 8:00 PM ET Wednesday
8:00 AM – 11:30 AM PT | 11:00 AM  2:30 PM ET Thursday
8:00 AM – 11:00 AM PT | 11:00 AM  2:00 PM ET Friday

Please ensure that you are available to attend all sessions prior to registering for this course. Sessions are highly interactive and not recorded or able to be made up. Times are subject to change based on facilitator availability and participants will be notified well advance if there are any changes.

Registration & Fees | Course Description | Faculty


Registration Rates:

  • Members: $1,695
  • Non Members: $1,995
This Virtual Foundations Course has reached capacity. Registration is now closed.

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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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Kirsi Aulin, CO-OP®
Director, Ombuds Office, University of Colorado Boulder

Bio coming soon.

Melissa Brodrick

Melissa Brodrick 
Ombudsperson, Harvard Medical School/School of Dental Medicine/T. H. Chan School of Public Health

Melissa serves as an impartial and informal dispute resolution practitioner who provides confidential and informal assistance to Harvard faculty, staff, students, and trainees and to appointees at the affiliated institutions. Her services include helping visitors to clarify their concerns, identify their goals, and consider all of their options in managing or resolving their disputes. Melissa provides coaching in written and verbal communications, informal mediation, meeting facilitation, shuttle diplomacy, and information about policies/procedures and resources.  She also offers educational programs upon request.

Donna LoudenDonna 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.​

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Contact the IOA office at [email protected].