Executive Director: International Ombudsman Association 

Position Description

The International Ombudsman Association (IOA) is a member-led, professional association committed to supporting the Organizational Ombuds profession worldwide. IOA possesses a strong history of providing professional development, networking, peer support, and other valuable resources and guidance to its members. IOA is positioned to advance the organizational ombuds as an invaluable strategic resource for the corporate, government, non-profit, and educational sectors.   

The IOA Executive Director (ED) is the champion and public-facing representative for the IOA, its members, and the Organizational Ombuds profession. The ED is the advisor to and a leader of strategic initiatives of IOA. The ED builds relationships and networks, and works across all representative sectors to promote and further the strategic goals of the organization and advancing IOA’s diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging efforts. The ED has a primary focus on the overall growth of the organization, including membership expansion and revenue generation. The ED works in partnership with IOA’s association management staff. The ED reports to the IOA Board of Directors. 

POSITION EXPECTATIONS                                  

  1. External Leadership
    1. Supports the organizational Ombuds profession, overall.
    2. Establishes and sustains professional relationships and strategic partnerships to promote and further the mission and strategic goals of the IOA.
    3. Represents the organization internationally and effectively collaborates with constituencies, including individual members, peer and affinity organizations, other non-profits, government agencies, elected officials, funders, and the general public.
    4. Commands respect and maintains an excellent public profile for the organization.
    5. Demonstrates excellent written and public communication skills to communicate the value and role of the Organizational Ombuds and IOA.
    6. Addresses press and industry inquiries and oversees and responds to urgent communication needs from within the organization and beyond in collaboration with IOA’s communications consultant and staff. 
    7. Identifies and cultivates legislative and regulatory opportunities to further IOA’s mission and interests.
  1. Internal Leadership
    1. Provides leadership support and guidance in collaboration with the Managing Director, President and Board Members on all matters affecting the Organization.
    2. Informs Board members in a timely way about important matters which may impact the organization.
    3. Informs Board members and membership of activities and efforts of the ED.
    4. Works closely with Board Members, the Executive Committee, the Managing Director and staff to ensure effective communication, collaboration, prioritization, and execution of organizational efforts.
    5. Proposes initiatives and programs, recommends continuance of existing activities, and recommends modifications to initiatives or programming as appropriate to enhance membership growth and revenue generation.
    6. Maintains and utilizes a working knowledge of significant developments and trends in the field.
    7. Works with the Board, the Executive Committee, the Managing Director and staff to contribute to and advance visionary and ambitious goals in the IOA Strategic Direction.
  1. Financial Growth & Sustainability and Mission Impact
    1. Identifies programs and activities, which could be developed, executed, modified, or dismantled in order to maximize the organization’s opportunities for revenue generation, investments, and cost reduction.
    2. Provides effective financial advice to the Finance Committee, Board of Directors, and Managing Director to ensure the IOA budget aligns with the strategic goals of IOA, both annually and long term.


The successful candidate possesses the following professional and personal competencies:

  • Excellent written and public communication skills
  • Creative and visionary thinker
  • Network-oriented for building strategic relationships
  • Results and goal-oriented
  • Strong reasoning and analytical abilities
  • Strong understanding of all types of non-profit association revenue generation


  • Advanced degree in relevant discipline or equivalent experience.
  • Minimum five years of applicable leadership experience.
  • Demonstrated understanding and commitment to IOA’s goal of ensuring diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging within the organization.


  • Experience practicing as an organizational ombuds or closely related profession.
  • Experience serving in a leadership role with a volunteer-led, mission-driven association or other non-profit organization.
  • Experience with and/or knowledge of related professions such as dispute resolution, legal, HR, international affairs, and/or finance.


The ED is a full-time contract position for which IOA has budgeted an annual compensation package in the range of $145,000 - $165,000The ED works remotely and is expected to maintain a suitable, legally compliant home-office environment. 

IOA’s day-to-day operations are managed by a staff team at an association management company. The ED is expected to work in close collaboration with members of IOA’s leadership and staff to carry out the goals and objectives of IOA.

Individuals wanting to learn more about IOA should review the IOA website www.ombudsassociation.org.  


To be considered, candidates must submit a letter of interest and resume through the online application. Application materials will be reviewed on a rolling basis, and interested candidates are encouraged to submit their materials as soon as possible. No materials will be accepted after 31 October 2021. Applications are no longer being accepted as of 1 November 2021. 

Anticipated Timeline

Application Deadline: 31 October 2021
Screening & Interviews: November 2021
Position Begins: January 2022

IOA values and is strongly committed to diversity, equity and inclusion, and welcomes candidates of all race, color, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, political affiliation, marital status, ancestry, or national or ethnic origin or any other legally protected class to apply. 

Questions? Please contact Lindsay Jennings, IOA Managing Director at [email protected].