IOA Mentoring Committee

About the Mentoring Committee and Their Mission

To help make your transition to ombudsing a positive and rewarding experience by connecting a novice ombudsman with an experienced ombudsman. This personal relationship provides the new ombudsman an opportunity to have an ombudsman friend, to get assistance, and to discuss the profession.

Ronnie Thomson, Chair

Committee Members

  • Lynne Chaillat, McKinsey & Company Inc France
  • Melissa Connell, CO-OP®, University of Colorado Denver
  • Dolores Gomez-Moran, CO-OP®, Pan American Health Organization
  • Jon Lee, M.A., J.D., CO-OP®, University of New Mexico
  • Mary Beth Stevens, CO-OP®, Los Alamos National Laboratory
  • Shreya Trivedi, CO-OP®, University of Central Florida

To Join the Committee

If you are interested in joining this or any other committee, please visit our Volunteer Opportunities page to learn more about available positions and complete our Volunteer Interest Form.

Volunteer Interest Form
View Volunteer Job Description


  • Finalize steps needed for the Mentoring Application to be utilized
  • Send e-mail to members regarding their interest in mentoring
  • Offer another dedicated session at the 2017 IOA conference
  • Co-host the New Member Luncheon with the Membership Committee
  • Develop a packet of information for new mentors to assist in mentoring new members

Accomplishments 2019-2020

  • Matched 19 mentee/mentors
  • Delivered Standards of Practice skill building/role-playing experiential training for the new Ombuds and co-hosted new member luncheon during Annual Conference


Last Updated 5 August 2020


Mentoring Program Eligibility & Application

The Mentoring Program is available to Members and Associate Members. Mentors must have three years of experience in an ombuds role. Mentees should have less than one year of experience.

Mentoring Program Application

Goals for Mentors and Mentees

Mentoring someone new to the profession offers the unique opportunity to reaffirm the core values of IOA and share experiences and lessons learned in the process. Feedback with types of questions, challenges, and assistance requested from Mentees is provided by the Mentoring Program to the IOA Professional Development Committee (PDC) to incorporate into training.

The committee has been developing Mentor Criteria in order to provide seasoned, well-trained mentors for new members. We are updating our follow-up protocol as follows:

  • Mentors: Yearly e-mailed survey regarding experience.
    • First-time mentors to receive a phone call
  • Mentees: Phone call during match


Mentors must be a practicing ombudsman with at least three years experience; mentees must be a practicing ombudsman with less than one year experience. For Mentees, we consider the type of organization you work for, the size, your constituents, and your geographic region when matching you to a Mentor.

Duties of a Mentor

  • The Mentor will contact the Mentee to introduce him/herself and explain the role of the Mentoring Program
  • The Mentor will make plans to have consistent communication with the Mentee and set expectations depending upon the Mentee's availability and time commitment
  • The Mentor will know, or find out, where to send the Mentee for specific resources
  • The Mentor will share information about the IOA and will have a clear understanding of IOA Standards of Practice, Code of Ethics, and Best Practices
  • The Mentor will make arrangements to meet the Mentee in person at IOA's Annual Conference