April 24, 2014

Survey of Career Trends in Conflict Resolution Highlights Ombuds Work

An article recently posted on Mediate.com summarizes a research study into the employment opportunities in the conflict resolution field.  Maryland-based attorney, mediator, consultant, and trainer, Bob Rhudy based his report on months of interviews with conflict resolution professionals and others across the U.S., and through other research. 

April 23, 2014

Job Posting: WEA Trust

The not-for-profit insurance company that serves Wisconsin school districts is hiring an Ombudsman to be based in Madison. The position "acts as a conduit between conflicting parties; provides confidential, neutral assistance to constituents to help resolve formal grievances; advocates for fairness; and serves as a source of information and support." 

April 22, 2014

Chadbourne & Parke Ombuds Mentors Columbia Law Students

Columbia Law School has implemented a Partners in Residence program to provide students with one-on-one meetings with experienced attorneys to discuss career strategies, professional life, and related matters. One of the first Partners in Residence is Steve Buchman, Chadbourne & Parke’s Ombudsman and Attorney Advisor.  Buchman works with employees around the world, “dealing with issues including civility, harassment and discrimination, new employee evaluation practices, quality of life concerns, and other matters that any employee thinks require attention.”

April 18, 2014

Update: Gov. Christie Appoints an Ombuds

New Jersey Governor, Chris Christie has named Patrick E. Hobbs, Dean of Seton Hall University School of Law, as the first Ombudsman for the Office of the Governor. According to the New York Times, Hobbs will be in charge of ensuring that employees receive “robust” training in ethics, and will shape a new office of the chief ethics officer for the governor and create a system for employees to report concerns about wrongdoing. No other details about the Ombuds program have been published.  (NY Times.)

April 15, 2014

Job Posting: University of Minnesota

The of U of M is hiring a Director for its Office for Conflict Resolution. The position provides informal dispute resolution services -- including private consultations, facilitated discussions, and mediation -- to non-bargaining unit faculty, staff, student employees, and administrators with employment-related concerns. It also manages a staff of three.

April 14, 2014

Coalition of Federal Ombudsman Elects Officers for 2014

CoFO has elected new officers.  Wendy Kamenshine (CFPB), Neal Cohen (CPSC), Craig Cabrera (TSA), and Virginia Behr (FDA/CDER) have all rotated off the board.  

Here are the new officers:

April 11, 2014

District of Columbia Appoints Schools Ombuds

The public school system in Washington, DC filled a position that has been dormant for over four years with the appointment of Joyanna Smith as its next Ombudsman. Smith will provide District residents with problem resolution services regarding education issues and also identify trends and potential problems, making reports to education stakeholders as required by statute.

Grand Valley State University Faculty Endorse Ombuds Program

The Executive Committee of the GVSU Faculty Senate voted unanimously in favor of creating an Ombuds Office last week.  The concept has already received the support of the student senate at the public liberal arts university in Allendale, Michigan--one of only two major universities in the state without an Ombuds program. 

Job Posting: American University in Beirut

After more than a year, the secular, private university in Lebanon has still not found its its first Ombuds.  Reporting to AUB's president, the Ombuds will establish an office to provide a neutral, impartial, confidential, and informal assistance on university-related concerns or disputes, including recipients of health care services. 

April 10, 2014

Ralph Nader Says General Motors Needs an Ombuds

In an interview with the Daily Intelligencer, the consumer advocate says that GM's CEO Mary Barra should create an independent Ombuds for its engineers. In response to a growing scandal about GM's failure to remedy a faulty ignition switch design that lead to 13 deaths over the last ten years, Nader said that an Ombuds should be one of Barra's next steps:

National Autonomous University of Nicaragua to Appoint First Ombuds

La Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Nicaragua, the flagship public university in Managua will soon appoint its first Ombudsman. It will also be the first University Ombudsman in Nicaragua. According to a news report, UNAN will update its polocies to follow the Ombuds model developed by leading European, U.S. and Latin American Universities when it creates its own program. (El Nuevo Diario.)

April 09, 2014

IOA Announces Officers for 2014-15

On the last day of its ninth annual conference in Denver, Board of Directors of the International Ombudsman Association announced the election of officers.  The following will serve terms until the next conference in April 2015:

IOA Scholarship Encourages Work of Kenyan Advocate

On April 7, 2014, the International Ombudsman Association introduced its 2014 International Scholarship Recipient: Daisy J. Mosse-Toigat.  The IOA International Committee selected Mosse-Toigat to receive the award based on an essay that outlined her interest in the Organizational Ombuds profession and plans to promote it in her area of the world.  The award paid for her travel and conference expenses.

April 07, 2014

IOA Honors Two Distinguished Retirees

IOA honored two of its own with the Distinguished Emeritus award at a luncheon today during its ninth annual conference.  The recipients were Marsha Wagner and Alan Lincoln.  

Denver Declares April 7, 2014: "Ombudsman Day"

The Mayor of the City and County of Denver, Michael B. Hancock, declared today to be "Ombudsman Day."  The announcement kicked off the first day of the IOA annual conference.