The European Organization for Nuclear Research (Organisation européenne pour la recherche nucléaire), which operates the world's largest particle physics lab, has named Pierre Gildemyn as its next Ombuds. Gildeman takes over from Sudeshna Datta-Cockerill, who served as CERN's Ombuds for the past four years.
In making the announcement, CERN's Director-General, Fabiola Gianotti, had the following to say about the Ombuds program and Datta-Cockerill's work:
I am a firm believer that the role of Ombud in any organisation helps to ensure a healthy working environment for all. At CERN, the role was very quick to become established: the Ombud’s Corner in the Bulletin has been well read from the beginning, and around 100 people make use of the services of the Ombud every year. That’s a small number compared to the overall CERN population, and it includes representatives of all categories of personnel. Similar numbers of men and women turn to the Ombud for advice, although that translates to a considerably higher fraction of the female population than that of the male population. The issues raised are, however, similar for both. Relationships between supervisors and supervisees, and relationships between peers, constitute the lion’s share of issues that people bring to the Ombud. About half of the cases are addressed confidentially through advice or discussion, with only a small number of cases leading to action or mediation. To me, this is a strong sign that the office of the Ombud is working as it should, and that we have created an environment that allows conflicts to surface and be managed constructively.Gildemyn has worked in CERN's HR department since 2001. His career has included HR positions at multinational corporations in Europe over the past four decades. He graduated from Université de Nancy, and earned master of laws at Ghent University, and an MBA at VLerick Business School. (CERN Newsletter; LinkedIn.)
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