March 18, 2019

American Economic Association Opts for Classical Ombuds

In the wake of persistent gender discrimination against female economists, the AEA will establish and fund an Ombudsperson for its members. However, despite careful consideration of an Organizational Ombuds model, the profession association instead opted for a more Classical Ombuds. (Shereen G. Bingham, Professor and Ombudsperson at the University of Nebraska, provided extensive details in her recommendation to AEA's Committee on the Status of Women in the Economics Profession for an Organizational Ombuds last spring.) Most significantly, the AEA Ombuds will serve as an agent for notice for the association, with significant input on administrative decisions.

Here's how the new Ombuds was described in an announcement to AEA members,:
The ombudsperson will take and permanently record complaints concerning harassment or discrimination in any professional context; advise and provide resources to individuals experiencing harassment or discrimination; with the complainant’s permission, relay complaints to employers and/or to an AEA liaison; and, as appropriate, investigate or otherwise follow through on complaints. The ombudsperson will also help the Association develop policies and programs to fight harassment and discrimination, including offering training at ASSA meetings.
Ben Bernanke is the current AEA President. (AEA News; AEA CSWEP Newsletter.)

Related post: American Economic Association Considering an Ombuds Service for Members.

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