July 31, 2019

Job Posting: World Wildlife Fund

The international non-governmental organization that works on wilderness preservation is seeking its first Ombudsperson. The position is open-ended and based in Switzerland. At this point, WWF has not defined an Organizational Ombuds role, as have most of the other major NGOs/IGOs. Major duties and responsibilities for the position include:

Cummings Reveals Inspiration for Ombuds TV Show

In an interview with The Daily Beast, Whitney Cummings explained the inspiration for her new Amazon series, "Good People" The show is co-produced and co-written by Lee Daniels. Lisa Kudrow will also star and be a co-executive produce. According to IMDB, the show is now in post-production.

July 30, 2019

Chronicle of Higher Ed Profiles Campus Ombuds

An article in today's Chronicle of Higher Education surveys the work of University Ombuds. "Meet Your Campus Troubleshooter" focuses on faculty members who become Ombuds, but it also considers the field more broadly. The reporter quotes several Ombuds, including:

Ombuds Educates New Zealand Lawmakers on Terminology and Work of Organizational Ombuds

Last week, Chris LaHatte made submissions to a New Zealand Parliamentary select committee on the use of the word 'ombudsman' and the more appropriate gender free term 'ombuds.' His submission also outlined how his work as an Organizational Ombuds differs from the original Parliamentary Ombudsman scheme  in New Zealand. 

July 25, 2019

Job Posting: Highline Public Schools

The public school just south of Seattle, Washington, is hiring its first District Ombudsman. Highline Schools enrolls around 18,000 students in grades K-12 and employs more than 2,000 across 332 schools. The new, full-time position will provide "independent confidential and informal assistance to visitors to the Ombudsman’s Office including students, parents and community members." Inexplicably, the position description also states: "Acts as the district’s various compliance officers (HIB, Civil Rights, Title IX)." 

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Promotes Ombuds to Interim Superintendent

After the resignation of its superintendent (the third to hold the post in less than five years), the CMS board has promoted its Ombudsman, Earnest Winston, to serve as Interim Superintendent. Winston was named the first CMS Ombudsman in August 2018. This spring, the district had conducted a search for  an Ombudsman Resolution Specialist, but it is not clear whether that position had been filled or how recent developments will affect the nascent Ombuds program. Meanwhile, the website for the CMS Ombuds Office redirects to the district's homepage. (Charlotte Observer.)

July 23, 2019

Job Posting: University of Massachusetts Amherst

The largest public university in New England is hiring an Associate Ombuds. The position reports to Carol Booth, the University Ombudsperson, and serves faculty, staff, and students.

ABA Section of Dispute Resolution Spring Conference Seeks Presenters

The American Bar Association Section on Dispute Resolution convenes its 22nd Annual Spring Conference April 22-25, 2020 in New Orleans–three weeks after the IOA conference. The conference theme is "Innovation, Improvisation, and Inspiration." Organizers are inviting proposals for 75-minute sessions that highlight both proven and cutting-edge approaches to resolving and preventing conflict and address how to develop and manage dispute resolution practices

July 22, 2019

Job Posting: U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command

TRADOC, which oversees training of Army forces and the development of operational doctrine, is hiring an Ombudsman. The position is located in the Chief of Staff's Office located in Monterey, California. This is a new position, so the incumbent will be responsible to develop the range of Ombuds programs. Occasional travel may be required (TRADOC operates 37 schools and centers at 27 different locations, and is headquartered at Fort Eustis, Virginia).

IOA's Ombuds Training Returns to Baltimore in October 2019

The International Ombudsman Association will offer two training program in October 2019 at the Kimpton Hotel Monaco. IOA's signature course, "Foundations," provides the primary training for new Organizational Ombuds. A two-day course offers advanced mediation training.

July 18, 2019

Internship: Los Alamos National Laboratory

The Ombuds Office at Los Alamos National Laboratory is seeking a conflict resolution & interpersonal communication intern for a Graduate Student Assistant position starting on or after October 1, 2019. Tasks will include completing Ombuds or mediation training, representing the Ombuds office, and data collection and analysis. 

July 17, 2019

IOA Releases Video to Promote Ombuds Profession

Yesterday, the International Ombudsman Association released a video that explains and promotes the work of professional Ombuds. The two-minute video is posted on YouTube and IOA hopes that Ombuds will repost it with external audiences. The video is an update of an earlier version that was part of IOA's "Modern Ombuds Toolkit" -- a collection of resources for Ombuds to help with outreach to clients, prospects, colleagues, and stakeholders.

Job Posting: United Nations, Uganda

The United Nations Ombudsman and Mediation Services is hiring a temporary Conflict Resolution Officer to be based in Entebbe. The position provides informal conflict resolution services to UN staff in Entebbe, as well as offices and missions in the region. The appointment will run through at least March 31, 2020, with the possibility of an extension, and reports to the Regional Ombudsman, Youssoupha Niang.

July 15, 2019

Erasmus University Appoints First Ombuds

The large, public university in Rotterdam has named Edith Weijnen as its first Ombudsman, effective June 1, 2019. She will serve about 30,000 students and about 3,500 staff. According to an announcement from the university, the new Ombuds role is "part of a series of measures to ensure a safe work and study environment [and] for managing work pressure." The university will evaluate the results after a one-year pilot period.

Job Posting: Northern Alberta Institute of Technology

The public university in Edmonton is hiring its next Ombuds for a one-year contract, with the possibility of an extension. The Office of the Ombudsman at NAIT provides guidance to students and staff on academic, interpersonal, and discipline-related issues. The Institute enrolls about 29,000 students (8,400 are full-time) and has 1,200 academic staff. The office was established by Chris Fukushima in the spring of 2015,

July 12, 2019

Internship Opportunity: ECLAC, Santiago

The United Nations Regional Ombudsman Office is seeking an intern for the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean in Santiago, Chile.  The full-time, unpaid internship will last four to six months and offers the opportunity to support the office's mediation training, outreach, and advocacy. The position reports to Francisco Espejo Elgueta.

ACR Sets Agenda for 2019 Conference, Including Session for Aspiring Ombuds

The Association for Conflict Resolution will hold its annual conference in Tucson, Arizona, September 18-21, 2019. The theme of the 19th annual meeting is "Heal the Divide: A Focus on the Role of ADR Practitioners in a Divided Society." ACR has an Ombuds Section and Ombuds are frequent presenters and attendees.  This year, researchers from Nova Southeastern University in Florida will present the only session about Ombuds:

July 11, 2019

New Ombuds at Frederick County Public Schools Posts a Couple Great Explainer Videos

Sabrina Nail, the first FCPS Ombuds who started in April, already has a new website. The resources include two slick and effective videos. The first provides an overview of her office. The second describes the guiding principles and what the Ombuds can do. Both are exemplary. (FCPS Ombuds.)

July 10, 2019

IOA to Offer Ombuds Training in Colombia in October 2019

The International Ombudsman Association (IOA) and the Ombuds office team of the University of Los Andes are sponsoring an International Course on Labor Dispute Resolution based on IOA’s Foundations of Organizational Ombudsman Practice course. The course will take place in Cartagena de Indias on October 21-23, 2019. This is the first-ever IOA course offered in Colombia. 

July 09, 2019

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Names First Ombuds

The leading cancer treatment and research institution in New York City has appointed physician and researcher George J. Bosl as its first Ombudsperson. “The creation of the position of ombudsperson represents an important milestone in MSK’s ongoing effort to balance the need to collaborate with outside industry to further scientific research with our institution’s commitment to preserving the objectivity and integrity of our work, as well as our commitment to transparency,” said Senior VP and Chief Risk Officer Debra Berns.

Brock University Has an New Interim Student Ombuds

The student union for public university in St. Catharines, Ontario, selected Tricia Gazarek as its Interim Ombuds in March 2019. She will serve a student body of 19,000 and follows Carole Moss, who held the position since July 2006. She has worked in conflict resolution since 2010, most recently as a mediator and consultant in private practice.

Portland Public Schools Eliminates Ombuds Office

Judi Martin, CO-OP, has served as the Organizational Ombuds for the large, urban school district in Oregon since September 2014. Last week, the district announced it was "phasing out the Ombudsman position" after a year-long evaluation. According to a statement, "PPS ... will continue to serve as a resource, provide information about district policies and procedures, and, when appropriate, conduct informal interventions and mediations."

July 08, 2019

Job Posting: Department of the Interior

The Department of the Interior's Office of Collaborative Action and Dispute Resolution (CADR) is hiring an Organizational Ombudsman for a full-time, two-year appointment. Based in Arlington, Virginia, the position "works with other CADR staff to support the full range of conflict management and dispute resolution services and to identify opportunities and strategies to expand access to ombudsman services and improve the design and/or operation of the Department’s integrated conflict management system and further CADR’s mission."

New "Ombuds" for Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists is Actually a Compliance Officer

For the first time, the annual meeting of the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, American Elasmobranch Society, Herpetologist's League, and Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles will have an Ombuds. It will not, however, be a familiar model for any of the university scientists.

Ombuds to Highlight University of California Management Conference

The UC People Management Conference in early August will explore the importance of building a culture of collaboration and trust, and two Ombuds will lead sessions. Andrew Larratt-Smith, the Campus Ombuds at UC Riverside, will speak on operational fairness, and Kathleen Canul, Director of Ombuds Services at UCLA, will talk about managing workplace conflicts.

July 02, 2019

ENOHE Incorporates, Selects Officers and Board Members

At its 15th annual meeting last week, the European Network of Ombudsmen in Higher Education held its first official General Assembly. Having been approved by the Austrian authorities as a formal association, ENOHE conducted its first official elections for officers and board members.

July 01, 2019

Job Posting: International Committee of the Red Cross

The ICRC is hiring a Regional Ombuds for the Middle East and North Africa Region.  The full-time, three-year position based in Beruit requires significant travel and reports to the ICRC Ombuds, John W. Zinsser, in Geneva. This seems to be a repeat of a search last summer.