February 17, 2020

Mediators Beyond Borders International Spotlights Work of Ombuds Team

The U.S.-based international non-profit that promotes mediation and peacebuilding recently highlighted the work of its three-member Ombuds Team of Chris LaHatte, Ayo Ayoola-Amale, and Yolanda W. Collins. The MBBI Ombuds assist members with concerns about MBBI decisions and activities, and individual behaviors and misconduct. They were profiled in recent articles on the MBBI website. All three will be attending the IOA conference in Portland this spring.

Chris LaHatte has been a lawyer for almost four decades and is the former Ombudsman for the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). He studies law at the University of Auckland and later obtained a Masters degree in Dispute Resolution from Massey University. LaHatte is a member of IOA and an individual member of the International Ombudsman Institute.
Especially as he lives in New Zealand and many of his clients are thousands of kilometers and many time zones apart, Internet access is a huge part of his career. If the time zone happens to land upon 3 am New Zealand time, Chris will gladly wake up as “solving the problem is more important than a good night’s sleep.”
Ayo Ayoola-Amale is a mediator, attorney, educator, and peace advocate, and spends between her home community of Lagos, Nigeria, and her current community in Accra, Ghana. She studied law at Obafemi Awolowo University earned LLM degrees from the University of Lagos and the University of Ghana. She is also a well-known African poet, lawyer, conflict-resolution professional, ombudsman, peace builder, and spoken-word performance artist. ‘Ayo’s mission is to “build local peace and advocate for peace in a volatile world.’”

Yolanda Collins has worked as a mediator for over 15, starting with the Baltimore Community Mediation Program. She was selected as the first municipal Ombuds for the State of Maryland. Later Collins worked as one of the first FEMA ADR Cadre and was embedded with the relief efforts following Hurricane Katrina. Collins currently is Federal workplace mediator. She completed Master’s degrees in Human Service Administration and Negotiation and Conflict Management Studies at Coppin State University and the University of Baltimore, respectively.
She characterized this rapid change as “the ability to be available and jumping in when the door of opportunity opens… even if you don’t know where you’re going to land. In a short time span, I had three ‘firsts’ Maryland Municipal Ombuds, FEMA ADR Advisor embedded neutral, and Mediators Beyond Borders International Ombuds.”
(MBBI Member Spotlight: Chris LaHatte; Ayo Ayoola-Amale; Yolanda W. Collins.)

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