April 30, 2021

Job Posting: United Nations, New York

The Office of the United Nations Ombudsman and Mediation Services is searching again for a Chief of Service. (The job was posted in 2017, 2018, and 2019; the current UNOMS Regional Ombudsman in Vienna, Gang Li, briefly held the position on an interim basis.) The position reports to the UN Ombudsman, Shireen L. Dodson, who was appointed in June 2018. The position is based in New York and directs the work of regional Ombuds offices, in addition to working as an Ombuds. Significant travel is required. 

Save the Date: ENOHE-ACCUO 2021 Conference

The European Network of Ombuds in Higher Education has set the date for its 2021 conference. "Looking Forward: The Role of the Ombuds in the Post-Covid Recovery" will be online September 21-22, and offered jointly with the Association of Canadian College and University Ombuds. Details will be provided later. Organizers will issue a call for papers in May. (ENOHE News.)

April 29, 2021

U.S. Olympic Athlete Ombuds Publishes Confidentiality and Privacy Policy

Pursuant to a congressional directive, the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee's Office of the Ombudsman has released its confidentiality and privacy policy. The notice was effective April 26, 2021 and was published in the Federal Register (the official journal of the federal government that contains agency rules, proposed rules, and public notices). The contours of the policy are generally consistent with IOA's Standards of Practice, with the significant exception of a congressional subpoena. 

IOA Webinar on Demonstrating Value

The International Ombudsman Association has been offering monthly skills programs for practicing Ombuds. This month, the webinar focuses on how Ombuds can demonstrate value to their organization. As usual, the session is free for IOA members. 

Here's the full description:

April 27, 2021

Ombuds for UN Funds and Programmes Releases 2020 Annual Report

Giuseppe De Palo, the Ombudsman for the United Nations Funds and Programmes, says that, "2020 was a highly productive year that saw significant continuing development of conflict management services." In 2020 a staff of 15, including Deputy Ombudsman Kentaro Kanyomozi, the program managed 331 cases from offices in Copenhagen, Bangkok, Dakar, Istanbul, Panama, and New York. De Palo attributed the overall decline in the total number of cases to the impact of the pandemic as UN staff shifted to remote work. In 2020, the office also mediated 40 cases, with a 97% success rate. 

April 26, 2021

ENOHE to Host Informal Meet-Up

The European Network of Ombuds in Higher Education will host an informal online conversation on Thursday. Organizers how to replicate the casual conversations that have been lost as in-person events have moved online. Here's the full announcement:

April 23, 2021

Job Posting: U.S. Census Bureau

The Department of Commerce agency is hiring an Associate Ombudsman to be based in Jeffersonville, Indiana. The GS-14 position reports to the Census Bureau Ombudsman, Bill Maurer, CO-OP. Occasional travel may be required and telework may also be possible. Relocation expenses may be paid.

Wright State University to Restore Ombuds Program

The public research university near Dayton, Ohio has opened an internal search for its next Ombudsperson. Hazel Rountree established the office, which served the campus of over 20,000, in 2014 and served in the role for four years. The position is open to all WSU employees. According to the job posting, "The academic ombudsperson should have an advanced degree combined with relevant dispute resolution training. Experience working with people of diverse backgrounds and cultures is also desired." No salary or closing date indicated. (Indeed.)

April 22, 2021

Job Posting: Financial Industry Regulatory Authority

The non-governmental organization that regulates member brokerage firms and exchange markets in the U.S., is hiring an Associate Principal Analyst Ombudsman. The full-time position handles external and internal inquiries, and practices to IOA standards. (A search is also underway for the next VP and Director of the FINRA Office of the Ombudsman.) The job is based in Rockville, MD and some travel is required.

The Future of Workplace Dispute Resolution and the Role of Ombuds

Earlier this year, the Labor and Employment Relations Association on hosted three webinars on the future of workplace dispute resolution. The third session, "Future of Ombuds," focused on the role of Ombuds and it is now available on YouTube. 

April 21, 2021

Job Posting: World Health Organization, Egypt

The UN agency for international public health is hiring a Regional Ombudsman to be based in Cairo for a full-time, two-year appointment. It is not clear from the posting whether the position reports to the the WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean or the WHO Ombudsman, José Martínez-Aragón. Among other typical Ombuds duties, the position is expected to "maintain an active understanding of professional developments in their area of work by continuing professional membership of the International Ombudsman Association (IOA) and participating in the annual and regular meetings of the Network of Ombudsmen from the United Nations and Related International Organizations (UNARIO)."

April 20, 2021

East European University Unveils Ombuds Program

The decade old private college in Tbilisi, Georgia, has appointed Zura Bejashvili as its first Ombudsman. A new website expains, "The main principles of the Student Ombudsman’s Office of the East European University are independence, confidentiality, neutrality, impartiality and collegiality. Works according to the practice standards of the International Ombudsman Association (IOA)." Bejashvili is assisted by Irakli Tibua, an alumnus of EEU and former student leader. 

IOI Opens Registration for Virtual Conference

The International Ombudsman Institute’s 12th General Assembly and World Conference will take place as an online event on May 25-27, 2021. IOI, the global organization of nearly 200 independent, classical Ombudsman institutions, was forced to cancel its annual event last year due to the COVID pandemic. There is no registration fee for the online General Assembly and World Conference, even for non-members. The registration deadline is May 15. (IOI News.)

April 19, 2021

Loyola University Chicago Creates Ombuds Program

Morgan Rosenberg has been named the first Faculty Ombudsperson for the private Jesuit research university. She will practice to IOA standards and work with about 700 faculty members across several campuses in the Chicago area. She is also an instructor in the law school, where she teaches mediation advocacy, negotiation, and client counseling. 

Job Posting: World Health Organization

The Office of the Ombudsman for WHO/Europe is implementing Respectful Workplace program and seeks qualified external coaches. The consultants will Provide confidential and individual coaching services to staff, Organize and conduct group discussions, and advise the Regional Ombudsman. The duration of consultancy is for 18 working days over a period of 6 months from June 1 to December 1, 2021.

April 16, 2021

Job Posting: Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools

The large public school system in North Carolina is hiring an Ombudsman Resolution Specialist. The position "serves as a neutral intermediary to receive and investigate complaints, questions and concerns from constituents for resolution in a confidential manner; acts as a source of information and referral and assists in the resolution of concerns and critical situations received from parents, students, employees and the public." Jerri Haigler is the Director of the CMS Ombudsman's Office.

Podcast Interview with USC Health Sciences Campus Ombuds

Law and politics researcher and podcaster İdil Elveriş has shared another interview with an Ombuds: Tom Kosakowski from the University of Southern California. The conversation covers how were Ombuds programs were initiated in the U.S.; how the changing university student profile is contributing to the adoption of Ombuds programs; what Ombuds programs do to help their organizations; how medical schools ae unique settings for Ombuds services; and the future of ombuds as an institution internationally.

April 14, 2021

Save the Dates for Two Cal Caucus Events in 2021

For the first time, the California Caucus of College and University Ombuds will hold two events this year. The usual fall meeting will take place November 10-13, 2021 and is being planned as an in-person event at Asilomar. In addition, the Caucus will have a virtual one-day meeting on June 16. Details and registration will be announced next month. Both meetings will reflect the theme of, "Towards Restoration: What We’ve Lost, and What We’ve Found." (Cal Caucus.)

FDA Office of Regulatory Affairs Ombuds Releases 2020 Report

Erica Katherine, the Ombudsman for FDA's Office of Regulatory Affairs, says that the annual report from her office reflects the unique challenges as the nation navigated through a global pandemic and a period of social change in 2020. The ORA Ombudsman engages with FDA’s external partners (including industry, other governmental agencies and consumers) and works to improve communications between employees and stakeholders while practicing to IOA standards. In 2020, Katherine's office reviewed and responded to 318 inquiries, a 16% increase from the prior year and the third straight annual increase. 

April 13, 2021

Job Posting: World Bank Group

The international financial institution is hiring a Program Advisor for a three-year appointment. The position manages the Respectful Workplace Advisors (RWA) Program, which is part of the Ombuds Program and practices to IOA standards. The RWA Program provides training, support, and guidance to the 260+ volunteer advisors throughout the World Bank Group. There is frequent interaction with the Bank's Ombuds: David Wilburn Talbot; Doris Cecilia Campos-Infantino; and Axel R. Peuker.

Job Posting: United Nations, New York

The Office of the Ombudsman for UN Funds and Programmes (which comprises UNDP / UNFPA / UNICEF/ UNOPS / UN Women) is seeking an on-call Training Consultancy. The consultant will training and create or edit learning courses and awareness materials in the field of Alternative Dispute Resolution, that support the office's training goals. The contract duration will be three years, and tasks will be assigned on an on-call basis.

New Ombuds to Start at CERN

On April 15, 2021, Laure Esteveny will replace Pierre Gildemyn as the Ombud for the European Organization for Nuclear Research (Organisation européenne pour la recherche nucléaire), which operates the world's largest particle physics lab near Geneva. Gildemyn has completed his four-year term and will be retiring. Esteveny has worked at CERN for over 23 years in a variety of administrative positions, most recently as Senior Advisor to the Director for International Relations.

April 12, 2021

Job Posting: Kaiser Permanente Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine

The new private medical school (established 2020) in Pasadena, California is hiring its first Ombuds Officer. The full-time position will establish and lead the KPSOM Office of the Ombuds in providing services to the entire school following IOA standards. Kaiser Permanente has a large network of HealthCare Ombuds/Mediator which provide early dispute resolution services for patient complaints, but this new Ombuds is not connected to that program. 

Georgetown University Appoints First Student Ombuds

Today, Daniela Brancaforte starts work as the Student Ombudsperson at Georgetown University. In this new position, she will serve as a resource for about 7,500 undergraduate students at the private university following IOA standards. She joins Main Campus Faculty Ombuds Officer, Catherine Langlois, CO-OP, School of Medicine Ombudsperson, Stacey Kaltman, and an (unnamed) Graduate Student Ombuds Officer.

Society for Research in Child Development Names Conference Ombuds

The professional society for the field of human development has hired Kathleen Canul to serve as its first Ombuds. As the 2021 Biennial Meeting Ombuds, Canul provided services virtually to thousands of online conference attendees from April 7 to 9, 2021. Canul is the Director of Ombuds Services at the UCLA and has also recently served as the Ombuds for the Global Green Growth Institute, the Annual Meeting of the American Institute of Archaeology/Society for Classical Studies, and the Annual Convention for the Society for Personality and Social Psychology. (SRDC Ombuds.)

April 07, 2021

Laurie Mesibov: University of North Carolina Associate Ombuds

Laurie Mesibov, the Associate Ombuds at UNC Chapel Hill, passed away on March 31, 2021. She helped establish UNC's Ombuds Office in 2005 and continued to work there until sidelined by her recent illness which began just 19 months ago. Mesibov started working at UNC shortly after she earned her law degree there in 1984. She was a long-time faculty member at the Law School, where she specialized in public school law, and held a variety of other administrative and leadership positions in the university. Among other volunteer work in the Ombuds field, Mesibov was a member of the first editorial board of the Journal of IOA. Condolence messages may be sent to her family via the UNC Ombuds Office. (UNC Ombuds.)

Union of Concerned Scientists Pilots Ombuds Program

In October 2020, Hector Escalante was appointed to a one year term as the first Ombuds for the nonprofit science advocacy organization. He serves about 150 UCS employees that work at several locations across the U.S. His work does not include the 200,000 members of the organizations. Escalate has also been the Ombuds for the University of the Pacific since 2014 and Eathjustice since 2018. He is an active IOA volunteer and currently serves on the board of directors. (LinkedIn.)

U.S. Ombudsman Association Seeks DEI Consultant

The United States Ombudsman Association (the professional association for governmental and other classical Ombuds) has issued a request for proposals from experienced diversity, equity, and inclusion consultants. The selected consultant will help the organization's leaders and staff develop a strategic plan. USOA has a budget of up to $10,000 and proposals are due April 30, 2021. The move echoes a similar decision by IOA last month.

Here is the full announcement:

April 06, 2021

Job Posting: University of California, Irvine

The Orange County campus of the University of California has opened a search for its next University Ombudsman. The position direct all aspects of the University Ombudsman Office, which serves faculty, staff, and students at the UCI campus in Irvine and the medical center in Orange. Michael Chennault has served in the position since 2007. The office also currently includes Jennifer Moumneh, Senior Associate Ombudsman, Shawn Hutchens, Associate Ombudsman, and Jeanne Fuller, Administrative Analyst.

University of Kentucky Opens Internal Search for Ombuds

The public university in Lexington seeks a tenured or emeriti faculty member to serve as Academic Ombud. UK had one of the first university Ombuds in the United States and 28 faculty have served in the position over the last five decades. Currently, Kaveh Tagavi, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, is the Academic Ombud and Laura Anschel is the Associate Academic Ombud.

Boise State Seeking Faculty to Join Ombuds Office

The public university in Idaho is taking applications from faculty member of any rank to join the Faculty Ombuds. A team of three Ombuds provides informal problem solving and conflict management for all faculty members within the Boise State community. 

April 05, 2021

Job Posting: U.S. Green Building Council

The non-profit that promotes sustainable buildings (best known for its LEED rating scheme) is hiring its first Ombuds. The part-time, hourly position has been endorsed by USGBC's board and will serve 250 employees worldwide. The organization is based in Washington, DC, but the position may work remotely.

Department of the Interior Adds a Seasoned Ombuds

Vik Kapoor has joined the Department of the Interior's Office of Collaborative Action and Dispute Resolution as an Organizational Ombuds. Previously, Kapoor worked with or for the UN Funds and Programmes, Federal Emergency Management Agency, and the Department of Homeland Security's Ombuds Forum. At CADR, he will work with four other Ombuds: Brian Bloch, Sigal Shoham, Tahirih Varner, and Mary Chavez Rudolph