January 06, 2023

IOA Posts Agenda and Opens Registration for 2023 Conference

Organizational Ombuds will gather in Seattle for the International Ombuds Association 18th Annual Conference on April 3-5, 2023. This the first in-person conference since 2019. IOA cancelled the event in 2020 shortly after the outbreak of COVID and held virtual conferences in 2021 and 2022. The theme considers the role of Ombuds and also hints at the changes in Ombuds practice: "Ombuds as Change Agent? ReEngaging and Transforming Conflict." Registration is now open and now the detailed agenda is available.

3 April 2023

Welcome/Conference Open

Roundtable Discussions

Keynote: Amy Gallo

Session Block 1

  • Session 1A | A Novel Idea For Reengaging Those In Conflict, Pete Alexander
  • Session 1B | The Humility Project: Thinking of Our Ombuds' Selves Less, Tessa Byer
  • Session 1C | Try Again: Reengaging with Games in Ombuds Marketing and Practice, David Schwartz
  • Session 1D | Preserving Your Personal Space, Deanna Yuille Banford
  • Session 1E | Ombuds “Pinspiration” and Change Agent in the Tech Sector: Introduction to the Pinterest Ombuds Program, Donna Douglass Williams


Session Block 2

  • Session 2A | Creating Our Own User Manuals: Ombudsing With Neurodiversity in Mind, Israela Brill-Cass
  • Session 2B | Being a change agent for Diversity and Inclusion using data and Change Management Methodology, Alexandre St-Jean & Lianna Ferran
  • Session 2C | Transforming Tolerance into Belonging, Kimberly Howard
  • Session 2D | Moral Conflict: Creating Dialogue Across Values and Beliefs, John Howard
  • Session 2E | Ombuds Bringing Change: Stories Across Continents and Sectors, Wiktoria Maslowska

Sector Meetings

End of Day Learning Circle

Welcome Reception and Ombuds Stories


4 April 2023

Coffee Talk: Faith and Ombudsing


Keynote: The Agency of Change: Condition Tending for Dynamic Quality, Sarah Freiesleben

Session Block 3

  • Session 3A | Dancing to the Edge of Neutrality, Jennifer Mahony, Linda Brothers, & Katie Manderson
  • Session 3B | No Prince(ss) is Coming: Specific Techniques for Ombuds-led Culture Change, Dr. Susan Raines
  • Session 3C | Trusted Navigation and Career Support: The Career Counseling Ombuds, Don Lubach
  • Session 3D | Creating Change When the Sun Doesn't Shine in Your Institution, Sarah Klaper, Katherine Greenwood, & Jessica Kuchta-Miller
  • Session 3E | Divided We Fall: Tackling Polarization in the Workplace, Rachel Nicholson & Christopher Artis

Session Block 4

  • Session 4A | Internal v. Outsourced Ombuds: Is One Better? Is There a Difference?, Geetha Ravindra, Brian Bloch, & Israela Brill-Cass
  • Session 4B | Powerful oral and data storytelling: encouraging systemic change by communicating impact, Tina Hinh & Balint Balassa
  • Session 4C | How Ombuds Programs Empower D&I and the Worker Voice, Sana Manjeshwar
  • Session 4D | Who are We, and What Do We Do? Insights from the 2022 Practice Survey, Dr. Jennifer Schneider, Dr. Timothy Hedeen, Dr. Mary Rowe, & Dr. Hector Escalante
  • Session 4E | Getting a CLEW: ombuds facilitating change and bridging gaps via new Chair Leadership Engagement Workgroup, Melanie Jagneaux & Alicia Booker


Session Block 5

  • Session 5A | Talking Circles for Ombuds: Engaging in Dialogue and Building Community, Kristine Paranica & Tessa Byer
  • Session 5B | Ripped From the Higher Ed Headlines: How Might the Ombuds Help?, Julia Farmer
  • Session 5C | Data Storytelling: Inspiring Change in the Organization and the Ombuds Profession, Wayne Blair, Angelica Alejandro, & Arlene Pantua
  • Session 5D | Can Ombuds be Leadership Coaches: A Pilot at the University of Washington, Ruthy Rosenberg, Chuck Sloane, & Sara Kim
  • Session 5E | A Case Study: Creating an Inclusive Workplace for Your Black & Your Female Workforce, Catherine Mattice

Afternoon Snack Sessions: Over the course of an hour, pick, choose, and explore bite-sized, interactive presentations on a variety of Ombuds topics relevant to practice, office setup, working with leadership, and system design.  Our nine presenters will be simultaneously sharing short micro-learning sessions, allowing you to attend multiple sessions.

Mary Rowe Keynote: Brian Bloch

End of Day Learning Circle

Experience: On Display

Attendee Experience Activities


5 April 2023

Coffee Talk


The Howard Gadlin Undebate: The Future of the Profession

Learning Circles

Mentoring Event

Discussion Groups


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