May 31, 2024

American Arbitration Association Acquires in Bid to Expand Online Services

This week, AAA, the nonprofit organization that claims to be the world's largest provider of arbitration, mediation and other ADR services, acquired Resourceful Internet Solutions Inc. RIS builds online dispute resolution systems and owns,, and RIS's CEO Colin Rule explained, “Demand for ODR [online dispute resolution] is growing rapidly worldwide, and working with the AAA will keep us on the cutting edge.” 

Register Now for Summer Small Caucus 2024

The California Caucus of College and University Ombuds has opened registration for its third annual summer meeting. The online only event on June 27, 2024, offers an opportunity to preview the topic for the traditional fall caucus in Pacific Grove. 

 Here's the full announcement: :

Webinar Offers Guidance on Becoming an Ombuds

The Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution (formerly known as the School for Conflict Analysis) at George Mason University has been hosting a series of webinars on professional fields in ADR. The latest program attempts to answer the question: "So, You Want to be an Ombuds?" The 76 minute recording was posted to YouTube and is free to view.

May 30, 2024

OCP Group Creates External Ombuds

The state-owned, Morocco-based, global conglomerate phosphate producer (formerly Office Chérifien des Phosphates) has established an Ombuds program to serve its customers, partners, NGO, and suppliers. The OCP Group Ombudsman is defined by a Operating Charter that adopts IOA standards without significant exceptions. The staff of the program, however, are not identified. (OCP Group Ombuds.)

May 24, 2024

The Hollywood Commission Unveils Ombuds Service for Motion Picture Industry

Yesterday, the nonprofit headed by Anita Hill launched MyConnext, a program that will assist employees at five major entertainment organizations with concerns about workplace misconduct. The program is a direct response to the MeToo movement. In addition to an anonymous, online reporting tool, MyConnext is offering Ombuds services. Lillian Rivera is the initial Ombuds for MyConnext and long-time Ombuds Wokie Nwabueze is on the management committee. In the initial phase, MyConnext services will be available for members of the Writers Guild of America (WGA) West, the International Alliance of Theatrical State Employees (IATSE), and the Directors Guild of American (DGA); and U.S.-based employees of Netflix, Amazon, and the Kennedy/Marshall Company. MyConnext services will supplement and not replace existing programs within these organizations. Details about the MyConnext Ombuds program are vague, but insiders report that the Ombuds will likely practice to IOA standards. (MyConnext; Variety; IndieWire; Deadline.)

Lakehead University Names Next Ombuds

Elizabeth Garofalo has been appointed the Ombudsperson for the public university in Thunder Bay, Ontario. The position is jointly funded by the university and the student union. She follows Gary Walbourne, who served in the role for the past three years. Garofalo will serve faculty, staff, and students at Lakehead.

May 23, 2024

FCO and ACCUO Announce 2024 Biennial Conference

The Forum of Canadian Ombudsman and the Association of Canadian College and University Ombudspersons have released details for their biennial conference on October 22-24, 2024, at the Fairmont Empress Hotel in Victoria, BC. The conference theme is "Ombuds on Edge: Tackling Challenges, Evolving Practices, Enduring Principles" and registration is now open.

May 22, 2024

Job Posting: University of Kansas

The public research university in Lawrence is hiring an Associate Ombuds. The new, full-time, hybrid position will serve students, staff, and faculty, and reports to the University Ombuds, Ada Emmett. KU’s Ombuds Office practices to IOA standards and reports to the University Executive Vice Chancellor/Provost. The job is expected to start in September 2024.

International Association for Conflict Management has its First Ombuds

Last fall, Natalie (Landau) Gibson was appointed the first Ombudsperson for IACM, the international organization for ADR professionals. As the Ombuds, Gibson serves all IACM stakeholders (which seems to include anyone participating in an IACM event, including members, staff, conference attendees, volunteers, contractors, exhibitors, and sponsors). In 2022, the Ombuds role was written into the IACM's policy and notes "the principles of confidentiality, impartiality, informality, and independence." 

IOA Creates Directory of Ombuds Graduate Programs

The International Ombuds Association has launched a new directory of graduate programs that offer conflict and dispute resolution degrees. The new webpage is the latest guide offered by IOA, which also manages a directory of outsourced Ombuds and consultants, and a job board. So far, Nova Southeastern University is the only program listed. 

May 21, 2024

Job Posting: Rutgers University

The State University of New Jersey has opened a search for its next Ombudsperson. (Rutgers conducted a search in 2022, but did not make an appointment.) The full-time position will restore a program that has been dormant since 2021, when the long-time Ombuds, Sybil James, became the Dean of Students. The Rutgers Ombuds single-handedly serves a student body of nearly 70,000. (A separate Ombuds Office serves students and house staff at Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences.) The position reports to the university provost.

Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois Names First Ombuds

Christopher A. Taylor has been appointed the first Ombudsperson for multidisciplinary research institute in Champaign. He will serve only staff, following IOA standards. Taylor was a Senior Scientist with the Illinois Natural History Survey and retired in November 2023. Throughout his 30-year career as a carcinologist and ichthyologist, he conducted research, published journal articles, managed grants, and advised graduate students. He earned his BS and MS at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and his PhD at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. (PRI Ombuds.) 

May 20, 2024

Job Posting: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

The federal agency that issues patents and registers trademarks is hiring a Senior Associate Ombudsman in Alexandria, Virginia. Reporting to Paul Sotoudeh (the Chief Ombudsman and current chair of COFO), the position serves, "USPTO employees, including bargaining unit and non-bargaining unit employees, supervisors of all experience levels, and senior executives, and works to prevent, address, and facilitate resolution of workplace conflict."

IOA Offers In-Person Foundations Training in San Francisco

The International Ombuds Association's signature, training course is primarily offered online. This year, only two of the Foundations classes will be offered live. The first in-person training will be offered at the Grand Hyatt San Francisco on July 22-24, 2024. (A second Foundations will be offered in October in Baltimore.) The course is limited to "currently practicing or newly appointed ombuds" and registration is capped at 36.

May 17, 2024

Job Posting: World Health Organization, Philippines

WHO is hiring a Regional Ombudsperson to be based in Manilla. The full-time position will serve WHO personnel in the country and region, and reports directly to WHO's Regional Director. This is a fixed-term appointment for two years.

Job Posting: University of California Santa Barbara

The UCSB Ombuds team is seeking an an Associate or Assistant Ombuds. The search will fill a position held by Don Lubach, who will retire at the end of June. The position will join an office headed by Caroline Adams and work with faculty, staff, and student visitors.

Job Posting: Federal Emergency Management Agency

FEMA's Alternative Dispute Resolution Division in the Office of the Chief Counsel, Federal Emergency Management Agency is hiring an Associate Ombuds. This is a temporary, two-year position that reports to Caitlan Hendrickson, the FEMA Ombuds. The positions are based in Washington, DC. Occasional non-emergency travel to disaster locations may be required and telework may be available.

May 15, 2024

Job Posting: SOS Children's Villages, EUCM Region

The Austria-based international development organization is hiring a Regional Ombuds for Europe, Central Asia, and Middle East. The job will be based in Vienna, Amman, Jordan, or Skopje, Macedonia. The Regional Ombuds will to report to the Global Ombuds (currently filled on an interim basis by Judi Fairholm and Andrew Azzopardi) and supervise Regional Ombuds in the growing program. The initial appointment is expected to end by December 2027.

Job Posting: Kaiser Permanente, Northern California

KP has reopened its search for a full-time HealthCare Ombuds/Mediator for its medical facilities in Roseville, California. The Kaiser HCOM, "functions as a trained alternative dispute professional offering patients, family members, staff & providers a conflict management program to resolve patient/provider healthcare disputes early thereby improving patient safety & reducing the costs of health care dispute resolution." Local travel is required.

May 14, 2024

Job Posting: Canadian Security Intelligence Service

Canada's foreign intelligence service and security agency is seeking its first Ombuds. The position will establish and develop a new Office of the Ombuds, which will "will provide a complementary channel to help employees navigate existing internal mechanisms and programs associated with a respectful workplace, mental and physical wellness, accessibility, internal disclosure, and public service values and ethics." 

Journal of IOA Article Explores Communicating Ombuds Data

Lisa C. Yamagata-Lynch
, CO-OP, is the author of the latest article in the Journal of the International Ombuds Association. "Striving to Effectively Communicate Ombuds Value: Lessons Learned by an Ombuds working with Data," examines how Ombuds can use data to explain the value they provide to their organization. Yamagata-Lynch is an IOA Board Member and Director for the Office of Ombuds Services at the University of Tennessee.

Joel Conarroe: Inaugural Ombuds at University of Pennsylvania

Joel Osborne Conarroe, Penn’s first Ombudsman from 1971 to 1973, passed on April 28 at the age of 89. Connaroe was a Professor of English, and later Department Chair and Dean of the Faculty of Arts & Sciences. In 1971, Penn President Martin Myerson named Conarroe as the university’s first Ombuds. According to Faculty Senate Chair in 1972, Conarroe “plunged into the manifold tasks of his two-year tenure with élan and imagination.” In reports he wrote for the Penn Almanac, “he expounded poetically about the joys of meeting a wide swath of faculty, staff, and students from across the University and helping them resolve issues.” In addition to his academic work, Connaroe spent five years as Executive Director of the Modern Language Association (MLA). (UPenn Almanac.)

May 13, 2024

Job Posting: University of Iowa

The public research university in Iowa City will expand its Ombuds Office with the hiring of a second Assistant Ombudsperson. The new, full-time position will serve faculty, staff and students, including all of UI Healthcare. The Assistant Ombuds will
report to University Ombudsperson, Chanelle Reese, CO-OP, Assistant Ombuds, Corey P. Pass, and half-time Faculty Ombuds, Meenakshi Gigi Durham.

American Economic Association Names Next Ombuds

Brent Epperson will be the next Ombuds for the professional society for economists. His services will be provided under a contract between AEA and MWI. Epperson is an Assistant Professor of Conflict Studies at Saint Paul University, a part-time Ombuds at the University of Luxembourg, and an outsourced Ombuds for other associations. (AEA News.)

Idaho State University Welcomes New Faculty Ombuds

The ISU Faculty Senate has elected Chad Yates to a three-year term as a Faculty Ombuds. Yates is a Professor of Counseling and follows Dave Delehanty, who was the first elected ISU Faculty Ombuds. (ISU News.)

Boeing Touts Ombuds in Latest Safety Report

Last week, American aircraft builder released its third chief aerospace safety officer report, highlighting its safety improvement efforts. Boeing touted ten improvements, including the work of its first Ombuds, Mark Fava, who was appointed in 2022.

Here's how the company described his role:

May 10, 2024

Job Posting: U.S. Department of State

The Office of the Ombudsman at the State Department is hiring "a few" Associate Ombuds in Washington, DC. The positions (technically "HR Specialist/Employee Relations") will report to the State Department Ombuds, Jeanne Juliao, and provide Ombuds services to Department employees with workplace conflicts. Occasional travel is required and there is an opportunity for telework.

Bridgewater State University Appoints First Ombuds

BSU, the largest of nine state universities in Massachusetts, has named Pam Russell as its first Interim Ombudsperson. She will pilot a program that will serve initially faculty and librarians. As the Ombuds, Russell reports to the president and will practice to IOA standards. The Ombuds program was recommended by the Special Presidential Task Force on Racial Justice and will eventually serve the entire campus. 

Journal of IOA, Mary Rowe Special Issue: Lessons Learned

Jennifer Smith Schneider
, CO-OP, is the author of the latest article in the Journal of the International Ombuds Association's special issue honoring the work of Mary Rowe. Schneider has been the Ombuds at the University of South Florida since 2015. Her article is a personal reflection on the impact Rowe has had on the Ombuds profession and her own career. 

May 09, 2024

Algonquin College Adds an Ombuds

Marsha Walters was hires as an Ombuds Officer for the public college of applied arts and technology in Ottawa in October 2023. In the jointly-funded position, she will provide services to over 21,000 students at three campuses across Ontario. Walters reports to the Ombudsman, George Cole, and the Assistant Ombudsman, Barbara Carswell.

Providence College Selects First Ombuds

Marguerite M. Dorn has been appointed the first Faculty Ombuds for the private Catholic university in Rhode Island. In this new, full-time position, Dorn will set up a program to serve over 350 faculty members adhering to IOA standards.

May 03, 2024

Job Posting: United Nations, Vienna

The Office of the UN Ombudsman and Mediation Services is seeking a Regional Ombudsman. The position heads the Regional Ombudsman’s Office in Austria, which is one of eight regional branches of UNOMS. Gang Li has held the position since 2011. The Regional Ombudsman reports directly to the Chief of Service and works under the general supervision of the UN Ombudsman. The position is expected to start in January 2025.

Eastern Michigan University Appoints New Ombuds

The public university in Ypsilanti has announced the appointment of Kathryn Farkas as its new Ombuds Officer. She follows Julia Heck, who recently moved to an administrative position at Cal State Channel Islands. Farkas will serve a student body of more than 21,000. The office often handles more than 500 cases a year.

May 02, 2024

ENOHE International Relations Committee Holds Constituting Meeting

The European Network of Ombuds in Higher Education's International Relations Committee has held its very first meeting in mid-April 2024. Established by the ENOHE Board in fall 2023, the IRC is part of the association’s new governance structures. The IRC and other new committees will support ENOHE's efforts to promote the idea and concept of the Ombuds service through a variety of activities.

Cal Caucus Extends Deadline for 2024 Proposals

The California Caucus of College and University Ombuds is extending the deadline to submit a session proposal for this year's Cal Caucus by one week.

Organizers said:

May 01, 2024

Job Posting: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

The federal department that provides healthcare to military veterans is hiring three Program Specialists in the Alternative Dispute Resolution Program. The full-time, fully remote positions provide confidential and impartial assistance to VA employees with workplace conficts and concerns. (The positions are within a team directed by Katie Manderson, an experienced Ombuds and longtime IOA volunteer leader.) The positions also provide ADR training and mentor collateral duty conflict resolution practitioners.

Job Posting: U.S. Department of State

The Office of the Ombudsman at the State Department is hiring two Lead Human Resource Specialists (Employee Relations) in Washington, DC. The new positions report to the State Department Ombuds, Jeanne Juliao, and will provide Ombuds services to Department employees with workplace conflicts, including training on the Department Anti-Bullying Policy. (Earlier this year, the Department announced that the Office of the Ombudsman would receive funding to tackle bullying for the first time. It appears this search is part of that initiative.) Occasional travel is required and there is an opportunity for telework.

Job Re-Posting: Providence College

The private Catholic university in Rhode Island has extended the search for its first Faculty Ombuds. The full-time position will create a program to serve over 350 faculty members adhering to IOA standards. Initially, the search was expected to close earlier this year.

Ombuds Offer Guidance for Faculty on Procedural Fairness

Three Ombuds are the authors of an article in Inside Higher Education: "Are Faculty Members Fair?" The trio, Heather McGhee Peggs, Julie Boncompain, and Brent Epperson have all worked as University Ombuds. Drawing on the "fairness triangle," they recommend five things that faculty members can do to enhance procedural fairness in their interactions with graduate students: