2021 Session Block B

Session B1: Tuesday, 23 March  | 11:00 AM – 11:45 AM PST

What Would a New Ombuds Do? Navigating Ethical Principle Dilemmas

Summary: Designed as an interactive session for relatively new practitioners (less than 2 years of experience), this workshop presents participants with practice scenarios challenging one or more IOA ethical principles and invites discussion on possible approaches in a small group format. Intended to give Ombudspersons in their early years of practice the opportunity to dialogue with more experienced practitioners on questions of practice, reflect on the handling of "real life" cases, as well as discuss other challenges in the Ombuds role.


  • Experience a session that provides practitioners with additional opportunities to engage with colleagues and discuss a variety of possible approaches to effective case handling.
  • Participate in an interactive discussion about how the IOA Standards of Practice might be challenged and discuss best practices.
  • Learn the benefits of a mentor/mentee relationship and this specific benefit of IOA membership for the new Ombuds.

Presented by:

Shreya Trivedi
University Ombuds Officer, University of Central Florida

Shreya Trivedi was appointed University Ombuds Officer at the University of Central Florida (UCF) in May 2011 and is a Certified Organizational Ombudsman Practitioner (CO-OP®). From 2001 to 2006, she was the Ombuds Assistant in the University Ombuds Office. During those years, she became well versed in the roles and responsibilities of an Ombuds Officer and learned and internalized the importance of adhering to the Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics of the International Ombudsman Association. Shreya worked with the International Services Center at UCF from 2006 to 2011 as a Recruiter, Immigration Advisor, and Assistant Director of Admissions and Registration. Shreya is also a certified mediator through the Florida Supreme Court and she is actively involved in IOA, specifically the Mentoring Committee. Born in Mombasa, Kenya, Shreya came to the United States and to UCF in 2001 as an international student. She graduated with a B.A. in Advertising and Public Relations and a minor in Marketing in 2005. She received her Master's degree in Non-Profit Management from UCF in 2014.

Melissa Connell
Director of Ombuds Office, University of Colorado Denver

Bio coming soon.

Lynne Chaillatt
EMEA Ombud, McKinsey & Company Inc France

Bio coming soon.

David E. Michael
Senior Program Advisor, National Institutes of Health

David Michael is the Senior Program Advisor for the Office of Research Facilities at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland.  He previously served as the Deputy Ombudsman at the NIH Office of the Ombudsman from 2011 to 2019.  In that role, David worked with the scientific and administrative community to coach, facilitate conversations, work with groups, and raise systemic issues to promote organizational learning and improvement. Prior to his work with NIH, David served as a Commissioner with the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, the Executive Director of the Northern Virginia Mediation Service, the Director of the Multi-Door Dispute Resolution Division of the DC Superior Court, and as a conflict consultant for clients in the U.S. and abroad.  David is a frequent presenter at the International Ombudsman Association (IOA) and the Coalition of Federal Ombudsman (COFO), and serves on the Finance, Mentoring, and Conference Committees, and Chairs the COFO Mentoring Committee.


Session B2: Tuesday, 23 March  | 11:00 AM – 11:45 AM PST

Supervision for Ombuds: Growing the Profession Through Supportive, Ethical, and Reflective Practice

Summary: This presentation will explore the proposition that a formal model of supervision and support for Ombuds should be implemented. It will consider supervision models in established professions, as well as identifying key characteristics of a supervision model for Ombuds. It will be submitted that a mandated supervision requirement is an important and defining characteristic of mature professions, providing psychological support, opportunities for reflection, and guidance towards ethical practice.


  • Appreciate the importance of ethical and reflective practice for Ombuds.
  • Understand the challenges to ethical and reflective practice in the current environment.
  • Consider a mandatory supervision requirement for Ombuds as an important step in the evolution of the profession.

Presented by:

Fred Wright, BA, GradDip(Crim), MAppSci, MSW
Workplace Conciliator, Ombuds

Fred Wright has more than 40 years of experience in public sector administration in a range of operational and management positions across Victorian Government Departments including Justice, Human Services, and Environment. In 2011, he established the Organisational Ombudsman program in the Department of Environment, Land, Water, and Planning, which was the first Ombuds program in a government department in Australia.

He is a member of the Directorate of Group Relations Australia, a professional association, and a board member of NIODA, a not for profit provider of leadership and management education, research, and consultancy.  He is also Chair of the International Outreach Committee and Co-Chair of the Asia Pacific Regional Advisory Committee of the International Ombudsman Association.

Dr. David Miller

Bio coming soon.


Session B3: Tuesday, March 23 | 11:00 AM – 11:45 AM PST

The Importance of History: Equity, Justice, and the Origins of the Ombuds Role

Summary: How does the ombuds roots in the Civil Rights era in the United States impact the role today? How do the ways we talk about when, why, and our offices were founded define the ombuds role in equity work? By understanding how the field has evolved, we can work to better articulate value to organizations and help visitors understand our role in a historical and societal context.


  • Participants can articulate the importance of history, equity, and justice to the ombuds profession.
  • Participants will consider the origins of their own office and develop an understanding of the implications that this origin story has on their office and contemporary practice.
  • Participants will develop a plan for identifying documents to tell these histories and ways for sharing them.

Presented by:

Ryan Smith
Assistant University Ombudsperson, Michigan State University

Ryan Smith serves as Assistant University Ombudsperson at Michigan State University.

Shannon Burton
University Ombudsperson, Michigan State University

Bio coming soon.


Session B4: Tuesday  23 March  | 11:00 AM – 11:45 AM PST

Transformative Dialogue: Party-Driven Conversations Across Differences

Summary: Equity and justice require changes at all levels of an organization:  intrapersonal, interpersonal, group, and systemic.  But change is not easy, especially when deeply held values and practices are brought into question.  Tension, disagreement, and conflict are common and probably necessary, as differences are explored, new ways of interacting are learned and new patterns and structures are developed.  While Ombuds are uniquely positioned to support organizational change at all these levels, we need new skills.


  • Understand conflict as a crisis in human interaction
  • Understand the value of a co-created, party-led dialogue process
  • Understand how Transformative Dialogue can help to build equity and justice within organizations

Presented by:

Kristine Paranica
Ombuds, North Dakota State University

Kristine Paranica, J.D., is the  Ombuds at North Dakota State University.  She established NDSU's first Ombuds Office in 2014, after Directing the University of North Dakota Conflict Resolution Center, a community mediation center, for 17 years.  In that position, Kristine provided mediation, group facilitation, conflict coaching, and other services to the public, as well as coaching and mentoring new mediators.  She is a Certified Transformative Mediator and a Fellow of the Institute for the Study of Conflict Transformation.  Kristine has been an active member of ACR and of IOA, serving on the Professional Development and Conference Committees, and as a mentor.

Judith Saul

Bio coming soon.


Session B5: Tuesday  23 March  | 11:00 AM – 11:45 AM PST

Paving the Way to Equity of Access: Harnessing the Power of Consumer Complaint Theory as an Ombuds

Summary: Complaint psychology theory and vulnerable consumer strategy may seem a bridge too far for applicability to our ombuds practice, but there is a lot we can learn about how we ensure access to our processes and systems based on how people access (or don't access) other systems.  In this workshop, we will learn and discuss the definition and elements of vulnerable consumer strategies from around the world and the basics of complaint psychology. Through small group discussion and workshopping, we'll work together to find ways that this information can be applied to make access to our Ombuds processes and other systems as equitably accessible as possible.


  • Understand the psychology behind why people choose (or avoid) complaint resolution processes
  • Understand who is a vulnerable consumer and the factors that affect this status
  • Apply this knowledge to find ways to improve access and create equity of access for our ombuds practices and work conflict resolution systems

Presented by:

Jennifer Mahony
Associate Ombudsman, National Institutes of Health

Jenn is an Associate Ombudsman for NIH. Prior to coming to NIH, Jenn lived and worked in New Zealand for almost 10 years, most recently working for FairWay Resolution.  She oversaw ombuds programs for several New Zealand government agencies, acted as a consumer ombuds as the Director of the Telecommunications Dispute Resolution Service, and designed complaint and dispute resolution systems and processes.

Jenn has 20 years of experience as a dispute resolution practitioner, presenter, and trainer. She is passionate about empowering people with the skills and tools they need to resolve conflict, and to rebuild relationships at work. She uses a wide variety of skills in her practice, including restorative justice principles, restorative circles, facilitating group change initiatives, conflict coaching and solution-focused coaching principles, and integrative bargaining techniques. Special areas of focus include cultural empathy, equity of access to systems, and developing conflict resiliency.

Jenn is a Fellow in Arbitration of the Arbitrators' and Mediators' Institute of New Zealand (AMINZ) as well as on the AMINZ mediator panel; has a Juris Doctor from Emory University School of Law. She is a member of the International Ombudsman Association and serves on the International Outreach Committee.

Session C6: Tuesday  23 March  | 11:00 AM – 11:45 AM PST

Open Discussion with the IOA Board

Summary: It’s our IOA and that includes YOU! Come meet and interact with some of your fellow ombuds who currently serve on the IOA Board of Directors. Pull alongside those working on the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice and/or the strategic planning process intended to ensure our future IOA success. Ask questions, share perspectives and chat about issues including announced initiatives such as the IOA name change and the launch of our new “Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging” Task Force. Feel free to share views, trends, and your own ideas for a better ombuds future! 

Moderated by:

Roy Baroff, MA, JD, CO-OP®
IOA Director

Bio coming soon.