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.

Lynne Chaillatt
EMEA Ombud, McKinsey & Company Inc France

Lynne has dual roles at McKinsey. She is a portfolio manager for the Partner Learning and the Ombud of EMEA. Her responsibilities for Partner Learning include developing leadership programs for Partners and aiding in the development of early tenured Partners. Along with her Partner Learning responsibilities, Lynne became the Ombud in 2010 and has maintained a dual role since then. She is an informal and confidential resource for all employees and a person they can go to about concerns. She has spent most of her McKinsey career in the Paris office as well as 16 months in the San Francisco office.
Before these roles, she was the manager for People Strategy (4 years), bringing strengths and aspirations-based development techniques to the offices along with designing workshops for offices. She spent 18 months working on the All in initiative raising awareness in Unconscious bias for all senior people and teams. As the Manager of Professional Development for Paris (13 years) she was in charge of staffing, mobility, evaluations. Furthermore, she is an accredited MBTI and Eq (emotional quotient) and AI (Appreciative inquiry) and Immunity to change facilitator and has worked with McKinsey teams as well as clients to help them be more effective as teams. Lynne facilitates different Firm leadership trainings for all levels of tenure. She created and delivered PLW (Personal Leadership workshop) and workshops on building trust-based relations, coaching and unconscious bias sessions.
Before working for McKinsey, Lynne worked as a recreational therapist in the State Mental Hospital in Kalamazoo, Michigan (men’s locked unit) as well as at Alvarado Medical Center in San Diego, California.
March 2021/Faculty
She has a degree in Psychology from Kalamazoo College in Michigan. To fulfill her degree, she worked for a year in a Telephone crisis center in Kalamazoo, Michigan. She is married and has 3 children. In her spare time, she travels and scuba dives with her family.

Melissa Connell
Director of Ombuds Office, University of Colorado Denver

Melissa Connell is the Director of the University of Colorado Denver|Anschutz Medical Campus Ombuds Office. For over twenty years she has enjoyed serving the university community offering conflict management tools and guidance to visitors. Serving on the IOA Mentoring Committee for over a decade has been her privilege and honor.

Linda Falkson, CO-OP®
Cornell University

Linda Falkson joined the Cornell Ombudsman’s Office in 2008. Prior to receiving this appointment, she served as Cornell’s Associate Judicial Administrator and then as Deputy Judicial Administrator for ten years. In this capacity, she adjudicated alleged Code of Conduct violations and she collaborated with community partners regarding the living and learning environment for students. Falkson sought to further serve the Cornell community by helping individuals in the Ombudsman Office. Before her employment at Cornell, she engaged in general legal practice, including criminal defense, and in prosecution. Falkson received a Bachelor of Science from Cornell University and a Juris Doctor from the State University of New York at Buffalo. Since joining the Cornell Ombudsman Office in 2008, she has been an active member of the International Ombudsman Association (IOA), she recently co-chaired the ad hoc Title IX task force and currently serves on the mentoring committee. Falkson is a Certified Organizational Ombudsman Practitioner®

Jon Lee, M.A., J.D., CO-OP®,
The University of California at San Francisco

Jon Lee is an Associate Ombuds at the University of California San Francisco. He has backgrounds in counseling psychology, art, education, and law and believes that ombuds work is a perfect combination of those fields. Jon has been with the IOA Mentoring Committee since 2018, volunteers with the California Caucus of College and University Ombuds, and is a current co-chair of the American Bar Association Ombuds Committee.

Dolores Gómez-Morán, CO-OP®
World Health Organization

Maria Dolores Gómez-Morán Albornoz, a Certified Organizational Ombudsman Practitioner (CO-OP), serves since August 2019 as the Ombudsman at World Health Organization South East Asia Region (WHO SEAR). Her office is based in New Delhi, India. From 2014 to 2019 worked as the Ombudsman for the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) in Washington DC. During her mandate she created, lead and implemented a Respectful Workplace Initiative, a four-year project across the Region with heavy involvement of all the Country Offices and Centers. Previously, she worked as the Ombudsman at George Mason University in Virginia for 14 years creating and managing the office.  Before becoming an Ombudsman, Dolores served as the Associate Director for the Office of Diversity Programs and Services at George Mason for six years.  In 2007, she was honored with the Margaret Howell Award for efforts to promote the core values of civility, respect, diversity and individual dignity throughout the University and the developing community. Prior to her work at George Mason, she worked as a consultant at the World Bank in the staff development division, and served as a career advisor at the University of London in the United Kingdom. Dolores holds a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology with a concentration in Organizational Studies from Boston College and is a licensed psychologist from the University of Oviedo in Spain. Dolores is an active member of the International Ombudsman Association (IOA) having served in on several committees within the association, a member of the Association for Conflict Resolution (ACR), a member of the European Network for Ombudsmen in Higher Education (ENOHE), and an honorary member of the Mexican University Ombudsman Network (REDDU). She is certified in conflict resolution processes, is a certified mediator and serves as a mediator for the General District Court in the State of Virginia, USA.

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.

Ronnie Thomson
Independent Consultant

Ronnie Thomson’s LinkedIn profile markets her as The Respectful Workplace Leader, which clearly speaks to her passion. In 2001, Ronnie made a deliberate career choice to become the organizational ombuds for a spin-off of the former corporation with whom she had progressively built a human resources career after their merger with Halliburton. Ronnie led Dresser, Inc’s ombuds office/dispute resolution program until the company sold to GE Oil and Gas in 2012. After a year serving a local hospital leading their patient experience efforts, Ronnie re-joined the well-established Halliburton’s Ombuds Office/Dispute Resolution program continuing her passion of transforming places of work from incivility into respect. Ronnie serves the IOA as a Member of the Board of Directors as well as the Chair of the Mentoring Committee. She received her degree in Sociology from The University of Southern Mississippi. During her human resources career, Ronnie earned the designation of Certified Compensation Professional (CCP) and Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR). In addition to continuing education through IOA since 2001, she successfully passed the first-ever certification exam toward becoming a Certified Organizational Ombudsman Practitioner (CO-OP) in November 2009. Ronnie also completed a Conflict Management Specialist Certificate at Dallas College and a three-year intensive program with HeartPaths Spiritual Formation receiving a Certificate in the Art of Spiritual Direction.


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

David Miller was formerly the Organisational Ombudsman for the World Health Organization, UNAIDS, The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, The World Food Programme, and Gavi: The Vaccine Alliance. Originally trained as a Clinical Psychologist, David was a pioneer in the development of psychosocial and public health policy for the management of HIV/AIDS. He was editor of the JIOA for 5 years to 2014, has been a faculty trainer on IOA training courses in Europe and North Africa, and a member of IOA Task Forces creating Uniform Reporting Categories, and reviewing the IOA Standards of Practice. David became an IOA Distinguished Emeritus member in 2018, and is currently providing supervision for Ombudsmen in Europe and Australasia.


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

Shannon Lynn Burton, PhD is the University Ombudsperson at Michigan State University, as well as Co-Ombuds for the American Educational Research Association (AERA). In her spare time, she is an Adjunct Professor of Management at Aquinas College where she teaches conflict resolution, negotiation, and group dynamics. In her ombuds roles, she seeks to serve as a touchpoint for building trust within organizations by creating a space where individuals can freely discuss their concerns. Ultimately, whether as an ombuds or as an instructor, her goal is to develop human capital in managing conflict and improve communication skills.
Shannon serves the broader professional community through her work as one of the International Ombudsman Association's (IOA) inaugural co-chairs for the Research and Assessment Committee and as Editor for the Journal of the IOA (JIOA). She regularly presents, researches, and consults on organization and administration in higher education, student development and learning theory, conflict resolution, dialogue and deliberation, as well as academic integrity. She earned her Doctor of Philosophy in Higher, Adult and Lifelong Education with a Specialization in Global Urban Studies from Michigan State University. She also has a Master of Science in Academic Advising (Kansas State University), a Master of Arts in Student Affairs Administration (Michigan State University), as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Russian Studies, a Bachelor of Science in Sociology, and a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish (Grand Valley State University). In 2018, she also completed a graduate certificate in Dialogue, Deliberation and Public Engagement (Kansas State University).


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

Judith Saul has over three decades of experience in mediation, facilitation and training.  She is a Fellow and Board member of the Institute for the Study of Conflict Transformation, and through the Institute, a Certified Transformative Mediator.  Ms. Saul founded and ran a community mediation center in Ithaca, NY for over 25 years.  She has extensive experience mediating interpersonal disputes, training and coaching mediators and planning and facilitating organizational and community dialogues.  With Institute colleagues, she developed Transformative Dialogue, applying the relational framework to dialogue processes occurring in communities that have experienced ethnic and political conflict.  She has provided training nationally and internationally in Transformative Dialogue.


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

Roy Baroff (he/him) is an experienced conflict engagement / management professional. He is an ombuds, mediator, educator and attorney. In the past, he represented clients in a range of settings, mediated litigated and other workplace cases and served as an adjunct professor (he knows what its like to be in the classroom). He is a professional mediator with over a 1000 mediations within and outside of the legal system. His current focus is serving as the NC State Faculty and Staff ombuds along with some additional mediations outside NC State and education (Roy teaches a Negotiation course once each year at Elon Law School). Roy opened the NC State Faculty Ombuds office in early 2015 and added staff services in 2017. He's now been working with faculty and staff for over 6 years. Roy received ombuds training with the IOA in 2007 and became a CO-OP® (Certified Organizational Ombuds Practitioner) in June 2017.