2020 Conference Presenters

Meet Our Knowledgeable Speakers

Speaker Key:

Red = Cancelled

Green = Confirmed

Yellow = Unconfirmed

View the #IOA2020 Schedule


Caroline Adams
University Ombudsman, University of California, Santa Barbara

Caroline Adams, MFA, JD, CO-OP®, is the Campus Ombuds and Director of the Office of the Ombuds at UCSB, serving faculty, staff, and students. She holds a graduate certification in Organization Development and Leadership and is a Certified Organizational Ombudsman Practitioner with the International Ombudsman Association. She co-chaired the American Bar Association Dispute Resolution Section Ombuds Committee 2017–2019. She has been a certified mediator and group facilitator since 2002, and has served as a consultant for Fortune 50 companies. Prior to her role as ombuds, she was an Employee and Labor Relations representative at UCSB. She came to California from Montana, where she worked as a litigation attorney for Crowley Fleck. She earned her J.D. from the University of Montana, her Master of Fine Arts from Montana State University, and Bachelor’s in Psychology from Pomona College.


Peter Armijo
Staff Chaplain/ Ombudsman, UNM Ombuds Services

Peter Armijo is currently a third-year law student at the University of New Mexico School of Law. Peter has interned at the UNM Ombuds Services department for the 2019–2020 Fall–Spring semesters. Peter graduated summa cum laude, with a bachelor’s degree in political science, from the University of New Mexico in 2017. He is currently an editor on the UNM School of Law’s Tribal Law Journal and has completed his 40-hour mediation training. He enjoys hiking, cooking and green chilies. Peter is glad to have grown up in the warm, welcoming environment of New Mexico, and plans to continue living and working there. From May 2018 to May 2019 Peter clerked for the Albuquerque firm McGinn, Montoya, Love & Curry P.A. While there, Peter helped research and draft writing in the legal areas of medical malpractice, personal injury, and appellate work. From July 2019 to the present, Peter has clerked for a solo practitioner, attorney Bill Russell. Peter has worked under the direction of Mr. Russell in drafting pleadings, working with clients, and conducting legal research in the areas of personal injury, real estate defense, and criminal defense.

Kim Axelrod
Vice-Chair, Quality, Axelrod & Associates

Kim Axelrod has close to 15 years of experience helping individuals and organizations effectively work through conflict and change. She has extensive negotiation and training expertise gained in her years working at Hewlett Packard Co. She completed her mediation certification in 2006 and Ombudsman training in 2013. She served for three years as the Ombuds for Volunteers of America Western Washington. Currently she works as a mediator, facilitator, trainer, and coach. Kim recently completed a Trust at Work Certification Program developed by author Charles Feltman, The Thin Book of Trust. Her focus is on helping people embrace conflict with curiosity rather than a defensive stand. Kim believes that learning is about having fun, and gaining experience and confidence by feeling and doing. In addition, her goal is that participants are able to work through specific challenges during her workshops and/or apply the tools and skills learned immediately back in the workplace.

Balint Balassa
Assistant University Ombudsperson, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

Balint Balassa is a former Waldorf teacher from Hungary. He has been working with the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) as a trainer and a Conflict Resolution Officer in the Ombudsman Office. He has been involved in more than 400 cases, applying successfully various conflict resolution methods including mediation, within the organization up to senior management level as well as with external parties. In the past 20 years of his career, he has worked in education and human resources development, capacity building and training, conflict management and mediation disciplines in an international context with an emphasis on mediation, negotiation, and conflict management. Throughout his career with UNHCR since 2009, he has designed training programs mostly with content related to people skills. He has delivered workshops and accomplished conflict resolution related missions around the globe. Balint is a CEDR (Center for Effective Dispute Resolution, UK) certified mediator. He is a member of the International Ombudsman Association. During the 2017 Annual Conference of the IOA, he delivered a Pecha-Kucha presentation titled “Where do We Learn Conflict?”.

Israela Brill-Cass,
Fixerrr, LLC and Wesleyan University

Israela Brill-Cass is an attorney, mediator, facilitator, and founder of Fixerrr where she helps organizations and individuals enhance communication, manage conflict, and maximize negotiation outcomes. A mediator since 1998, Israela has been teaching conflict resolution and negotiation since 2003, and at Emerson College since 2012 where she also teaches pre-law. In 2017 she became Wesleyan University’s inaugural Ombudsperson. Israela has provided training and consulting for more than 15 years to clients including the Harvard Chan School of Public Health, Tufts, MindEdge, RISD, MIT and the ABA. She’s been a member of the Trial Court’s Conciliation training team for attorneys and judges for more than 10 years and was an ADR Standing Committee member. Israela was recognized as a New England Super Lawyer (2011, 2015) and named a Top Woman Attorney in Massachusetts by Boston Magazine (2013, 2016). In 2018 she was awarded the Alan L. Stanzler Award for Excellence in Teaching at Emerson. Israela created the first federally funded Agricultural Mediation Program in New England and is a contributing author to Mediation: A Practice Guide for Mediators, Lawyers, and Other Professionals (2013).

Shannon Burton
Ombuds, Michigan State University

Shannon Lynn Burton, PhD, is the University Ombudsperson at Michigan State University. In her role, she seeks to make the office a touchpoint for building trust within the organization by creating a space where individuals can freely discuss their concerns in an environment that adheres to the International Ombudsman Association (IOA) Standards of Practice: confidentiality, informality, neutrality, and independence. Ultimately, her goal is to develop human capital in managing conflict and improve communication skills in line with the role and purpose of the ombuds office, as well as in line with the university's mission. Shannon serves the broader professional community through her work as one of the IOA’s inaugural co-chairs for the Research and Assessment Committee and as Editor for the Journal of the International Ombudsman Association (JIOA). Previously, she served on the IOA Title IX Task Force. Additionally, Shannon is an active member of the Michigan Caucus of Educational Ombuds, as well as the American Bar Association's (ABA) Ombuds Committee where she serves as the Editor for the Ombuds Edition of the Just Resolutions Newsletter.

Rita Callahan
Associate Ombuds, University of California, San Francisco

Rita Callahan has more than 20 years of experience as an organizational ombuds and organizational conflict management consultant offering conflict management and collaboration services as a neutral third party to diverse organizations in different industries. Her conflict management services include ombuds, mediation, facilitation, conflict coaching, training, team development, meeting design, and systemic analysis in varied organizations. Rita has served as an ombuds at the University of California San Francisco, National Institutes of Health, and the University of California, Davis. She has been active in professional organizations including the Association for Conflict Resolution, ACR Greater New York and ACR Georgia Chapter and the International Association of Facilitators. Rita has a Master's in Decision Science and is a CO-OP®.


Mary Bliss Conger
Learning & Conflict Consultant, EdDLeadership


Melissa Connell
Director of Ombuds Office, University of Colorado Denver

Melissa Connell has been ombudsing for 18 years & is the Director of the Ombuds Office at the University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz. She received her JD from the University of Denver and completed her undergrad degree at Colorado State University.  Melissa is one of the first ombuds nationally and internationally to be certified as an organizational ombudsman practitioner. Prior to her work as an Ombuds, Melissa worked for elected officials at the county, state and federal level.  

Kevin Coonrod

Kevin Coonrod is Ombudsperson for students, faculty and staff at Auburn University.   He is a frequent speaker on conflict resolution topics at conferences and workplace retreats, where he enjoys conveying his confidence in the ability of people to resolve their own conflicts through creativity and self-empowerment.  Kevin is a member of the International Ombudsman Association and the California Caucus of College and University Ombuds.  He is a Certified Organizational Ombudsman Practitioner and is listed on the Alabama State Court Mediator Roster.  Coonrod holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Washington and a juris doctorate from the University of Idaho College of Law.

Paula Couselo-Findikoglu
Ombudsperson, New Mexico Administrative Office of the Courts Language Access Services

Paula Couselo-Findikoglu, BA, was born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and serves as Senior Statewide Program Manager of Language Access Services at the NM Administrative Office of the Courts and has been managing the NM Center for Language Access since its inception in 2009. She is a Certified ADA Coordinator. The Justice Index, published by the National Center for Access to Justice, ranked the NM Judiciary #2 among 50 states in the nation for its language access programs. A nationally recognized speaker, she has spearheaded many access initiatives, including: online multilingual avatar and kiosk project, implementation of bilingual domestic violence and domestic relations forms and non-English pleadings; “Ensuring Language Access Outside the Courtroom: Training for Judicial Employees”; downloadable Court Interpreter Orientation suite; and “Improving Access to Justice for Native Peoples in State Courts”. She founded a training and consulting company in Buenos Aires, providing translation, interpretation, and localization services for various multinational companies and organizations.

Laura Crawshaw


Amanda Dean
University Ombudsperson, Austin Community College

Amanda Dean received her Master’s of Science in Conflict Management at Kennesaw State University. Amanda served as the Assistant Ombudsperson for students and postdoctoral appointees at the University of California, Berkeley, from 2017 through summer of 2019. While there she joined the IOA membership committee, joined the California Caucus of College and University Ombuds planning committee, helped to co-found the Emerging Ombuds Network, and presented four workshops at CCCUO and IOA. In June 2019 Dean moved to Austin, Texas, to be the inaugural ombudsperson to serve faculty and staff at Austin Community College.


Tjitske DeJong
Ombuds Officer, World Food Programme



Carolyn Esposito
Ombuds, AllianceBernstein



Linda Falkson
Director, 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®

Tatyana Fertelmeyster
LLC Founder and Principal, Connecting Differences

 Tatyana Fertelmeyster, Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor, is a founder and principal of Connecting Differences, LLC, a consulting company that provides leadership and team effectiveness consulting, training, and coaching for corporate, academic, governmental, and non-profit organizations. Tatyana is a faculty of the Coaching Center for the Forum on Workplace Inclusion. Tatyana focuses her work with teams, organizations, and leaders on building trust, growing through conflict, effective communication across differences, and sustainable psychological safety. Tatyana is a co-creator and co-leader of Diversity Hot Buttons, a virtual space for DEI and other diversity-minded practitioners to get together and reflect on their experiences of intersections of societal and workplace dynamics. She is on the faculty at the Summer Institute for Intercultural Communication (SIIC), as well as Winter (WIIC) and Qatar (QIIC) Institutes. Prior to starting consulting, Tatyana served as a Director of Cultural Competency Programs for JCFS Chicago, overseeing statewide projects that provided effective communication and conflict resolution education to refugees from over 30 different countries.

Dolores Gómez-Morán
Ombudsman, 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.

D. A. Graham
University Ombuds, University of Kansas

Dr. D. A. Graham is The University of Kansas Ombudsperson. Dr. Graham is the former Vice President, Global Integrity Leader at Nielsen in NYC; University Ombudsperson for Princeton University, San Diego State University and Former Director of Human Resources at The University of the Sciences in Philadelphia. 

Dr. Graham has more than 20 years of experience as a Master Facilitator and Mediator in the resolution of complaints, appeals and internal grievance processes for employee/employer issues. He has worked to resolve issues between parties through various types of mediation and communication processes. He has designed and taught numerous courses and workshops on communication, conflict engagement skills, diversity and accountability at multiple universities, corporate and nonprofit organizations. Dr. Graham is a Certified Trainer, a Lecturer and Conflict Coach.


Don Greenstein
CFO and Founder (fixerrr) and Ombudsperson (Wesleyan University), Brandeis University

Don Greenstein is a “reformed” lawyer with a background in the facilitation of difficult communications, with more than 30 years of working with a wide array of technical and interpersonal issues. He creates unique conflict resolution processes to meet all parties’ needs. Don’s work involves training, facilitation, mediation, and ombuds services for higher education institutions, workplace, family, and end-of-life issues. His passion is helping people and entities with ongoing and long-term relationships to work through differences. Don is the Brandeis University Ombuds. He is an affiliate of Boston Law Collaborative, an adjunct Professor with the MA General Hospital, an Affiliate of the MA Office of Public Collaboration (MOPC), and a reservist with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in disaster response. He has a mediation, facilitation conflict coaching, and external ombuds practice. Don is a member of the following mediation panels: American Health Lawyers Association, Udall Foundation Environmental Roster, CHI Resolution’s Department of Interior’s Workplace Roster, EPA's Conflict Prevention and Resolution Environmental Roster and Boston Law Collaboration Workplace Roster.

Katherine Greenwood
Executive Officer, University of Southern California

Katherine Greenwood, JD, PhD, CO-OP®, is the University Ombuds for the University of Southern California. Working at the University Park Campus of USC, Kathie serves undergraduate and graduate students, staff, faculty, and alumni populations. Previously, Kathie served as the Director of the Ombuds Office at the University of California, Davis, and UC Davis Health Sacramento campuses and as the Ombuds at the University of Colorado Denver. In addition to being a mediator, she is also a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach, CPCC, a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, a Certified MBTI Myers-Briggs Trainer, and a Certified Crucial Conversations Trainer. Prior to stepping into the ombuds role, Kathie practiced maritime law domestically and internationally, and taught postgraduate law courses at Loyola University Chicago.


Thomas Griffin
Ombudsman, University of California, Los Angeles

Thomas Griffin has held the title of Ombudsperson for the last 11 years at UCLA, where he has helped the campus community deal with thousands of difficult and confusing situations. He has served as Employee Relations Director at Warner Bros. Entertainment, mediated wetland usage amongst environmental advocacy groups, and provided training to individuals from around the world, including nurses at Kaiser Permanente, teenagers in the Pakistan Evolution—Igniting Potential movement, and Fulbright scholars from the Middle and Far East in collaboration with the U.S. Department of State. After becoming first in the University of Colorado system to successfully quadruple major, Thomas earned Juris Doctor and Master of Dispute Resolution degrees from Pepperdine University and the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution. Thomas is a Fellow of the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution.


William Hall
Ombudsman, Department of the Interior

William E. Hall, PhD, is the Director of the Office of Collaborative Action and Dispute Resolution (CADR) at the Department of the Interior (DOI). The office includes a five-person ombuds team and conflict resolution specialists in natural resource and tribal matters. Before CADR, William was a Conflict Resolution Specialist for 16 years in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Conflict Prevention and Resolution Center. He received his PhD from George Mason University's School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution.

S. Michael Hare
Commissioner/Founding Principal, Compassion International

S. Michael Hare, PhD, serves as the Staff Chaplain and Ombudsman for Compassion International, a non-profit child development organization serving 2.1 million children in poverty in 26 developing countries. Compassion employs 1,000 staff in the US and another 3,000 in the countries in which they serve. Michael holds a PhD in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, FL. with a major in organizational conflict resolution. His duties include assisting global staff to resolve interpersonal, inter-group, and systemic conflict.

Robert Harper,
Executive Director, Seventh Sovereign LLC

Robert Harper is an interest-based mediation expert, specializing in tribal engagement and alternatives to high-stakes civil litigation. Robert works with tribes, agencies, attorneys, ombuds, mediators, and non-profits throughout North America. Experienced with more than 100 organizations through 20 years of government and policy work, he developed innovative approaches to negotiations and mediations with tribes, mandated consultation, and sovereignty issues. He has authored academic publications, led conference and professional trainings, and taught graduate-level courses in tribal sovereignty, Indigenous knowledge systems, and environmental risk management. Robert has a JD, MA, MA, and advanced certifications in American Indian Law, Natural Resources Conflict Resolution, Mediation, and Negotiation. 


Timothy Hedeen
Appointed Member of Georgia Supreme Court's Commission on Dispute Resolution

Dr. Timothy Hedeen conducts research, evaluation, and training related to dispute resolution systems in many sectors. He has collaborated on the past three IOA practice surveys, the recent ACUS federal ombuds study, and the annual southeast regional ombuds training in Savannah. He's an appointed member of Georgia Supreme Court's Commission on Dispute Resolution, a senior consultant for the National Center on Dispute Resolution in Special Education, and a former member of the governing bodies of the American Bar Association's Section on Dispute Resolution and the National Association for Community Mediation.

Caitlan A. Hendrickson

Caitlan Hendrickson, M.Ed., CO-OP®, is the Director of the Office of the Ombuds at the University of Arizona. She has over fifteen years of experience in conflict management, including in higher education, court, non-profit, and business settings. This experience includes extensive work in the areas of mediation, training, and restorative practices. Caitlan is bilingual in Spanish and English and, in addition to her work in the conflict management field, she spent years working in the social service sector with marginalized communities. Caitlan is a Certified Organizational Ombuds Practitioner (CO-OP). She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Oregon and her Master of Education in Human Relations, with distinction, from Northern Arizona University, as well as a Graduate Certificate in Educational Technology - Adult Learning and Training. Currently, she is completing a doctorate in educational leadership as well as certifications in coaching and advanced organizational development consulting.


Julia Horvath
Associate Ombudsperson, University of California, Berkeley



DeShaunta Johnson
Associate Ombuds, Barnard College

DeShaunta Johnson, PhD, is a clinical psychologist and ombudsperson who divides her time between clinical practice, consulting, and activism. She earned a BA in Dance and Postcolonial Studies from Sarah Lawrence College, and an MPhil and PhD in Clinical Psychology from The City University of New York. In addition to a private practice, she works at Barnard College as a staff psychologist specializing in issues related to low-income, first-generation students of color, and serves as college ombudsperson. She is also chair of the Mental Health Advisory Panel and as Mental Health Adviser for StrongMinds, an NGO that treats depression in women in Sub-Saharan Africa. Until recently she also worked as an Assistant Clinical Professor at the Yale University School of Medicine. DeShaunta's professional and research interests include the psychology of oppression, cultural and political trauma, coping with the stress of oppression, and the transgenerational transmission of trauma, particularly as pertains to diasporic Africans.

Nolan Kagetsu
Ombudsman Emeritus, Mount Sinai Health System

Nolan Kagetsu is a neuroradiologist at Mount Sinai Health System. He was first exposed to mindfulness/meditation as a cancer patient. Since then he has participated in the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course. He is also a Cook-Ross unconscious bias trainer at Mount Sinai. In order to take care of our visitors we must take care of ourselves, and Nolan would like to share some of the advantages of a mindfulness practice not only in reducing stress, but in decreasing unconscious bias, as well as being present for our visitors.


Amarah Khan
Conflict Resolution Officer, City of Seattle

Amarah Khan started her journey with the United Nations World Food Program as an intern in 2002. That first glimpse into the depth of human suffering at a global scale took her on a career path featuring humanitarian work on behalf of Mercy Corp, Relief International, and Church World Service.  One of the most valuable lessons learned through a decade of humanitarian aid work was that trauma never truly dissipates, it revisits in various intensities every time people are faced with overwhelming challenges. Amarah has an MSc degree in Defense and Strategic Studies, an MPA and MS in International Studies. She got her doctorate at Oregon State University where she also served as a Global Diversity expert until 2018. As the inaugural ombuds for the City of Seattle, she applies tactical empathy as a tool for customizing care strategies for each case. She believes it is an effective way to invite people to work for racial justice, equity, and inclusive excellence from a trauma informed perspective. This co-ownership of solutions is at the heart of the ombuds function she has developed for Seattle.

Adam Barak Kleinberger
Associate Ombuds, Boston University

Adam Barak Kleinberger was appointed Boston University’s Associate Ombuds in June of 2014. He is a Certified Organizational Ombudsman Practitioner® and follows the International Ombudsman Association’s Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice. Prior to arriving at BU, Adam served as the Assistant Ombudsman at Cornell University. He gained experience at the Consensus Building Institute in Cambridge, MA, mediating in Massachusetts’ district courts and at the City University of New York. Adam’s research and training has focused on improving conflict resolution skills through the use of improvisation and clowning. He began his study of conflict resolution in 1990 at the United World College. He holds a BA from Brandeis University, an MA in Dispute Resolution from the University of Massachusetts Boston and a diploma from Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Clown College. 

Gabrielle Kluck
Regional Ombuds, Asia Pacific, World Food Programme

Gabrielle Kluck is World Food Programme’s Ombudsman and Director of WFP’s Office of the Ombudsman and Mediation Services. In this role, she helps to create a more harmonious work environment and thus a more impactful organization by providing ombuds services to more than 17,000 WFP employees worldwide. Furthermore, Gabrielle has established a strong reputation as a change partner through addressing systemic issues within WFP. Before this, Gabrielle worked with the United Nations Ombudsman and Mediation Services as the Regional Ombudsman and Mediator in the Sudan. In that role, she provided services to 10,000 staff in more than 100 duty stations of the UN Peacekeeping Missions in Darfur, South Sudan, Abyei, Burundi, and Uganda. Prior to this she held HR positions within UNRWA, OSCE, and IAEA. Earlier in her career Gabrielle worked as Change Management Consultant for large organizations in the private sector. Gabrielle is a national from the Netherlands and holds a Master of Science degree in Business Administration with an emphasis on Organizational Change and Transformation.

Tom Kosakowski
University Ombuds Health Sciences Campus, University of Southern California

Thomas Kosakowski became the first Ombuds for the Health Sciences Campus at the University of Southern California in January 2019. In this role, Tom works with faculty, staff, administrators, trainees, and students affiliated with five teaching hospitals, schools of medicine and pharmacy, research laboratories, and off-campus clinics. For the prior 12 years, Tom was the Ombudsperson for the UCLA Health System. He also established the Ombuds Office at Claremont Graduate University and was the Interim Campus Ombuds at UC Riverside. He served on the Board of Directors of the International Ombudsman Association including a stint as President. He frequently teaches and mentors new ombuds. Since 2006, he has published The Ombuds Blog. He is a reviewer for the Journal of IOA. Before becoming an ombuds, he worked as an attorney and served as a court-appointed mediator of the Los Angeles Superior Court. Tom graduated from Occidental College and earned his JD from Loyola Law School.

Josef Leidenfrost
Founder and Principal, Federal Ministry for Education, Science, and Culture

Dr. Josef Leidenfrost, Master’s (Mediation), PhD, is the National Austrian Student Ombudsman. He joined the Austrian Ministry of Higher Education in 1988, and served as adviser to three ministers on issues such as academic internationalization, higher education, national and European scholarship programs, and students’ rights and duties. In 2012, he became the Head of the Ombudsman Office for Students of the Federal Ministry of Science and Research. Josef was a television journalist in the early 1980s, covering Austrian contemporary history and post-war relations. After bringing Austrian higher education institutions into international networks and associations, he created the Austrian ERASMUS Office, which later became the SOCRATES National Agency. Josef has played a pivotal role in setting up the Austrian higher education complaint and acceptance management system and central agency for student complaints. He is a co-founder and the President of the European Network for Ombudsmen in Higher Education (ENOHE), and the editor of ENOHE’s occasional papers and the ENOHE News newsletter.


Bruce MacAllister
Ombudsman, Business Excellences Solutions/international Foundation for Online Responsibility



Jennifer Mahony

Jennifer Mahony is passionate about empowering people with the skills and tools they need to resolve conflict, and to rebuild relationships, particularly at work. Her experience includes providing ombuds services, desinging and implementing ombuds programmes, managing workplace investigations, developing tailored complaints processes, building conflict resiliency, and intervening as a neutral party to help resolve workplace conflict.Jennifer has almost 20 years’ experience as a dispute resolution practitioner and is a frequent presenter and trainer on dispute resolution and workplace relationship topics.She is a Fellow in Arbitration of the Arbitrators’ and Mediators’ Institute of New Zealand (AMINZ), a mediation panel member, and has a Juris Doctor from Emory University School of Law. She is a member of the International Ombudsman Association.


Lauren Marx
Consultant, Self-Employed

Lauren Marx is an ombuds, integrated conflict management systems expert, and consultant. She was a senior researcher and lead author of a foundational study of federal ombuds commissioned by the Administrative Conference of the United States (ACUS). Her research has served as the foundation for ACUS Recommendation 2016-5, the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Resolution 103, and the Coalition of Federal Ombudsman’s updated Standards of Practice to name a few. Additionally, several ombuds have used it as a roadmap in the creation of new programs. It also has been cited by multiple Ombuds Office annual reports. In 2018, Lauren co-chaired the ABA’s inaugural Ombuds Day.

As a mediator, facilitator, coach, and program manager, Lauren brings over nine years of experience providing direct services and consultation for a variety of federal, state, and local government agencies, not-for-profit organizations, the judicial system, and academic institutions. During this time she has developed a distinctive style that emphasizes her directness, insight, empathy, ability to connect with others with a focus on defined outcomes and systemic recommendations to the organization. Lauren holds a Master’s Degree in Conflict Analysis and Resolution and is a certified mediator, conflict coach, and restorative justice practitioner.


William (Bill) Maurer
Director, United States Census Bureau

William (Bill) Maurer, CO-OP®, became the U.S. Census Bureau’s first organizational ombuds in September 2019. His accomplishments as an Associate Ombudsman at the U.S. Department of Energy were recognized with two Secretarial Awards. At other federal agencies, Bill served as a facilitator and trainer on national initiatives to address performance deficiencies and to transform how the agency did business. Bill was Chair of the Coalition of Federal Ombudsman. He is a current Member of IOA’s CO-OP® Recertification Committee, and was an IOA Mentor. For six years, Bill presided as Vice President of the Board of Directors for a private non-profit community mediation center. He held positions in the health care industry and in the field of educational reform. Bill has a Master's Degree in Public Administration from George Washington University and attended the Harvard Kennedy School of Government Senior Manager in Government Program. Bill is an executive leadership coach and a shared resource facilitator, mediator, and mentor throughout the federal government.


David Michael
Senior Program Advisor, Office of Research Facilities at the National Institutes of Health

David E. Michael, J.D., promotes organizational and leadership effectiveness as 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 Office of the Ombudsman, Center for Cooperative Resolution at NIH from 2011 to 2019. David coaches, facilitates conversations, leads workshops, and raises systemic issues to promote organizational learning and effectiveness. Prior to his work with NIH, David was a conflict consultant to federal agencies as a Commissioner with the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service.  He also served as 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 consultant for clients in the U.S. and abroad.  David is a member of the International Ombudsman Association (IOA), where he serves on the Finance and Mentoring Committees, and a member of the Coalition of Federal Ombudsman (COFO), where he chairs the Mentoring and Elections Committees.  David is a frequent presenter at IOA and COFO conferences.


David Miller
Professor, Ombuds Emeritus, formerly with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria

David Miller was Organizational 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 Journal of the International Ombudsman Association for five years to 2014, has been a faculty trainer on IOA training courses in Europe and North Africa, and was 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.

David Noganosh
Associate Ombuds, Anishinabek Nation Tribunal Commission/Red Wolf Mediation

David Noganosh is an Indigenous mediator, negotiator, and trainer from the Anishinabek Nation, Wolf Clan. He is a leading authority and practitioner of Circle Processes in North America, and offers a wealth of knowledge and wisdom. David is a Commissioner for the Anishinabek Nation’s Tribunal Commission. There, he mediates complex, multi-party disputes across the Province of Ontario, and has spiritual authority to conduct Circle Processes for 39 First Nations. A frequent lecturer at Osgoode Hall Law School, David developed an innovative hybrid model merging Indigenous teachings with contemporary mediation techniques. His work helps provincial and regional governments evolve with inclusive policy towards First Nations and reconciliation. David is the Founding Principal of Red Wolf Mediation. His firm provides mediation, training, workplace restoration, and facilitation to First Nations, private, and non-profit organizations.

Andrea Pacheco
Program Director, Six Rivers Dispute Resolution Center

Andrea Pacheco is a seasoned mediator providing facilitative processes for community, family, school, and workplace settings in the Pacific Northwest. A restorative discipline specialist, Pacheco is advancing new ways of integrating Circle Process components into conventional facilitative work. Originally trained and licensed as a geologist, Pacheco is a certified mediator through Resolution Oregon, and has advanced training in restorative practices, family mediation, conflict coaching, and agricultural and tribal engagement. Pacheco is a frontline resolution strategist developing innovations that apply restorative justice practices and inclusive policy in schools and community-based organizations. Her recent work adapts Circle Process principles to engage and cultivate productive conflict styles among diverse parties through restorative processes. She applies these innovations in coaching and training conflict resolution professionals and others within organizations.

Kristine Paranica
Ombudsperson, North Dakota State University

Kristine Paranica, JD, is the first and solo ombudsman for North Dakota State University since 2014. Prior to that, she was the Director of the Conflict Resolution Center at the University of North Dakota for 17 years, where she supervised staff and volunteers in community mediation practice. She is a Certified Transformative Mediator and continues to train mediators regularly. She is a conflict coach and has extensive experience presenting and training in the conflict resolution field locally, nationally and internationally. She has published several articles and a book chapter as well. Kristine was an adjunct at the UND School of Law for 17 years, teaching Alternative Dispute Resolution, and continues to teach on online course in Leadership and Conflict Resolution at UND. Currently, Kristine serves on the IOA Conference committee and also the Professional Development Committee, and is an IOA Mentor.

Mark Patterson
University Ombuds, California State Channel Islands

Mark Patterson is the inaugural University Ombuds for California State University Channel Islands, serving over 1,300 staff, faculty and student employees navigating workplace conflict and concerns. Before moving to CSU Channel Islands, Mark served as University Ombuds for the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. Previous to working as an ombuds, Mark was a judge advocate (military lawyer) in the U.S. Air Force for 24 years, with assignments in Asia, Europe, and the United States. He received a B.A. in journalism from Marietta College, Ohio; a J.D. from Duke University; and an LL.M. in International Dispute Resolution from Fordham University. He is the father of five, a sculler and enjoys choral singing.


Tzofnat Peleg-Baker
Adjunct Professor of Conflict and Negotiation, School of Business at Rutgers University-Camden

Tzofnat Peleg-Baker is an Adjunct Professor of Conflict and Negotiation in the professional MBA program, School of Business at Rutgers University-Camden, where she also provides students with conflict coaching. Tzofnat has dedicated her career to the practice and research of conflict, particularly the learning potential of conflict. Her integration of theory and practice for transforming conflict originates in her early experience of promoting democratic and dialogic educational reforms in Israel twenty years ago. She earned an MA in communications from Indiana University and an MA and Ph.D. (ABD) in social psychology (research of conflict and mediation) from Rutgers University. In her dissertation that was recently completed and inspired by these early experiences, she analyzes practical contextual-relational considerations for transforming conflict. These factors have significant implications on leadership, organizational systems and practices, and third-party intervention. Tzofnat is a community and organizational mediator. She is a published author of journal articles and reference book chapters and has designed and delivered a broad range of courses and trainings on conflict, negotiation, and leadership, across continents in the Middle East, Africa, and the US. As a Board Member and facilitator in peace organizations, she led inter-group dialogues between religious and secular groups, Jews and Arabs, and Israelis and Palestinians and also designed and delivered leadership training programs. As the Head of Strategy at the Ministry of Justice in Israel, she served on the national team that introduced Alternative Dispute Resolution in the country, including restorative justice processes. Her research and practice focus on conflict as an opportunity for growth, transforming adversarial interactions into constructive relationships, unconscious cultural, social-psychological barriers, inclusive and collaborative leadership, systemic organizational practices that advance learning from conflict, and overcoming invisible obstacles to organizational inclusivity.

Sophia Qiao
Dean of Equity Initiatives, Pfizer Inc.

Sophia was the first Organizational Ombuds in China. She is a CO-OP® and a co-chair of AP RAC of IOA. Sophia practiced Ombuds for Eaton Corp. in their Asia Region from 2008 to 2015 and now serves as Asia Ombuds for Pfizer Inc. since 2015. Prior to the ombuds role, Sophia worked in human resources management for many multi-national companies since 1994. She successfully launched an ombuds program to two major corporations in Asia. Sophia is an active volunteer in the IOA community, working in the International Outreach Committee and co-leading the Asia Pacific RAC (Regional Advisory Committee). She leads AP RAC and successfully coordinated four regional in-person meetings in Asia. The AP RAC members were grown from seven into 25 through team efforts. She is based in Beijing, China, and enjoys travelling to different countries and learning different cultures. Sophia speaks English and Mandarin.

Brandi Quam
Program Manager, NASA

Brandi is a Program Manager at NASA Langley Research Center where she is leading the development of a GIS Strategy for Earth Science and manages a team of GIS practitioners and data scientists. She oversees a portfolio of advanced science and technology (S&T) investigations aligned to the Earth Science Technology Office, Advanced Information Systems Technology Program (AIST). As a Lead Associate for AIST, Ms. Quam works to map emerging technologies and advanced IT capabilities to gaps in current and future NASA missions. She is a U.S. Air Force Veteran, and has spent 15 years leading Remote Sensing Science & Technology efforts across several government agencies – Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Defense; she transitioned to NASA in 2012 to manage the Atmospheric Science Data Center - part of the larger Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS). Ms. Quam holds a B.S. in Psychology, an MBA, and is a Certified Project Management Professional (PMP). Additionally, she is working to gain fluency in American Sign Language, is a member of the International Ombudsman Association (IOA) leading a practice at Langley, and serves as a Mentor for the NASA Community College of Aerospace Scholars.

Teresa Ralicki
Ombuds, University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus

Teresa Ralicki is the ombuds at the UC Denver Campus. Teresa has a Master of Arts degree in Dispute Resolution from the University of Massachusetts Boston, a graduate certificate in Organization Consulting and Change Leadership from Georgetown University, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Conflict and Peace Studies from Juniata College. Teresa has extensive training and experience in mediation, facilitation, restorative justice, and conflict coaching. Prior to her work at UCD, Teresa worked as Associate Ombudsman at the American Red Cross. Teresa is an active member of the International Ombudsman Association has served as a member of its Board of Directors.

Reese Ramos
Director of the University Ombuds Office, Virginia Tech

In May 2019 Reese Ramos was announced as the Director of the University Ombuds office at Virginia Tech. There he strives to empower “Hokies” to navigate beyond problems to options that may resolve their situations. Prior to joining Virginia Tech Reese worked as an Ombuds in just about every sector of industries from National Parks (government), Earthjustice (non-profit), Sandia National Lab (corporate), and UCLA (academic). He has also been a mediator with Marin County Mediation Services and was in private practice where he mediated disputes for Mosten Mediation Centers, Los Angeles Superior Court, various community groups, and SquareTrade, an online mediation company.

Reese is an active member of IOA and a prior IOA Board President. He has facilitated ombuds trainings at several conferences and has written on leadership, conflict management, and communication. Reese received a BA and a specialized certificate in dispute resolution from Pepperdine University. He earned his JD at McGeorge School of Law and has supplemented his extensive education with several hundred hours of mediation, negotiation, arbitration, and diversity training

David Rasch
University Ombuds Officer, UCSB

David Rasch is an Associate Ombuds at UCSB, and prior to that was the University Ombuds at Stanford University and the Director of Stanford’s Faculty/Staff Counseling Center. He is a past president and secretary of the Board of Certification for Certified Organizational Ombudsman Professionals (CO-OP®), and served as a Director on the CO-OP® Board for six years. In addition to his ombuds work, he has also been a consultant and lecturer on writing productivity in Stanford’s Continuing Studies Program and Faculty Development Office.

Xaivian Raymond
Student Ombudsman, NASA

Dr. Xaivian L. Raymond currently serves as the Executive Officer for the Office of Strategic Infrastructure at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Headquarters in Washington, D.C. In this capacity, he is responsible for providing leadership and oversight for a broad spectrum of business management functions. This includes performing extensive research to advise the Assistant Administrator for Strategic Infrastructure on various strategies and policies. In addition, Xaivian performs collateral duties as Ombudsman Program Manager, providing the workforce with a supplemental channel of communication to raise issues and concerns that they perceive could impact safety, organizational performance, and mission success. He also serves as an adjunct professor in the School of Business at the University of Maryland Global Campus. Xaivian earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, a Master’s in Business Administration and a Doctorate in Organizational Leadership.


Peter Robinson
Director & Ombudsperson, Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, Pepperdine School of Law

Peter Robinson is a professor at the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine University School of Law. He has presented advanced negotiation and mediation skills courses throughout the United States and in more than 10 foreign countries. The Southern California Mediation Association recognized him as Peacemaker of the Year in 1999. He is a fellow of the International Academy of Mediators and has been periodically recognized as a Southern California Super Lawyer in the area of mediation. After being appointed by the Los Angeles City Attorney, he successfully mediated all the environmental objections to building the Farmer’s Field football stadium in downtown LA.


Mary Chavez Rudolph
Ombuds, Department of the Interior

Mary Chavez Rudolph is the ombuds for the Bureau of Land Management and the Bureau of Reclamation. Prior to DOI, Mary served as an ombuds at the University of Colorado for 13 years. Mary served as the President of the University and College Ombuds Association (UCOA) and on the inaugural Board of Directors of the IOA. Mary earned a PhD in Education and a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from the University of Colorado Denver.

Christina Sabee
Student Ombuds/ Clinical Psychologist, San Francisco State University

Christina Sabee serves as the Dean of Equity Initiatives at San Francisco State University, where she wears two distinct "hats": one as an Employee Ombudsperson and the other as a Senior Deputy Title IX Coordinator/DHR Administrator. Christina holds a PhD in Communication from Northwestern University, and began her career as a professor focusing on conflict management and mediation. In addition to developing and teaching courses in conflict management and mediation, she co-founded the Conflict and Common Ground Center at San Jose State University, directed the Conflict Resolution Certificate program at San Francisco State, and served as a volunteer mediator in her community. Just prior to her current role, Christina chaired both the Communication Studies department and the School of Design at San Francisco State. In her current role, in addition to her ombuds work, she oversees the process around responding to reports of sexual misconduct, sexual and gender harassment, and matters of discrimination and harassment related to membership in other protected classes.


Judi Segall
Principal, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Judi Segall, MSW, CO-OP®, serves as Ombudsperson at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), providing conflict management services to all cohorts of the Institute community. Prior to joining MIT in 2014, Judi served as Director of the Ombudsman Office at Stony Brook University 1997–2014 and was a faculty member in the Stony Brook University School of Social Welfare graduate program for 16 years. Judi served as President of the University and College Ombuds Association (UCOA) 1999–2001, President of The Ombudsman Association (TOA) 2005–2006, and was the inaugural President of the International Ombudsman Association (IOA) 2006–2007. Currently she is a faculty member on the teaching team for IOA’s training and professional development program. Judi holds a Master’s in Social Work from Stony Brook University and certification in mediation from the Center for Mediation in Law. Underlying her work as an ombuds, teacher, and trainer, Judi is committed to advancing constructive conflict management skills and positive change within all realms of our society.


Natalie Sharpe
Director of Office of the Student Ombuds and President of the Association of Canadian College and University Ombudspersons (ACCUO), University of Alberta

Natalie Sharpe (B.A. Hon, M.A. Anthropology) has professional certificates in negotiation, mediation and arbitration, and the Forum of Canadian Ombudsman/Osgoode Professional Certificate “Essentials for Ombuds”. She has been the President of the Association of Canadian College and University Ombudspersons since 2016.  She has worked at the University of Alberta for 35 years as an advisor, mediator and ombudsperson. Her office handles an annual caseload of 1200 students; working with a Graduate ombudsperson and Undergraduate ombudsperson, she offers an ombuds internship program for three students each year. Natalie has presented at national and international ombuds conferences. She contributed a chapter to Cyberbullying at University at International Contexts (2018). Natalie continues to teach part-time in the social sciences in alternative dispute resolution, and on gender roles; women, work and unions. She has also worked on The Canadian Encyclopedia and led a Metis Land Claims Project in the Canadian prairies. The discipline of anthropology has informed Natalie’s holistic approach to ombuds work.


Sigal Shoham
Ombuds, Department of the Interior

Sigal Shoham has a Master’s in Conflict Transformation from Eastern Mennonite University’s Center for Justice and Peacebuilding. She has been with the DOI since 2013 and serves as the Ombuds for the National Park Service.

Ryan Smith
Director, Office of Collaborative Action and Dispute Resolution, Michigan State University

Dr. Ryan Smith serves as Assistant University Ombudsperson at Michigan State University. Ryan holds an EdD in Higher Education from the University of Denver. Prior to his work as an ombuds, Ryan spent 10 years working in student affairs in higher education. Ryan has additional experience and training in conflict mediation, conflict coaching, and restorative justice.


Shandell Sosna
Principle, Sosna Leadership and Development


Breanne Taylor
Associate Ombuds, Oregon State University

Breanne Taylor joined the University Ombuds Office in June 2012 and serves as the Associate Ombuds. Breanne holds a BA in Political Science, with a minor in Peace Studies and a Master’s in Conflict and Dispute Resolution. Breanne’s prior experience included supporting university employees and students through work in career services and IT support. She also provided impartial conflict management as a volunteer Co-Ombudsman for Kidsports, a youth sports organization. Breanne is a certified administrator of the Conflict Climate Inventory, applying the tool to diagnose workplace conflict at a systems level. Breanne is actively involved with the California Caucus of College and University Ombuds (CCCUO). She has served on the Board of Directors since 2017 and has been a volunteer on various CCCUO committees since 2013.


Sara Thacker
Director of the Office of the Ombuds, University of California, Berkeley

Sara Thacker is Director and Ombudsperson for the Staff Ombuds Office at the University of California, Berkeley. She has also served as the Ombudsperson for Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory where she developed a new ombuds services program. Sara is a member of the International Ombudsman Association and has served on the IOA Board of Directors. She holds a JD from the University of Iowa College of Law and an LLM in conflict resolution from Georgetown University Law Center where she taught as an adjunct professor and Hewlett Fellow.

Ronnie Thomson
Corporate Ombudsman, Halliburton Ombuds Office

 Ronnie Thomson is Halliburton’s first field ombudsman located in Carrollton, Texas, for Halliburton’s Ombuds Office/Dispute Resolution Program. After a career in Human Resources, Ronnie began her career as an Ombudsman with Dresser, Inc., a Halliburton spin-off in 2001, serving as the Program Manager and Ombudsman. 

She is a member of the Conflict Resolution Network (CRN) at SMU in Plano, Texas, The Corporate Organizational Ombuds Roundtable, the Texas Organizational Ombuds Practicioners Alliance, the Association for Conflict Resolution (ACR), and the International Ombudsman Association (IOA), where she serves on the Mentoring Committee.

Ronnie received her bachelor’s 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) through IOA’s then newly formed certification body in November 2009. Ronnie also completed a Conflict Management Specialist Certificate in August 2011 at Dallas County Community College District and in May 2013, she completed a three-year intensive program with HeartPaths Spiritual Formation, receiving a Certificate in the Art of Spiritual Direction.

Shreya Trivedi
Ombudsperson, 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 BA 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.


Pete Wilczynski
Ombudsman, NASA

Pete is the NASA HQ’s Program Executive (PE) for the Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) Mission, in the Joint Agency Satellite Division (JASD) within the Science Mission Directorate (SMD) at NASA Headquarters in Washington DC.  Pete also serves as the Ombudsman for NASA Headquarters.

Pete’s 33 years of government service has included extensive experience in aviation and space operations, space system development and acquisition of joint space agency & joint international space systems in the US Air Force (USAF) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).  Pete was a Flight Commander for the Defense Support Program (DSP) and the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) during his operational tours in the USAF. Pete was NOAA’s Program Manager for several important high value operational environmental satellite systems, including NOAA’s International Satellite Ocean Altimetry Program known as Jason-3. Pete’s 33 years of work in government space programs has been recognized numerous times, notably:  by the U.S. Air Force Meritorious Service Medal awarded for distinguished service to the USAF, by Vice President Gore’s National Performance Review “Hammer Award”, by the U.S. Department of Commerce Gold Medal, the Departments' highest civilian honor for distinguished leadership in developing innovative systems acquisition and contractor teaming methods to build operational environmental satellites and most recently by NASA HQ’s for NASA’s Exceptional Achievement Medal for developing and launching the JPSS-1 mission in 2017.

As a graduate from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in FL for his undergraduate degree and Webster University for his Master’s degree, he has enjoyed a diverse aerospace career. Along with all his extensive work experience, Pete was a civil and military pilot, an Excellence in Government Senior Fellow, and is a Graduate of the US Office of Personnel Management Senior Executive Service (SES) Candidate Development Program.


Caroline Woolard
Artist, University of Hartford



Courtney N. Wright
Director of Undergraduate Studies, University of Tennessee

Courtney Wright is a higher education professional with 12 years of experience teaching and conducting researching in interpersonal communication, conflict management, and social cognition. A civil/family mediator and trained ombudsman, she has experience facilitating dialogues across differences and consulting with organizations/academic institutions on managing incivility and conflict in times of sociopolitical friction.

Fred Wright
Workplace Conciliator, Government of Victoria, Australia

 Fred has almost 40 years’ experience in public sector administration in a range of operational and senior management positions across Victorian Government Departments including Justice, Human Services, and Environment. He has been working as an Organisational Ombudsman with the Department of Environment, Land Water and Planning in the Government of Victoria, Australia since 2011.

He is on the Directorate at Group Relations Australia and a board member of N.I.O.D.A. He is also Co-Chair of the Asia Pacific Regional Advisory Committee and member of the International Outreach Committee of the International Ombudsman Association.

Daniel Cantor Yalowitz
World Food Programme Ombudsman and Director of the Office of Ombudsman and Mediation Services, DCY Consulting

Daniel Cantor Yalowitz, EdD, is a highly sought-after international trainer and consultant who has designed and implemented programs and services in more than eighty countries to date. Daniel’s work focuses on the themes and intersections of intercultural communication; conflict transformation; building trust and equity in the workplace; multiple, social, and emotional intelligences; archetypal psychology; peace building; and play. His andragogy emphasizes experiential, group-centered work with deep opportunities for sharing, reflection, and interpersonal interaction and activity. Daniel has written and published on these topics, with his most recent book published in December of 2018, Journeying with Your Archetypes: The Search for Deeper Meaning and Daily Life. A second book, focusing on the power and challenges of friendship, is due out at the end of 2020. His work is imbued with gentle humor, a blend of theory and practice, and vision of a more globalized and connected peaceable future for humanity. Daniel is deeply passionate about his teaching, consulting, and training, and appreciates learning from his participants.

Lisa Yamagata-Lynch
Ombuds Director, University of Tennessee

Dr. Lisa Yamagata-Lynch is a tenured professor at the University of Tennessee (UT) in Knoxville and director of the Office of Ombuds Services. Her academic specialty is in Learning, Design, and Technology, with interests in instructional design, instructional technology, online learning, qualitative research, and organizational change. In 2010 she published a book, Activity Systems Analysis: Methods for Understanding Complex Learning Environments. Prior to becoming a full-time Ombudsperson in May 2019, she was the Associate Head and Director of Graduate Studies in the Educational Psychology and Counseling Department at UT. Additionally, she was the Program Coordinator for the Instructional Technology Masters and Learning, Design, and Technology Doctoral programs. Prior to coming to UT, Lisa had experiences working as a faculty at the University of Utah from 2001 to 2004 as well as Northern Illinois University from 2004 to 2011.