Submitted by the Ombuds Office, CU Denver l Anschutz
In February 2018, the American Bar Association (ABA) Board of Governors declared the second Thursday of October Ombuds Day. On Oct. 10, 2019, ombuds around the world celebrated the second annual Ombuds Day. It was a flurry of social media posts, videos, Ombuds Day proclamations and events aligned with this year’s Ombuds Day theme: “Ombuds: Unusual name. Important service.”
In an effort to raise awareness of the different types of ombuds, explain the services they provide, illustrate the value they offer and promote the development of ombuds programs in the private and public sectors, the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution Ombuds Committee’s Ombuds Day Task Force orchestrated three regional events in Boulder, Chicago and Washington, D.C. The task force also coordinated with ombuds nationwide to obtain 20 state and local proclamations including the state of Colorado, city of Aurora, city of Boulder and city of Denver.
Despite a snowstorm and frigid temperatures, the Rocky Mountain Regional Ombuds Day Event took place at the University of Colorado Law School in Boulder. Those who attended enjoyed quality programming from world-renowned mediator, trainer, facilitator and author Ken Cloke, BA, JD, Ph.D., LLM who presented “Conflict Revolution: Designing Preventative Systems for Chronic Social, Economic and Political Conflicts.” The evening also included a panel session consisting of five different ombuds discussing “Ombuds: What’s in a name?” They were:
- Jeff Weber – Organizational Ombuds, National Center for Atmospheric Research (Moderator)
- Mary Chavez Rudolph – Organizational Ombuds, U.S. Department of Interior
- Linda Coughenour – Executive Ombudsman, Arizona Salt River Project
- Jerry Hauser – Organizational Ombuds, University of Colorado Boulder Ombuds Office
- Stephanie Villafuerte – Advocate Ombudsman, Colorado Child Protection Ombudsman
- Kacie Wallace – Athlete Ombudsman, United States Olympic Committee.
Thank you to our fabulous speakers.
Attendees enjoyed a beautiful and delicious catered reception thanks to our generous sponsors and Front Range Catering, Ombuds Day swag, book drawing and book signing.
A huge thank you to the University of Colorado Boulder, University of Colorado Denver l Anschutz and Metropolitan State University of Denver ombuds for their time and talent planning the Rocky Mountain Regional Ombuds Day Event, and the University of Colorado Law School staff for their support.
Missed the Rocky Mountain Regional Ombuds Day Event? Not to worry: Ken Cloke’s presentation and the panel discussion are available on the University of Colorado Boulder Ombuds Office website. You may also check out an interpretative summary of Ken Cloke’s presentation on Ombuzz, the University of Colorado Ombuds Bog.
Learn more about ombuds with the ABA Journal’s Ombuds Primer, ABA Section of Dispute Resolution Resolutions Podcast, 3-minute “Ombuds Oriole” video , or look through the 2019 Ombuds Day Toolkit for a variety of articles, links and ombuds-related information.