Outsourced Organizational Ombuds Services
MWI’s Outsourced Organizational Ombuds services provides organizations (companies, universities, membership and other organizations) with a designated ombuds team who provides independent, informal, confidential, and neutral assistance visitors. An ombuds:
- Is available to all visitors to discuss, address and resolve a variety of problems and issues
- Connects visitors to resources to better understand policies, guidelines and organizational structure
- Acts as a confidential and informal resource to resolve concerns
- Maintains strict confidentiality (except where there is a serious threat of harm)
- Provides anonymized feedback and reports to leadership to help the organization address and resolve systemic issues
What makes MWI’s Outsourced Ombuds Service Unique
MWI’s outsourced (or external) ombuds…
- Provides choice and diversity: MWI provides organizations with at least two ombuds for visitors to choose from. Giving visitors a choice of who to contact leverages the benefits of diversity by offering ombuds a variety of professional backgrounds, genders, races, etc… which decreases barriers and increases the likelihood that an visitor will reach out to the ombuds.
- Cost-efficient: Even though the organization has the benefit of working with two outsourced ombuds, the cost is less than hiring a in-house full-time ombuds, since outsourced ombuds are not paid benefits, healthcare, and do not incur other expenses such as designated office space.
- Perception of greater independence: Due to the fact that outsourced ombuds are not employees of the organization, external ombuds are perceived as being more independent, which impacts visitor comfort, usage, and trust in the function.
Meet the Ombuds Team
Bathabile K.S. Mthombeni is an experienced ombuds, mediator, consultant, and coach. She discovered the thrill of Alternative Dispute Resolution as a law student in 2004. In 2006 she accepted her first ombuds position and has been the University Ombudsman for Binghamton University since 2015. Bathabile provides DEIB policy development and implementation services to schools and other organizations. She also provides leadership coaching, facilitation, and racial intelligence and racial mindset coaching, training, and dialogue facilitation services to leadership teams and DEIB committees. In addition to her ombuds and other work, Bathabile is a skilled teacher and workshop facilitator. She has taught classes in negotiation, ombuds practice, and conflict management and dispute resolution at Binghamton University, Columbia University, and John Jay College. Bathabile earned her A.B. in Sociology, cum laude from Princeton University, her J.D. from Columbia Law School, and her coaching certificate and M.S. in Leadership and Organizational Development from the Naveen Jindal School of Management at the University of Texas at Dallas. She takes great joy in her work and finds her greatest satisfaction when she is helping her ombuds visitors and clients learn how to communicate better, resolve their differences, and find the highest expression of their best selves.
Allison Monyei Whaley is a skilled ombuds, mediator, and dispute resolution trainer. She earned her Juris Doctorate from Mercer University School of Law. Allison is a member of the International Ombudsman Association (IOA) and completed IOA’s Foundations of Organizational Ombudsman Practice Course. She is also a Certified Organizational Ombudsman Practitioner (CO-OP) and serves on IOA’s CO-OP Board of Directors. Allison has served as an Organizational Ombuds at Clemson University and at Montgomery College, where she provides services to all employees, including faculty, staff and administrators. Prior to ombudsing in higher education, Allison was an external-facing ombuds for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, where she provided confidential ombuds services to businesses and corporations that were collaborating with the government as regulated entities. Before entering the ombuds profession, she worked as a nonprofit attorney, advocating on behalf of our nation’s veterans and their families. Several times in her career, Allison has been recognized as a leader having been selected for the President’s Leadership Institute at Clemson University, the FDA’s Leading for Results Leadership Development Program, and the FDA’s Leading at All Levels Aspiring Leaders Program. She is co-chair of the American Bar Association Dispute Resolution Section Ombuds Committee and a member of and the administrator for the Black Ombuds Network.
Charmhee Kim is an experienced ombuds and cross-cultural trainer. She was an ombuds for 15 years at McKinsey & Company, a global management consultancy, addressing workplace conflicts, career development concerns, allegations of harassment and discrimination and mental health issues among other topics. She has been an active member of the International Ombuds Association (IOA) since 2007 and was trained in its Foundations of Organizational Ombudsman Practice Course which she later taught as faculty. Charmhee served on the IOA Board of Directors and co-chaired its Global Marketing Task Force. Prior to entering the ombuds profession, Charmhee worked as a management consultant, investment banker and public affairs specialist with the United Nations. She holds an MBA from University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and an MA from Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies. Charmhee is trilingual in English, Korean and Mandarin Chinese.
LaCrisia “Cris” Gilbert, MDR, is a member of MWI’s ombuds panel and has served as both an organizational and advocate ombuds. Her ombuds career started in 2012 as an advocate ombuds in the State of Texas where she advocated for residents in long-term care and assisted living facilities, working closely with regulatory and individual facilities and their administrations. Utilizing over 30 years in the ADR field as a mediator, facilitator (specializing in Faith-based organizations), professor and trainer, Cris was instrumental in resolving conflicts at all levels from family, civil court cases to facility issues. Cris has served as an organizational ombudsman with a university, assisting faculty, staff, and students as well as training compliance investigators in mediation, conflict resolution, and DEI initiatives for the organization. She has also worked as a facilitator, assisting HR and Compliance with informal resolutions. She serves in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) on two campus initiatives (the President’s DEI Council and Social Justice, Equity and Inclusion Council).
Alnoor Maherali s an ombuds, mediator, trainer, and consultant. Alnoor works with commercial and private clients to resolve disputes and disagreements, preserving and often creating value in the process. In addition, he provides training to state and federal employees in crisis management and conflict resolution. He is a former diplomat with over 10 years of experience and his personal and professional travels have taken him to over 50 different countries, including deployments to Afghanistan and Bangladesh, making him especially adept at navigating cultural, ethnic, and racial conflict and differences. Alnoor has mediated workplace disputes involving compensation, sexual harassment, and and other conflicts, and he has conducted after-action reviews of federal responses to two major crises, resulting in updates to government-wide standard operating procedures (SOPs). He has also served as an HR consultant for a podiatry practice through its expansion from one location to four locations in Manhattan, helping the company to update and enhance its hiring and onboarding processes, ensuring higher levels of retention and an improved workplace culture. Alnoor was trained by the International Ombuds Association in the Foundations of Organizational Ombuds Practice course. He has an MPA from the Harvard Kennedy School.Click here for more information
Wendy Friede is an outsourced ombuds with MWI. She holds the distinction of Certified Organizational Ombuds Practitioner® (CO-OP®) from the International Ombudsman Association (IOA) and she has a coaching certificate from Coaches Training Institute (CTI). She has been a dispute resolution professional since 1995. Her ombuds work includes serving as the internal ombuds at American Express from 1995-2007 and as an outsourced ombuds with academic institutions, state and federal government, franchise organizations, non-profits, and corporate clients. In addition, she served on the IOA Board of Directors, served as President of the CO-OP Board, and chaired the Professional Development Committee for 7 years.
Barbara (Barb) Beatty is an outsourced ombuds with MWI and has been a dispute resolution professional since 1989. Since that time she received her Masters in Dispute Resolution (M.D.R.) from Pepperdine University Caruso School of Law – Straus Institute of Dispute Resolution and has worked full-time in the dispute resolution field as a mediator and ombuds for over 12 years. Barbara is a Certified Organizational Ombuds Practitioner® (CO-OP®) and has been active in the Association of Conflict Resolution (ACR) and the International Ombudsman Association (IOA) for many years. She served as the co-chair of the Workplace Section of ACR and wrote and presented on the ombuds profession for ACR. She also served on the American Bar Association (ABA), Dispute Resolution Ombuds Task Force, was the Membership Administrator was their newly formed Ombuds Committee, and was a member of both the national and regional Ombuds Day Task Forces. In addition to being a Certified Crucial Conversations® and Crucial Accountability® trainer, Barbara has taught numerous communication and conflict resolution classes around the country and is also a trained facilitator.
Nnena Odim is an ombuds, mediator, and consultant with MWI. She began mediating in 1997 and was trained as an ombuds by the International Ombuds Association. In addition to her ombuds and mediation training and work, Nnena is the Director and Senior Clinical Instructor of the Family/Domestic Violence Law Clinic at The Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School. She provides experiential training to law students and teaches them how to become effective and ethical attorneys. Nnena has also worked with the Harvard Mediation Program and Harvard Program on Negotiation to provide trainings for students and community members, and to supervise Harvard Law School students in their mediation and negotiation studies. Nnena has mediated personal, academic, and administrative issues between students, faculty, and administration in higher education settings, served as a faculty and coach of mediation skills for trainings at Suffolk and Boston College Law Schools, MIT, and New England
School of Law, and provided dispute/conflict resolution consultations for various academic and administrative departments in Boston‐area colleges and universities. Nnena has served on numerous panels and speaking rosters for a variety of diverse topics, including those on self‐care and mental health for students and faculty, establishing boundaries in a professional setting, race and gender, and LGBTQ rights. In 2013, Nnena was a Top Women in the Law award recipient from Mass. Lawyers Weekly. In 2015, she received the Harvard Law School Dean’s Award for Excellence, and in 2019, she was honored by the Harvard Women’s Law Association International Committee.
Ombuds and Mediator | Certified Organizational Ombuds Practitioner (CO-OP)
Chuck Doran is an experienced ombuds, mediator, and dispute resolution trainer. Chuck is a Certified Organizational Ombuds Practitioner (CO-OP) and a member of the International Ombudsman Association who completed ombuds training with the IOA in 1995. Chuck has served as an outsourced organizational ombuds for companies, universities, and other organizations since 1997. A mediator since 1992, he is a member of the CPR Dispute Resolution Panel of Distinguished Neutrals, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD), MWI, the Harvard Mediation Program, and the United States Postal Service REDRESS I and REDRESS II Mediation Panels. In addition to his mediation work, Chuck works nationally and internationally as a dispute resolution trainer and consultant with corporate, governmental, and non-profit clients including Coca-Cola Enterprises, General Motors, Bose Corporation, and the Harvard Negotiation Project at Harvard Law School. Chuck has served as a teaching assistant on multiple occasions with Professor Roger Fisher at Harvard Law School’s Program of Instruction for Lawyers Negotiation Workshop. In 1993, Chuck completed a Specialization in Negotiation and Dispute Resolution at the Program on Negotiation and chaired two regional ADR Conferences in 1997 and 1999. Chuck served as a member of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Standing Committee on Dispute Resolution and was Chair of the Qualifications Subcommittee. He is a member of the Massachusetts Bar Association’s Dispute Resolution Advisory Group and is a past president of the Association for Conflict Resolution, New England Chapter. Chuck is also a Distinguished Fellow with the International Academy of Mediators (IAM) and a past president of IAM’s Board of Governors.
Rita Callahan is an ombuds with MWI. She has over 20 years’ experience as an organizational ombuds and conflict management consultant offering conflict resolution and collaboration services as a neutral 3rd party in diverse organizations in different industries. Over 5 years’ experience as an organizational ombuds in 3 academic institutions and 2 federal agencies. Adheres to the standards of practice of the International Ombudsman Association and designated as Certified Organizational Ombuds Practitioner (CO-OP®) since 2015. In addition, over 7 years providing ombuds services (without the “Ombuds” title) including the full range of conflict resolution services, climate assessments, process design, team development, collaborative meetings, and designing organizational strategies to address systemic organizational issues in a complex, multicultural, unionized company of 15,000 employees. Provides impartial, informal, independent and confidential conflict management services to constituencies including staff, faculty, students, trainees, and federal and industry employees. Thirteen years’ experience providing conflict management and collaboration services as an external consultant and professional neutral to diverse organizations in different industries. Extensive practical experience addressing and preventing potential formal complaints and escalating conflicts, and delivering a range of conflict management and collaboration services at all organizational levels while developing trusted relationships with senior leaders in varied organizations and industries to provide feedback, make recommendations, and open communication to address systemic problems and issues.
Michael Stephens is an experienced ombuds, mediator and coach with the goal of helping foster good working relations and a more positive culture in the organizations he serves. Michael is a member of the International Ombudsman Association, and has significant experience as an ombuds in both both corporate and academic settings. Michael has a certification in Mediation from the Mediation Training Institute. Michael worked for many years as an Ombuds, as well as the manager of other Ombuds, at Merck, a multi-national pharmaceutical company. Prior to that he had many years of experience in Human Resources roles at Merck and several other companies. After retiring from Merck, he has served as ombuds for Amherst College as well as Smith College. Michael is also an experienced facilitator and workshop leader, specializing in communications skills, conflict resolution and change management. He has a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Colorado and a Masters in Business Administration from New York University.
Audrey Lee is an experienced mediator, ombuds, facilitator and coach. As a mediator, she specializes in workplace, employment, discrimination and harassment matters. Drawing on her experience as a workplace mediator and conflict management consultant, Audrey also leads interactive implicit bias workshops. She has worked with organizations in an ombuds role and received her organizational ombuds training through the International Ombuds Association. Previously, Audrey served as a mediator and trainer for the MA Commission Against Discrimination, where she mediated a variety of discrimination cases and led interactive discrimination awareness and prevention programs. Outside of her mediation and ombuds work, Audrey is a Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School where she teaches courses on Mediation and Diversity & Dispute Resolution. In 2021, Audrey was recognized in Boston Magazine’s inaugural list of “Top Lawyers” in the category of Mediation.
Josh Hoch is a mediator, ombuds, instructor, and is Director of Mediation & Ombuds Services at MWI. Josh has been an active mediator for over 20 years and currently mediates a variety of cases including divorce, workplace, and housing disputes. In addition to his mediation work, Josh is a member of MWI’s training faculty and leads advanced mediation training programs and workshops. As Director of Mediation & Ombuds Services, Josh manages mediations and arbitrations in the areas of family law, consumer automotive, real estate, land use, construction, and workplace/employment. His current ombuds responsibilities include overseeing MWI’s Outsourced Ombuds Panel, serving as an organizational ombuds for CVS Health, and traveling to MWI’s ombuds client sites to educate employees about the role of an ombuds and how to access the benefit. Josh also serves as MWI’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) liaison where he triages employment and higher education referrals for MWI’s mediators and trainers. He is a member of the International Ombuds Association (IOA), the Massachusetts Counsel on Family Mediation (MCFM), and the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC).
- Organizational Ombuds
- Divorce – Massachusetts Divorces
- High conflict divorce and family cases
- Impact of COVID-19 on separated or separating families
- Post-Divorce disputes or modifications
- Housing and Eviction
- Workplace and employment matters
Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities
- Ombuds, CVS Health Ombuds Team Member and Program Director (March 2022 – present)
- Director of Ombuds at MWI (September 2021 – present)
- Member of the International Ombudsman Association (IOA) (September 2021 – present)
- World Mediators Alliance on Climate Change Green Pledge (July 2021 – present)
- Designed and administered a court-approved Parent Education Program for the Massachusetts Probate and Family Court Department, (2016 – August 2021)
- Speaker, New England Association of Conflict Resolution, (April 2021)
- Designed and supervised a mediation program at the Norfolk Probate and Family Court, (September 2013 – 2020)
- Served on the Assistant Judicial Case Manger (AJCM) Transition Working Group for the Chief Justice of the Probate and Family Court, 2019
- Served on the ADR Education Subcommittee for the Massachusetts Trial Court, 2019
- Received recognition for outstanding performance and lasting contributions to the MA AFCC Chapter
- Served for 7 years on the Board of Directors of the Massachusetts Chapter of AFCC
- Member of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts
- Member of the Massachusetts Chapter of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts
- Member of the Massachusetts Council on Family Mediation
- Organizational Member of the New England Chapter of the Association for Conflict Resolution
- Served as Treasurer for an annual fundraiser for Jimmy Fund Clinic patients and their families helping to raise over $500,000
Lectures and ADR Trainings Conducted
- Understanding the Ombuds Resource, On-site at three client locations, (October 2021 – present)
- Advanced Divorce Mediation Training Instructor, (April 2005 – present)
- Provide individual mentoring to mediators looking to increase their effectiveness as mediators, (2003 – present)
- Advanced Mediation Skill Building Trainer for a Community Mediation Program, (January 2022)
- Facilitator, Implicit Bias Workshop, (May 2021)
- Trainer, Basic Mediation Training Program for the Housing Court Department of the Massachusetts Trial Court, (October 2021)
- Trainer, Advanced Dispute Resolution Training for Probation Officers of the Probate and Family Court, (March & June 2021)
- Trainer, Juvenile Mediation Training, 2-day Advanced Mediation Training Program, (March 2021)
- Presenter, Bringing Mediation Online: Lessons Learned So Far, Massachusetts Council for Family Mediation (February 2021)
- Trainer, Housing and Eviction Mediation Training for five Massachusetts Community Mediation Centers, (December 2020 – January 2021)
- Presenter, Mediating Cases Remotely (Online), Roundtable Event, (November 2020)
- Designed and serves as an instructor for an Advanced Dispute Resolution Training Program for Probation Officers of the Probate and Family Court. (May 2019 – June 2021)
- Norfolk Probate and Family Court Department, mediation program mentor and supervisor, (2013 – 2020)
- AFCC’s 54th Annual Conference: Turning the Kaleidoscope of Family Conflict into a Prism of Harmony, Conference Presenter (May 2017)
- Community Dispute Settlement Center (CDSC), Housing Mediation Trainer, (February 2017)
- International Academic Institute of Mediation, Conference Presenter, Divorce Mediation in the Courts, (September 2015)
- Advanced Refresher Mediation Skills Training Program, Presenter, (2015 – 2016)
- New England Chapter of the Association for Conflict Resolution Biennial Regional Conference, Presenter, “I’m a Trained Mediator, Now What do I Do?”, (June 2015)
- Massachusetts Council on Family Mediation, Presenter, On-site mediation project in the Norfolk Probate and Family Court Department, (2014)
- Emerson College, Guest Speaker, (2014 – 2016)
- New England Law | Boston, Ethical Standards, Presenter, (2005 – 2013)
- Liaison for Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy Mediation Practicum, (2001 – 2011)
- A Child’s Voice in Court: How to Get It, How to Interpret It and How to Use It, Panel Speaker, (2008)
- Coca-Cola Enterprise Inc., Trainer. Trained over 950 employees dispute resolution and communication skills and educated over 1700 employees through briefings, (Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Texas, New York, Vermont), (2004 – 2006)
- Harvard Law School, Intern Fair, Cambridge, MA, Presenter, (2005)
- Simmons College Graduate School of Social Work, Guest Lecturer, Parent – Teen Mediation (2004)
- Boston University Law School, Court Connected ADR, Guest Speaker, (2003 – 2008)
- Hale and Dorr Legal Services Center, Divorce Mediation Presenter, (2003 – 2004)
- Newton and Lexington Community Education, Presenter: Divorce Information You Want to Know, (2003 – 2005)
- Germaine Lawrence, Family Communication Workshop, Facilitator, (2001 – 2005)
- Southern New England School of Law, Mediation Trainer and Coach (2001 – 2004)
- Northeastern University, undergraduate class, Guest Speaker, (2001 – 2002)
Background and Education
- Director of Ombuds, MWI, September 2021 – Present
- Organizational Ombuds Training, IOA, October 2021
- Divorce Mediator, MWI, Boston, MA, 2001 – Present
- Director of Mediation Services, MWI, Boston, MA, 2001 – Present
- Divorce Mediator, CLC Inc., Granite Bay, CA, 2004 – Present
- Court & Divorce Mediator, Cambridge, MA, 2001 – 2012
- Boston Municipal Court Mediator, Boston, MA, 2004 – 2007
- Prisoner Disputes Mediator, Middlesex Multi-Door Courthouse, Cambridge, MA, 2003 – 2005
- District Court Mediator, Middlesex Mediation Program, Lowell, MA, 2000 – 2001
- Staff Member, Academy of Family Mediators, 2000
- B.A. University of Massachusetts at Amherst, 1998
- Mediation Training, L. Wing Mediation Consulting, 1996
Jai Calloway is an experienced, people‐focused ombudsperson with a mission to redefine the way people understand and work together by harnessing the power of difference. Jai has spent over ten years working and studying conflict
resolution methodology and its intersection with diversity and inclusion within organizational settings. Jai previously served as Corporate Ombuds for Halliburton Oil Services and serves as an external organizational ombuds for small businesses cross‐industry. She is an alumnus of the Pepperdine Caruso School of Law – Straus Institute of Dispute Resolution. Jai was Vice‐Chair of the American Bar Association Dispute Resolution Section and was Chair of the International Ombuds Association Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) Task Force. In addition to her work as an ombuds, Jai works as an organizational development consultant where her focuses are conflict resolution, employee engagement and diversity & inclusion.
Megan Winkeler (email@example.com) is an ombuds, trainer, mediator, and consultant. Megan is the Director of Training & Engagement at MWI, where she leads workshops and consulting engagements to help organizations communicate, negotiate, and resolve conflict more effectively. She has worked with a variety of organizations including ExxonMobil, NeighborWorks America, Vanderbilt University, Tufts University, Commonwealth Financial Network, and the Massachusetts Probation Department and Housing Court. Megan has mediated workplace disputes involving harassment and bullying, and she has facilitated departmental and large-scale organizational meetings on contentious topics. She also directed a panel of over fifty mediators offering free civil and eviction mediation services to several Massachusetts Trial Courts. Megan was trained by the International Ombuds Association in the Foundations of Organizational Ombuds Practice course. She has served as an analyst for several ombuds clients reviewing data, reporting on trends, developing recommendations, and ensuring the confidentiality and integrity of clients’ data through consistent data management practices.Click here for more information
Caitlan Hendrickson is a Certified Organizational Ombuds Practitioner (CO-OP) with over eighteen years of experience in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and over a decade of experience leading ADR offices in large multicultural organizations. With extensive experience working in a wide variety of settings – including in higher education, healthcare, court, government, and non-profit organizations – she enjoys tailoring her extensive experience and training in conflict engagement practices and human relations to the unique needs of the individuals, groups, and organizations she serves, whether they are small non-profits or large, complex institutions. Caitlan has been a member of the International Ombuds Association since 2011 and brings a background in Ombuds work that is truly multidisciplinary, bridging countless academic disciplines, healthcare, research and innovation, emergency response, and social service. She entered the Ombuds profession as a mediator and restorative justice practitioner with extensive experience working with disadvantaged and marginalized communities in the social service sector, where she specialized in multicultural inclusion and trauma-informed work. Caitlan sees conflict and other challenges as potent opportunities for learning, growth, and transformation on individual, group, and organizational/systemic levels, and enjoys the process of facilitating evolution on each level. She holds a M.Ed. in Human Relations and graduate certificate in Educational Technology – Adult Learning & Training, and is currently completing a doctorate in leadership. As a fluent Spanish speaker, she provides Ombuds services in both English and Spanish.
MWI Ombuds Practitioners adhere to the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice of The International Ombuds Association (IOA).