Ombud Information

2020 Ombud Information


Across the country organizations are taking steps to ensure the safety, security, and comfort of their members at their meetings. To combat unwelcome behavior at the annual meeting the AIA and SCS have appointed Kathy Canul, an ombudsperson meant to serve as mediator and point of first contact regarding incidents and allegations of harassment at the meeting. As a neutral observer and trained professional, Kathy will be responsible for fielding complaints from attendees in a confidential setting, listening to concerns, and identifying quick and effective solutions. For her specific duties, you can read the joint harassment policy.

We’d like to thank Kathy for acting as our inaugural ombuds for our annual meeting, as well as the many individuals and groups inside and outside of the AIA/SCS membership who were critical in helping us shape a policy that we believe will lead to an atmosphere of increased safety and comfort for our attendees.

While the ombuds will be at several AIA/SCS events and sessions, as well as walking around the conference, she will also have set office hours for confidential meetings with attendees. This office will be set up in the Adams Morgan room on Meeting Level 3 (M3).

Thursday, January 2 12:00 noon to 2:30 p.m., 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Friday, January 3 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., 4:45 p.m. to 6:45 p.m.
Saturday, January 4 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., 4:45 p.m. to 6:45 p.m.
Sunday, January 5 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The ombuds position is meant to field any complaint that might apply to our joint harassment policy, no matter how large or small that complaint may seem. We hope you will not hesitate to utilize her services and see her as a trusted member of the annual meeting who has your safety in mind.

Some complaints, however, still remain the purview of other reporting channels. Reports of unsanctioned or otherwise unethical practices in
on-site job interviews should be reported to the Placement Coordinator (Erik Shell – or the chair of Professional Matters
(Barbara Gold –

If you are unsure as to where a complaint should be filed, you are welcome to ask the ombuds. She has been briefed on the workings of both the AIA and SCS, and will be able to direct you appropriately.

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