06/11/2018

Karen J. Dean Earns 2017 Leadership In Action Award


Karen J. Dean Earns 2017 Leadership In Action Award from the Partnership for Public Service and the Leadership Alumni Board for Spearheading USPTO's Office of the Ombudsman 

Alexander Sofocleous

In May of 2016, the United States Patent & Trademark Office launched a pilot program for the USPTOs Office of the Ombudsman. The programs success was huge and, as a result, the Office was made permanent as of January 2017. The purpose behind the Office of the Ombudsman is to provide a neutral/impartial, independent, confidential, and informal resource to USPTO staff (e.g., employees, supervisors, senior executives, political appointees) for discussing any individual workplace concern or systemic issue. By providing a medium, like no other at USPTO, the Office of the Ombudsman helps, inter alia, provide Agency leadership with unfiltered information regarding persistent or systemic issues and provide expert conflict resolution services through facilitated discussions. The Office served more than 350 employees and provided the medium to raise issues about conflicts with between co-workers, disputes and poor communication between employees and their managers, concerns about performance appraisals, lack of respect and bullying.

99 J. Pat. & Trademark Off. Soc’y 527(2017)

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