Ombuds Program

Pursuant to Section 11 of the Technology Transfer Commercialization Act of 2000, Public Law 106-404 each DOE National Laboratory was required to appoint an Ombuds.

Participants in the Ames Laboratory's complex collaborative R&D environment may experience uncertainties or questions they describe as "business concerns" or project-related "ambiguities." The Ames Laboratory Ombuds Program provides the Laboratory’s industrial R&D partners, and those in the broader marketplace with questions about Ames Laboratory R&D, with a neutral and a confidential point of contact for voicing these concerns. The Program provides an alternative to the formal reporting channels established by the Ames Laboratory and the DOE because it addresses R&D and business-related issues in an informal, nonescalating way. The Ames Laboratory Ombuds is available to all Laboratory R&D partners, all U.S. firms with questions about Laboratory R&D and Laboratory employees. The Ombuds can be contacted if an issue concerns Ames Laboratory R&D, R&D collaborations or wider business matters related to the Laboratory’s R&D.


The mission of the Ames Laboratory Ombuds Program is to provide a place where the Ames Laboratory’s R&D partners and other entities with questions about Ames Laboratory R&D may confidentially voice their concerns and seek resolution.  The Ombuds process aims to improve the Laboratory’s responsiveness to its partners and other concerned firms by providing them with a dedicated, partner-focused point-of-contact, which complements existing decision-making and problem-solution processes.

The Ombuds will:

  • Serve as an impartial third party for discussion of confidential concerns,
  • Analyze concerns from several perspectives and set them in context,
  • Focus Laboratory attention both upon specific underlying issues and the broader spectrum of such issues,
  • Explore the range of options available for resolving a partner's and a firm's concerns, and
  • Actively seek resolution.

To accomplish this mission, the Ombuds will act as an advocate for a fair process and the Ames Laboratory’s institutional values, rather than for any specific party (i.e., the Ombuds will NOT serve as an advocate for the Laboratory, for an R&D collaborator or for an outside company). While the Ombuds may assist R&D partners and other firms with a problem-solving process, the ultimate "ownership" of the concerns and their resolution resides with the parties involved.

Please contact the Ombuds Program Coordinator, Todd Zdorkowski, with any concerns or questions about the Ombuds Program, at:

515-294-5640, (phone)
515-294-4456, (fax) or

Additional Information on the DOE Ombuds Programs can be found at