Lisa C. Yamagata-Lynch


Dr. Lisa Yamagata-Lynch is the Director for the Office of Ombuds Services at the University of Tennessee (UT), Knoxville and serves faculty, staff, and graduate students. Lisa founded the office in May 2019, when she was appointed as the University Ombudsperson after an internal search process. During the first couple years since becoming an ombuds, Lisa cultivated positive and sustained collaborative relationships with the Provost's Office, Human Resources, General Counsel, and other university leaders. Lisa was promoted to Director in 2021, when the Chancellor's Office approved expanding the office and hiring a second ombuds. Lisa now supervises an associate ombudsperson, educational program coordinator, and a graduate research assistant. 

Lisa is a Certified Organizational Ombudsman Practitioner® (CO-OP®). She is also a certified trainer in Crucial Conversations Mastering Dialogue and Crucial Accountability. She served as a co-chair and chair of the IOA Professional Development Committee and is a recipient of the 2024 IOA President's Award. Lisa was a tenured professor at UT prior to becoming an ombuds. As a faculty she engaged in research and published over 30 peer-reviewed journal articles. In 2010, Lisa published her book with the title Activity Systems Analysis Methods for Understanding Complex Learning Environments, which is highly cited by scholars interested in engaging in qualitative research about human performances and organizational systems. Lisa taught courses related to systemic change, qualitative research, and design thinking. Lisa has experience in developing and growing revenue generating online programs. Lisa has served in several leadership roles in universities as a program coordinator, director of graduate studies, as well as an academic department associate head. 

Lisa received her doctoral degree from Indiana University in Educational Psychology as well as Instructional Systems Technology. Lisa has served in several leadership roles in universities as a program coordinator, director of graduate studies, academic department associate head, as well as leading program accreditation processes. Lisa has been involved in diversity, engagement, and inclusion at UT through her leadership in the Commission for Women and as a contributing member in various diversity initiatives.