Meet the Board of Advisors

Bidisha Banerjee is a Program Director at Dalai Lama Fellows. Developer of the Head, Heart, and Hands curriculum, she is a social entrepreneur, educator, and writer from Kolkata, India, and Lawrence, Kansas. She has worked at Ashoka, with Indicorps as an environmental educator in rural India and at an off-grid integrated taro-and-tilapia farm in Hawai’i. She has convened interdisciplinary workshops on fast-track responses to climate change through the Yale Climate and Energy Institute. She has written for Slate, the Yale Forum for Climate Change and the MediaTriple Canopy, and the Stanford Journal of Law, Science, and Policy. She is currently at work on a book about India’s Ganges River and is co-designing a game about decision-making under uncertainty for climate policy-makers. She is the co-founder of Encendia Biochar, which won Yale’s Sabin Sustainable Venture Prize.

Dalai Lama Fellows has the authorization of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama to award highly-selective year-long Fellowships in his name and a project grant of up to $10,000 (varies from country to country) to exceptional undergraduate and graduate students who want to design and launch ambitious “compassion-in-action” projects in one or more of four areas promoting cooperation across religions and cultures; diminishing violence; alleviating poverty; and, protecting the environment.

Read more about Dalai Lama Fellows here.

Philip Buckley is former Chair of the Department of Philosophy at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. From 1986 to 1992 he was a scientific assistant of the Husserl- Archives at Louvain, which engages in editing and translating the unpublished works of Edmund Husserl. His research is focused upon the phenomenology of Husserl and Heidegger, with an interest also in its historical antecedents and subsequent developments in 20th century French and German philosophy. He is the coordinator of a FQRSC (Fonds quebecois de recherche sur la societé et la culture funded) research team for 2002-2005 with colleagues from the Université de Montréal on “Phenomenology and Ethics.”

Since 2000, Professor Buckley has been heavily involved with a McGill-based Canadian International Development Agency project focusing upon higher education in Indonesia. He has twice been guest-professor for a semester at the State Islamic University (UIN Jakarta) and has been a consultant on curriculum design and implementation. Indonesia has also proven an outstanding phenomenological “laboratory” to extend some of his notions on identity, community and history (cf. “The Idea of a Religious Culture: Pre- or Post-modern?” in Islam in Indonesia: Islamic Studies Social transformation , ed. Fuad Jabali and Jamhari (Montreal/jakarta, 2003) and “Phenomenology and Politics: Husserlian Reflections on Reformasi,” forthcoming in Refleksi: Jurnal Agama dan Filsafat) and to engage in joint-research projects on “Ethics and the Environment” and “Democracy and Citizenship”.

More here.

Doug Cushman is a children’s book author-illustrator based in Paris, France. Since 1978, he has illustrated and/or written over 120 books for children and collected a number of honors including a Reuben Award for Book Illustration from the National Cartoonists Society, New York Times Children’s Books Best Sellers, the New York Public Library’s Best 100 Books of 2000, and a 2009 California Young Readers medal. He enjoys painting, playing guitar (very ill) and cooking (and eating!) as he spends his time in Paris, France and traveling around Europe and the USA.

Doug designed the Snow Lion Storytelling Initiative’s logo.

Read more about Doug and check out his books here.

Erzsi Deàk founded Hen&ink Literary Studio in 2011 as a traditional literary agency with the goal to work additionally across platforms and countries/borders – from traditional publishing to design to multimedia. Currently, Hen&ink represents authors and illustrators from around the world as well as publishers Thomas Jeunesse (France), Epigram Books Singapore, and Red Fox Literary.

Read More about Hen&Ink Literary Studio here.

Neil E. Guidry is a Tulane School of Social Work graduate of 1990, Professor Guidry is President of the Louisiana Himalaya Association and has worked with Tibetan Refuges in northern India since 1997. He coordinates volunteer student groups to India from Tulane, Loyola and Centenary. His course and the summer groups focus on Social Work with the Tibetan Refugee Population and the integration of Tibetan Philosophy with Social Work Practice.

Read more about the Louisiana Himalaya Association here.

Robert L. Holmes is a professor of philosophy at the University of Rochester, and an expert on issues of peace and nonviolence. Holmes specializes in ethics, and in social and political philosophy. He has written numerous articles and several books on those topics, and has been invited to address national and international conferences. He earned his undergraduate degree from Harvard College and Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Michigan, and joined the Rochester faculty in 1962.

At Rochester, he also has received the Edward Peck Curtis Award for Undergraduate Teaching in 2001 and the Professor of the Year Award in Humanities in 2006. At the 2007 convocation ceremony, Holmes won the Goergen Award for Distinguished Achievement and Artistry in Undergraduate Teaching. Also, Holmes is known for being one of the very few professors to receive perfect or near perfect reviews every year since the university began student review services in 2001.

Holmes’ publications include On War and Morality; Basic Moral PhilosophyNonviolence in Theory and Practice written with Barry L. Gan; Philosophic Inquiry: An Introduction to Philosophy written with Lewis White Beck.

Thupten Jinpa Langri was born in Tibet in 1958. He received his early education and training as a monk at Zongkar Chöde Monastery in South India and later joined the Shartse College of Ganden monastic university, South India, where he received the Geshe Lharam degree. He taught Buddhist epistemology, metaphysics, Middle Way philosophy and Buddhist psychology at Ganden for five years. Jinpa also holds B.A. Honors in Western Philosophy and a Ph.D. in Religious Studies, both from Cambridge University, UK.

Since 1985 he has been a principal English translator to H.H. the Dalai Lama and has traveled extensively in this capacity. He has translated and edited more than 10 books by the Dalai Lama including Healing AngerDzogchenPath to BlissThe World of Tibetan BuddhismThe Good Heart: The Dalai Lama Explores the Heart of Christianity, and the New York Times bestseller Ethics for the New Millennium. His own works include numerous contributions to various collections and academic journals and several works in Tibetan language. His latest works are Tibetan Songs of Spiritual Experience (co-edited with Jas Elsner), and Self, Reality and Reason in Tibetan Thought: Tsongkhapa’s Quest for the Middle View. From 1996 to 1999, he was the Margaret Smith Research Fellow in Eastern Religion at Girton College, Cambridge University, UK. At present he is the president of the Institute of Tibetan Classics in Montréal, Canada, and the editor-in-chief of the translation project The Library of Tibetan Classics, being developed by the Institute. He is on the advisory board of various educational and cultural organizations such as the Mind and Life Institute (USA), The Orient Foundation (UK & India), The Meridien Trust (UK), Global Ethics and Religion (USA), and Manjushri Buddhist Online Community. He lives in Montréal with his wife and two young daughters.

For information on The Library of Tibetan Classics, click here.

Leonard Marcus is a renowned historian and critic and one of the children’s book world’s liveliest writers and speakers. He is one of the most trusted critics in the field. His incisive book reviews appeared in every issue of Parenting magazine magazine for 21 years. He has curated exhibitions on children’s books and their illustration at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, where is also a founding trustee; New York Public Library; New School for Social Research; Vassar College Library; the Boston Athenaeum; Enoch Pratt Free Library; Joslyn Art Museum (Omaha); Katonah Museum of Art; and the Meridian International Center (Washington, DC).

Leonard has been a consultant to the Whitney Museum of American Art, National Book Foundation, All for Kids Foundation, Norman Rockwell Museum, National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature, and Book Globe Company Ltd (Japan). He is a member of the national board of the National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature( and the Mazza Museum national advisory board.

Read more here.

Barbara McClintock is a children’s book author and illustrator based in Connecticut. Barbara’s books have won 4 New York Times Best Books awards, a New York Times Notable Book citation, a Boston Globe/Horn Book Honor award, and numerous other awards, recommended/best book lists, and starred reviews. Barbara’s intricately beautiful illustrations illuminate her universal stories.

Read more about Barbara and her books here.

Ngawang Rabyal is the director of Lha Charitable Trust, a grass-roots, non-governmental and non-profit social work organization based in Dharamsala, India. Lha aims to provide vital resources for Tibetan refugees, the local Indian population, and people from the Himalayan regions. Founded in 1997 and registered as a charitable trust and a 12AA non-profit organization by the H.P. Indian Government in 2005, Lha has continuously provided vital resources to those in need for over 13 years.

Lha plays a crucial role in facilitating the transition of Tibetan refugees from their homeland to the Indian community by providing long-term rehabilitation and education resources. Each year programs and projects are adjusted to meet the conditions and needs of the region, yet the commitment remains constant: to help the Tibetan people thrive and prosper in their new home and to preserve their profoundly unique culture. Additionally, Lha offers volunteers and students the opportunity to engage in meaningful community service and social work and also seeks to generate an atmosphere of harmony and cooperation within the community by tending to the needs of the impoverished and underprivileged.

Ngawang is also the managing director of Lha’s free monthly publication, Contact Magazine. Recognized by Lonely Planet and other international travel resources, Contact has been a popular source for Tibetan issues and community information in Dharamsala for over 14 years. It is one of the longest running Tibetan publications in the area and provides local residents and international visitors with news and resources relevant to the Dharamsala community. In addition to containing Tibetan issues, international news and local information, Contact aspires to bring the West and East together in a meaningful and beneficial way.  700 copies are printed per issue and distributed in the greater Dharamsala area and will soon extend to a variety of diplomatic missions across India, as well as popular tourist destinations like Goa, Delhi, and Manali.

Read more about Lha here.

More on Contact Magazine here.

Claudia Soeffner is the English Language Specialist at the The International Youth Library in Munich, Germany. The IYL is the largest library for international children’s and youth literature in the world. Ever since it was opened in 1949 by Jella Lepman, it has been continuously expanded to an internationally recognised centre for the world’s children’s and youth literature.

Read more about the International Youth Library here.

Whitney Stewart is a children’s book author based in New Orleans, Louisiana. “In 1986 my mother and I went around the world. One day I stood on a mountain path, staring at Mt. Everest (Tibetans call it Chomo Lungma), and I decided to write a children’s book about the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet. In 1987 I was invited to live with a Tibetan family in Dharamsala, India. I spent weeks following my eight-year-old Tibetan friend, Tenzin Choegyal, and studying his life in the Tibetan refugee village. I wrote an article about him for Highlights for Children. Then I interviewed the 14th Dalai Lama for my first two children’s books, To the Lion Throne and The 14th Dalai Lama. That interview ignited my career, and I traveled to Burma, China, Japan, Singapore, and Thailand to see more of Asia and research other book topics.”

Read more about Whitney here.


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