Meet the Staff
marty krasney, executive director
Marty Krasney, an educator, and organizational executive, was named as the first Executive Director of Dalai Lama Fellows in May 2010. His prior work in the not-for-profit sector includes having served as the first director of the Aspen Institute Seminars, (where we edited six editions of Aspen Institute Readings and launched the Corporation and Society seminars), the founding president of American Leadership Forum, executive director of The Coalition for the Presidio Pacific Center and program director of the National Humanities Series. His corporate employment includes directing public affairs for Levi Strauss & Co. and managing executive development at ARCO.
Marty also serves as Vice President of Commonweal, on the Executive Committee of Human Rights Watch's San Francisco Committee, on the Board of Heyday and on the Advisory Board of the Butler Koshland Fellowships. He has published poetry and short stories in American and British magazines; is currently at work on two books, one about citizen sector culture and the other a long inquiry into vision; and continues to write poetry. He graduated with honors from Princeton University, pursued graduate work in English Literature at the University of Michigan and in Communications at Stanford, and earned an MBA from Harvard.
Natalie Conneely, Director of Partnerships and Advancement
Natalie is a passionate development professional, born in the lowland jungles of Eastern Bolivia, the seventh of eight children. Complementing Natalie’s six years in development, she spent four years in corporate business development managing more than 54 million dollars in revenue from Europe, Middle East, and African Markets, while launching CNN International’s first Middle Eastern Production Hub in Abu Dhabi. Natalie co-founded Changing Stories, an international production platform and arts organization that provides transformative experiences for communities to share their stories. She launched Bolivia Corazón de America, an Ethnic dance group 16 years ago. She is the Co-Chair of the Human Rights Watch Young Professionals Network Membership Committee and has been Initiated as a Field of Love Meditation Guide. In her free time she is a working actor and filmmaker in San Francisco. She has a degree in Political Science and Film, Television and Theater from the University of Notre Dame and non-profit experience in development, education and the arts in Ghana, Peru, and India.
Rukmani Kapoor, Program Coordinator
Rukmani is an Atlas Corps fellow from India who is serving at Dalai Lama Fellows. She has a deep passion for education equity and has been working in the non-profit and social enterprise sector developing sustainable and scalable solutions. Prior to Dalai Lama Fellows, she led government relations for Civic Response Team, a think tank, to develop a teacher training curriculum for public school teachers in Maharashtra, India. Her foray into the education sector started when in 2010 she applied and was selected for the Teach for India fellowship. Through these experiences that fuels her passion for education equity, she has developed a strong skill set in project management, implementation, and building partnerships. Rukmani is also passionate about food, hikes and immersing herself in the book she is reading.
Uvinie Lubecki, Managing Director
Uvinie develops curriculum, content and practices for bringing secular values and mind training to leaders. She has worked with organizations to launch new products and implement and scale programs. Prior to joining Dalai Lama Fellows, she led strategy for RelayHealth, a subsidiary of McKesson with more than 900 employees and $200M in revenue. She also worked for Deloitte Consulting, Aetna, the US Department of Health and Human Services and the World Health Organization in Sudan. Uvinie was born in Sri Lanka, and grew up in Nigeria, Jordan and New York. She holds a MS in Health Policy and Management from the Harvard School of Public Health, and a BA in Neurobiology from Cornell University. Uvinie enjoys photography, is an avid foodie and an aspiring science fiction writer.
Bela Shah, Director of Fellows
Bela manages the recruitment, selection and lifelong engagement of Fellows. She has worked with international development, education, and capacity building programs. She has collaborated on community development projects in Central America with Amigos de las Americas, worked on the US Department of State’s public diplomacy and international exchange programs, and is a volunteer with ServiceSpace.org. As a former attorney, Bela has represented women in human trafficking and political asylum cases and facilitated women’s empowerment workshops in Washington, DC. Bela holds an Honors degree in Political Science from the University of Chicago and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Houston Law Center and the American University Washington College of Law. Bela finds joy through Vipassna meditation retreats, long walks in nature, and crafting poetry for children.
Joash Wampande, Executive Assistant
Joash was born and grew up in Uganda, East Africa, where he spent the majority of his childhood. In the summer of 2007, he relocated to Los Angeles with his family, where he then attended high school and university. He joined Dalai Lama Fellows from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology degree in 2015. Joash’s interests include education and healthcare initiatives for unprivileged youth. His own experiences of inadequate education and healthcare systems in Uganda have manifested into the vision and dream he holds for the younger generation. Joash is also a health and fitness enthusiast. As a personal trainer, he shares with others his passion and knowledge for health and physical transformation.
Kian Soheili, Summer Intern
Kian is currently a Junior at The Bay School of San Francisco and working on the Salesforce database at DLF. He graduated from Cathedral School for Boys in 2015 where he was also an active participant in the Grace Cathedral Choir. Kian’s choir activities have given him the opportunity to complete a CD recording as well as travel on tour to Spain. He has travelled to China on a cultural and academical school trip where he put his conversational Mandarin to practice. Kian’s interests are in technology, cycling, and playing soccer and lacrosse. The biggest challenge he has overcome was a four day cycling event from San Francisco to Yosemite Valley consisting of two hundred miles, and one hundred degree heat. Kian’s hope is to add more cultural traveling to his experience as well as getting a grasp of the Farsi language.
Dexter, Chief Humbition Officer
Savannah Lhasa, Chief Compassion Officer