The Advisory Board
Evan Alderson has retired after a long faculty career at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, British Columbia. At SFU, Evan was the Founding Director of the School for the Contemporary Arts, Founding Director of the Graduate Liberal Studies Program, a co-founder of the Integrated Studies Program and a co-founder of the Learning Strategies Group. From 1992-1997, he was the Dean of the Faculty of Arts. He graduated from Haverford College and received a Ph.D. in English from the University of California at Berkeley before beginning his teaching career at SFU in 1967. He has published widely in literary, artistic and cultural studies. He is a founding Trustee of the Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Mirabai was a co-founder of the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society and served as Executive Director until 2008. Under her direction, The Center created its programs in education, law, business, and activism and its network of thousands of people integrating contemplative practice and perspective into their lives and work. She was a founding board member of the Seva Foundation, an international public health organization, and directed the Seva Guatemala Project, which supports sustainable agriculture and integrated community development.
She is co-author, with Ram Dass, of Compassion in Action: Setting Out on the Path of Service, published by Random House. Mirabai has a special interest in the uncovering and recovery of women’s spiritual wisdom to inform work for social change. Her spiritual studies include meditation study at the Burmese Vihara in Bodh Gaya, India, with Shri S.N. Goenka and Anagarika Munindra; bhakti yoga with Hindu teacher Neemkaroli Baba; and studies with Tibetan lamas Kalu Rinpoche, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, Kyabje Gehlek Rinpoche and Tsoknyi Rinpoche. She also did five years of intensive practice in Iyengar yoga and five years of Aikido with Kanai Sensei. Her earlier religious study included twenty years of Catholic schooling, ending with graduate study in medieval literature at Georgetown University.
She holds an ABD in American literature from the State University of New York at Buffalo. Mirabai was the first professional woman to work on the Saturn-Apollo moon flight at Cape Canaveral and later, from 1973 to 1985, co-founded and directed Illuminations, Inc. in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
PHOTO COMING SOON
Since 1985, Jinpa has been the principal English translator to the Fourteenth Dalai Lama and has traveled extensively in this capacity. He has translated and edited more than ten books by the Dalai Lama including Healing Anger, Dzogchen, Path to Bliss, The World of Tibetan Buddhism, The 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 the 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.
Jinpa 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.
See “Meet the Staff”
Kavita, now Executive Director of the Program on Social Entrepreneurship (Ripples to Waves) at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, Stanford University, served as President and CEO of the Global Fund for Women from 1996 to 2010. During her tenure, Global Fund assets increased from $6 million to $21 million, grant-making rose to more than $8 million per year, and the number of countries in which the Global Fund made grants nearly tripled.
Before joining the Global Fund, Kavita was a Program Officer in the Community Initiatives Program at the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. She serves on the boards of Planned Parenthood and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and of her American alma maters, Mt. Holyoke College and Princeton University. She is a member of the Global Development Program Advisory Panel to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and sits on the Advisory Councils to the Asian University for Women and the African Women Millennium Initiative on Poverty and Human Rights. Kavita was the 2010 recipient of the Council on Foundations Robert W. Scrivner Award for Creative Grantmaking.
She was born in Delhi, India and grew up in Mumbai, Delhi, London, Rangoon, and Bonn. After studying Political Science at Hindu College, Delhi University, for two years, she was awarded a scholarship to Mount Holyoke College; she subsequently earned an M.P.A. from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University.
Amy Rao is the CEO of Integrated Archive Systems, a company that she founded in 1994. She has a long history of active advocacy for stronger human rights and environmental policy and of involvement in local and national Democratic politics. Amy’s greatest passion is the protection and defense of human rights, both domestically and internationally, and she currently serves on the International Board of Human Rights Watch and on the Board of Eve Ensler’s V-Day, a global movement to end violence against women. Amy continues to work as well on better environmental awareness and action through her service as President of the Board of the 11th Hour Project, as well as membership on the Board of the Regeneration Project, based in San Francisco. She also serves on the Boards of the Schmidt Family Foundation and the Cypress String Quartet, and as Chair of the Human Rights Watch Voices for Justice events in San Francisco and the Silicon Valley. A huge fan of Dr. Paul Farmer, Amy serves as a regional representative of Partners in Health. She joined the Advisory Board of Dalai Lama Fellows in 2012. Originally from Indiana, Amy moved to the Bay Area in 1985 and currently resides in Palo Alto with her husband; their five children are spread across the country attending college and university.
From her first career as a Legal Aid attorney, to her tenure as commissioner of a local government agency, and through her experiences leading New York University’s Wagner School of Public Service, Ellen Schall’s work has shifted commonly held notions of leadership from a focus on the attributes of an individual to an investment in the collective work of a group.
She joined the faculty of Wagner in 1992 as the Martin Cherkasky Professor of Health Policy and Management. In 2002, the Wagner faculty unanimously recommended that NYU appoint her Dean. She was a co-founder, through a partnership with the Ford Foundation of the Research Center for Leadership in Action, a permanent research center at Wagner.
Before going to NYU, Ellen was named in 1983 by New York Mayor Edward I. Koch to be Commissioner for the New York City Department of Juvenile Justice, where she transformed a troubled agency into one that Harvard University and the Ford Foundation selected to win their prestigious Innovations Award. The 1989 PBS documentary “Excellence in the Public Sector with Tom Peters” highlights her work to restructure the American model for juvenile justice.
In 2008, Dean Schall became a member of the newly-formed New York State Juvenile Justice Task Force. She has served two terms on the Selection Committee for the Innovations in American Government Awards run by Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and is a member of the Women’s Forum, Inc. and the New York State Juvenile Justice Task Force. She is a graduate of Swarthmore College and New York University Law School.