By most accounts, The Venerable Tenzin Priyadarshi is an innovative thinker, a philosopher educator, a philanthropist, a polymath and a monk. He is the Founding Director of The Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a center dedicated to inquiry, dialogue, and education on the ethical and humane dimensions of life. As a collaborative and nonpartisan think tank, its programs emphasize responsibility and examine meaningfulness and moral purpose between individuals, organizations, and societies. The Center at MIT has 6 Nobel Peace Laureates as its founding members and its programs run in 8 countries and expanding.
Venerable Tenzin’s unusual background encompasses entering a Buddhist monastery at the age of 10 years to receiving graduate education at Harvard withe degrees ranging from Philosophy to Physics to International Relations.
Following the catastrophic disaster caused by Tsunami in 2005, Venerable Tenzin founded the Prajnopaya Foundation to develop innovative and sustainable ways to alleviate suffering in developing countries. He convened and advised to team of designers and architects from MIT, Harvard University Graduate School of Design, and Cambridge University to develop the Tsunami Safe(r) Houses, low cost high resistant homes, for families in Sri Lanka. The foundation has been active in health care and education endeavors in India, including systematic methods to curtail tuberculosis (TB) and bring health care to rural areas. He has been interviewed by the National Public Radio and articles on him and his work have appeared in the New York Times, the Boston Globe, and La Republica. He also speaks at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, various institutes of learning and Fortune 500 companies on topics ranging from leadership to enlightened organizations.
Venerable Tenzin serves on the Board of several academic, humanitarian, and religious organizations. He is a recipient of several recognitions and awards, including a 2013 Distinguished Alumni Award from Harvard for his visionary contributions to humanity.