Board of Directors

Dilyak Drupon Rinpoche

Founding Board Member & President

Dilyak Drupon Rinpoche was trained as a youth by His Holiness and other great lamas. He attended HH the 16th Karmapa during his time of treatment in Hong Kong Queen Mary Hospital and in Chicago American International Clinic in 1981. Rinpoche is a graduate of the Karma Shri Nalanda Institute for Higher Buddhist Studies, in Sikkim, India (under the Sanskrit University in Varanasi) from which he received a degree of Acharya. Rinpoche served at Nalanda Institute areas of Student Welfare and Library.

Dilyak Drupon Rinpoche graduated from Nalanda Institute for Higher Buddhist Studies in 1991, and continued to serve there until 1992 when Rinpoche assumed duties as abbot of Dilyak Monastery in Nepal. Since the mid-1990s, Dilyak Drupon Rinpoche has offered an increasing portion of his time to Nalandabodhi, advising both students and teachers with steady temperament, deep awareness, and considerable practical acumen.

Rinpoche served HH the 17th Karmapa for nine years beginning in 2000.

Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche


The founder and president of Nalandabodhi, Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche, is a leading Buddhist teacher in North America and an advocate of American and Western Buddhism. A lover of music, art and urban culture, Rinpoche is a poet, an avid photographer, an accomplished calligrapher and visual artist, as well as a prolific author. Rinpoche is fluent in English and well-versed in Western culture and technology. He is also the founder of Nitartha International, a non-profit educational corporation dedicated to preserving the contemplative literature of East Asia.

Rinpoche is acknowledged as one of the foremost scholars and meditation masters of his generation in the Nyingma and Kagyu schools of Tibetan Buddhism. He is known for his sharp intellect, humor, and easygoing teaching style.

Rinpoche is author of several books, including Emotional Rescue and Rebel Buddha: On the Road to Freedom. Other titles include Mind Beyond Death, Wild Awakening: The Heart of Mahamudra and Dzogchen, and Penetrating Wisdom: The Aspiration of Samantabhadra. He is a frequent contributor to Buddhadharma: A Practitioner’s Quarterly and the Shambhala Sun. His writings also appear in issues of Best Buddhist Writing and other anthologies. Rinpoche is active on Twitter and in the blogosphere, where you can find his posts on blogs such as Huffington Post, Elephant Journal, Shambhala Sunspace and others.

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Acharya Lhakpa Tshering

Board Member & Fundraiser

Acharya Lhakpa Tshering was born in Bhutan and entered monastic school at age 12. In 1993, he enrolled at Rumtek Monastery’s Karma Shri Nalanda Institute in Sikkim, India. In 2002, Acharya Lhakpa graduated with a masters in Buddhist studies, also known as an acharya degree. After completing his studies, he served as co-librarian with Dilyak Drupon Rinpoche, as a teacher at Karma Shri Nalanda Institute, and as an editor for Nitartha Publications in Kathmandu, Nepal. Acharya Lhakpa moved in 2006 to Nalanda West in Seattle, Washington, and since then he has moved between the West and East coasts, serving as a resident teacher for Nalandabodhi centers on both coasts. He was also recently a visiting teacher at Nalandabodhi in Brazil.

Lama Rabten Tshering

Board Member

Lama Rabten Tshering is the resident teacher and spiritual director of Nalandabodhi Canada. His dharma education started at a very young age and he spent his early years training at Rumtek Monastery, seat of Gyalwang Karmapa in Sikkim, India. In 1992, Lama Rabten served as Assistant Disciplinary Master of Rumtek Monastery, appointed by Kenting Tai Situ Rinpoche and Goshir Gyaltsap Rinpoche, and carried out this responsibility for five years.

In 1997, Lama Rabten entered a three-year retreat at Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche’s Pullahari Retreat Centre in Kathmandu, Nepal. While there he completed more training in meditation and tantra under the guidance of Drupon Khenpo Lodro Namgyal, Bokar Rinpoche, Tenga Rinpoche, and Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche.

To serve the Nalandabodhi community, Lama Rabten came to Canada in 2002 under the invitation of Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche. He currently teaches regularly at Maitrivana, Nalandabodhi Canada’s headquarters in Vancouver; and travels to Toronto, Montreal, and Halifax to teach and guide students in their meditation practices.

Lynne Conrad Marvet

Board Member & Secretary

Lynne Conrad Marvet is an artist, performer, teacher and professional fundraiser. Born and raised in Chattanooga, Tennessee she developed a passion for the creative arts, community organizing, public speaking, and racial justice. She attended college at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois and studied visual arts at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. At Northwestern University, she was introduced to Buddhist philosophy and meditation. In 1980 she moved to New York City and attended a Black Crown Ceremony with His Holiness, the 16th Karmapa, Rangjung Rigpe Dorje. Afterwards, she became a student of Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche, Abbot of Karma Triyana Dharmachakra in Woodstock, New York. 

In the 1980s, Lynne helped to coordinate programs and received teachings from numerous great Tibetan Buddhist masters in New York City.  In 1988 she met and received teachings from Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche in Woodstock and New York City. Lynne has been his student since then. In 1990 she began serving as Ponlop Rinpoche’s travel secretary arranged teaching tours for him. In 1994 Lynne and her husband, Marty helped Ponlop Rinpoche establish Nitartha International, a nonprofit education corporation to preserve ancient texts in digital formats. She serves as a member of the Nitartha International Board. In 1999, Lynne and Marty moved to Seattle to help Ponlop Rinpoche establish a headquarters for Nalandabodhi, the Buddhist community of his students.

Lynne is a meditation instructor and facilitates Buddhist study classes for Nalandabodhi Seattle. She helped to found Nalanda West in Seattle and served as Co-Director from 2004 to 2008. As a Certified Fundraising Executive, she has raised more than $40 million for nonprofit organizations in the greater Seattle area and New York City. In April 2019 she was the Artist-in-Residence at Nalanda West. Lynne believes in the healing power of kindness, humor, and all forms of artistic expression.

Gerry Wiener

Board Member & IT

Gerry Wiener is a software engineer working at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado. He began his Buddhist studies with Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche in 1971 and studied under Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche until his parinirvana in 1987. Gerry received teachings from His Holiness, the 16th Karmapa, Rangjung Rigpe Dorje in 1974 and in 1980 during the times His Holiness was visiting the United States. Gerry has continued his Tibetan Buddhist studies under Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche focusing on Tibetan translation and the development of the Nitartha Digital Library.


Sophie Gordon

Office Supervisor

Sophie has worked in various health care jobs here and there in North America. Her current focus is on animal care. Sophie became a student of Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche in 2014 after a teaching he gave at Karma Triyana Dharmachakra (KTD) in Woodstock, NY. She is very grateful to Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche and Dilyak Drupon Rinpoche for the opportunity to contribute the marvelous Karmapa Center 16 project.

Mitchell Owen


Mitchell holds a Bachelors of Science in Architecture from The Georgia Institute of Technology, a Masters of Architecture from Princeton University, and a Masters of Arts in Architectural History, Theory, and Criticism from Princeton University. He is also a Part Time Assistant Professor at Parsons School of Design in New York City where he has taught architectural design, history, and theory in both the undergraduate and graduate programs since 2000.

Karen de Luna

Admin & Media

A student of Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche, Karen first heard stories about His Holiness the 16th Karmapa while she was a student in the Shambhala tradition. An inveterate polymath, Karen is an artist and graphic designer ( She is grateful to the lineage that has revealed to her a plethora of methods for training her mind.

Juli Goetz Morser

Writer & Editor

Juli Goetz Morser is a writer, poet and editor. As a child, she often played among the grassy sand dunes on the beaches of Zion, having grown up 10 miles down the road from Karmapa Center 16. She was delighted when Damayonti Sengupta first told her about locating the property, and later when she asked her to write about the Center and now the Stupa Project. Juli is grateful to help with such a blessed project.

For a number of years, Juli dined on the smorgasbord of dharma, tasting a variety of traditions, before enrolling in Nitartha Institute in 2008, where she met Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche. Rinpoche became her teacher in 2010.

Giovanna Mingarelli


Giovanna S. C. Mingarelli plays the dual role of international technology entrepreneur and thought leader. For 15 years Giovanna has worked in the field of political and digital communications. She has served in the press office of a former Prime Minister of Canada and has been a Parliamentary witness, speaking to the importance of young women in elected politics. An expert on the gamification of social engagement, politics and crowdsourcing, she has been an active contributor to events such as the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos and has contributed to media outlets such as the Huffington Post, The Hill Times, Harvard Business Review, CBC/Radio-Canada amongst other media outlets. She is the CEO and Co-Founder of M&C Consulting, Inc. and MC2. Her goal is to make life a game that we play.

Olga Leitch

Crowdfunding: Fundraising

Olga Leitch’s spiritual name is Karma Ozer Lhamo. She is a graduate student at the University of Chicago, philosophy of religion field. The Karmapa Center 16 Stupa project is her heart aspiration and an unsurpassable blessing.

Jay Alper

Crowdfunding: Social Media

Jay Alper was born and reared in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania and the outskirts of Philadelphia. He attended to his studies at universities in Tucson, Arizona, Santa Cruz and San Francisco, California. His introduction to Buddhism came upon being gifted the Tibetan Book of Living and Dying on his nineteenth birthday which subsequently prompted a major paradigm shift in his thought process in how he saw the world and its inhabitants.

Jay has always been deeply dedicated to advocating for children and the elderly through listening, teaching, mentoring and companionship. After years of working in public schools, hospitals and radio stations he has since pivoted his focus to communications aiding on crowdfunding projects and his own artistic pursuits. He has enthusiastically worked in conjunction with MC2 the last three years to improve the world through altruistic acts of kindness. His primary life goal is to help the marginalized and disenfranchised through high level communication and technology. This turn was born out of being active in the fertile shanga in San Francisco and his own personal studies.

Upon moving to Seattle in 2017, he was blessed to meet Ponlop Rinpoche who has so kindly served as both a bottomless well of inspiration and guiding light ever since. Save performing life releases nothing brings him greater joy than availing his time and service to Nalanda West or the Sakya Monastery in the Greenwood neighborhood of Seattle. He views working on behalf of The Karmapa Center 16 in realizing the Stupa Project as a once in a lifetime honor and privilege as he counts himself extremely fortunate to help commemorate His Holiness with such a lasting fitting tribute.

Sam Scoggins


Born in Canada, Sam grew up in Bristol, England. He studied Photography and Film at the oldest photography school in the UK at the London College of Printing. He then undertook a three year Master of Arts at The Royal College of Art film school. Sam taught Film and Video theory and production and some photography to undergraduate and postgraduate students for 10 years at Canterbury Christ Church University. After a diverse career in digital media in the UK, including working as the Creative Director of a Web Design Agency and the Managing Director of a Computer Company, Sam moved to New York in 2007. In the US he has developed his Fine Art practice, working with digital video, photography, painting, VR and computer art. Most recently Sam has been working at the intersection of A.I. and Landscape Photography.

Supporting Organizations

MOD Group

(formerly Consolidated Design Studios)

MOD Group
, (Mitchell Owen Design, MOD, LLC, Mitchell Owen Architect) is the new and expanded iteration of Consolidated Design Studios. Integrating Architecture, Interior Design and Furniture Design into one cohesive and comprehensive practice, we tailor customized design solutions for clients throughout the US.