Named as one of Time Magazine's 25 Most Influential People Robert A. F. Thurman, PhD., has been a college professor and writer for 30 years, and holds the first endowed chair in Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies in America (Jey Tsong Khapa Chair, Columbia University). He was the first Western Tibetan monk, a student and for over 35 years a friend of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. He is the author of several books, including Inner Revolution and Essential Tibetan Buddhism and acknowledged as a key figure in American Buddhism.
Thurman is not only a scholar, but a champion of the preservation of Tibetan culture. In 1987, he and actor Richard Gere founded New York City's Tibet House, a nonprofit institution devoted to preserving the living culture of Tibet. Thurman writes, "What I have learned from these people [Tibetans] has forever changed my life, and I believe their culture contains an inner science particularly relevant to the difficult time in which we live. My desire is to share some of the profound hope for our future that they have shared with me."
Thurman’s knowledge of Tibetan history and culture is often sought by policy makers. He has testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Additionally, a plan he authored, which appeared in the Wall Street Journal in 1998 as an op-ed piece entitled "Freeing Tibet Is in China’s Interest" is regarded by many as a practical plausible blueprint for peacefully ending the human rights violations and cultural destruction in Tibet. Thurman’s charisma, wit, unique life story, long-time activism on behalf of Tibet, proximity to Hollywood, and optimistic messages about "real happiness" for everyone have also placed him front and center with the news media. He is regularly interviewed by newspapers and magazines throughout the world and has been profiled in numerous publications, such as The New York Times, People, and Time, and on many television programs including CNN News, Good Morning America, The News Hour, Larry King Live, and the Oprah Winfrey Show.
Location: MIT Simmons Hall (229 Vassar Street, Cambridge, MA)
(Free parking available on Massachusetts Ave., Vassar St., and MIT's West Lot Parking)
Added by rekha6 on April 22, 2007