Robert Thurman is Professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies in the Department of Religion at Columbia University, President of Tibet House US, a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Tibetan civilization, and President of the American Institute of Buddhist Studies. The New York Times recently hailed him as "the leading American expert on Tibetan Buddhism."
The first American to have been ordained a Tibetan Buddhist monk and a personal friend of the Dalai Lama for over 40 years, Professor Thurman is a passionate advocate and spokesperson for the truth regarding the current Tibet-China situation and the human rights violations suffered by the Tibetan people under Chinese rule. Professor Thurman also translates important Tibetan and Sanskrit philosophical writings and lectures and writes on Buddhism, particularly Tibetan Buddhism; on Asian history, particularly the history of the monastic institution in the Asian civilization; and on critical philosophy, with a focus on the dialogue between the material and inner sciences of the world's religious traditions.
Popularizing the Buddha's teachings is just one of Thurman's creative talents. He is a riveting speaker and an author of many books on Tibet, Buddhism, art, politics and culture, including Circling the Sacred Mountain, Essential Tibetan Buddhism, The Tibetan Book of the Dead, Wisdom and Compassion: The Sacred Art of Tibet, Infinite Life: Seven Virtues for Living Well, Inner Revolution, The Jewel Tree of Tibet and, most recently, Why the Dalai Lama Matters.