The Tibetan Aid Project is a 100% volunteer organization.


BOARD MEMBERS

Board members take an active role in Tibetan Aid Project operations and activities.

Tarthang Tulku founded the Tibetan Aid Project in 1969 shortly after arriving in the United States. He is a leading Tibetan master and teacher who has guided the development of TAP and associated organizations for over forty years.

Wangmo Dixey has worked on fundraising projects for the Tibetan Aid Project since 1996. She holds an MA in International Development. She is the Chief Executive of the Light of Buddhadharma Foundation International, which focuses on the revitalization of the Buddhadharma in India.

Pema Gellek is a faculty member of the Nyingma Institute in Berkeley, California. She holds an MA in International Politics and a BA in Asian Studies, and studied with Buddhist masters in Nepal. She is the co-director of the Prajna Light Foundation.

Tsering Gellek holds an MA in International Relations with a concentration in refugee studies. She is the co-director of the Ananda Light Foundation.

Jack Petranker is an attorney, a senior editor for Dharma Publishing, and the founder and director of the Center for Creative Inquiry. He has also served as dean of the Nyingma Institute in Berkeley.

Rosalyn White holds a BFA in General Fine Arts and has studied Tibetan art and culture under the guidance of Tarthang Tulku for over thirty years. She has also served as Executive Director of the Tibetan Aid Project and Art Director of Dharma Publishing.

Michael Witwer Real estate manager and sales agent.



 

STAFF MEMBERS



Judy Rasmussen, Executive Director

Where are you from?
Los Angeles, UC Davis, and Berkeley

What brought you to Tibetan Aid Project?
In 1968 I was inspired by the need and opportunity to help Tibetans preserve their culture. It help so much kindness and compassion beyond what I had witnessed in other world cultures.

What kind of work do you do?
Everything from Directorship to Data processing, Event Planning, and Sacred Art production on Prayer Flags for Peace.

What do you find meaningful about your work here?
I began studying with Tarthang Tulku in Berkeley in 1969 and served as Executive Secretary of Tibetan Aid Project in its formative years. I managed and coordinated various projects that have helped build the extended community of its sister organizations, including Yeshe De Project, Tibetan Prayer Flags for Peace, Odiyan, Dharma Publishing, Nyingma Institute and Nyingma Trust. My knowledge and dedication have helped many volunteers to pursue the wisdom of Dharma and advance their skills while working for the preservation of Tibetan sacred culture.



Erika King, Public Relations

Where are you from?
Bay Area, CA

What brought you to Tibetan Aid Project?
I wanted to express my passion for non-profit development and for art history and cultural studies.

What kind of work do you do?
I have varied development and public relations duties ranging from donor data entry to answering the phone. I also enjoy grant research and proposal writing, assisting with auction item fundraising, and acquiring all the dinner wine as the wine coordinator for Taste and Tribute for the past two years. In addition to these tasks, I also wrote a weekly write-up about Tibetan art for the Berkeley Times newspaper.

What do you find meaningful about your work here?
I find meaningful being of public service and incorporating Tibetan Buddhist values of compassion and mindfulness into my work practice.



Ryoko Sekino, Prayer Flag Project

Where are you from?
Japan

What brought you to Tibetan Aid Project?
I found a small article on Nyingma Meditation Center in a Japanese old magazine, published in 1970s. The magazine was "Meditation" and in that issue they featured spiritual or New Age culture in California.

What kind of work do you do?
Making flags and shipping to Odiyan

What do you find meaningful about your work here?
Sewing flags is good practice for cultivating meditative mind. When I'm feeling down, once I sit at the sewing machine and start tuning in the flags, soon I can feel healing energy and great merit of this work.



Diana Ciuca, Front-End Web Development and Graphic Design

Where are you from?
Born in Romania. Raised in Florida.

What brought you to Tibetan Aid Project?
Buddhism and the chance to work in a nonprofit organization, as well as a lovely meeting with Judy, the director, who encouraged me to join the community here.

What kind of work do you do?
All of the techy things (and some non-tech ones, too). I mainly do website development and graphic design that is geared towards our events. This includes making newsletters and brochures. I sewed prayer flags for two weeks, though, which was highly meditative.

What do you find meaningful about your work here?
I am grateful to be a part of a community of like-minded and peaceful individuals. Buddhist concepts seem to be slightly interwoven in the work we do, which has led to me being more aware and in control of my personal habits. Moreover, I enjoy that the work I do is part of a cause that is much more expansive and positive than myself.



Olivia White, Public Relations

Where are you from?
Hampshire, England

What brought you to Tibetan Aid Project?
A desire to learn more about Buddhism and gain experience working at a non-profit.

What kind of work do you do?
A variety of things, from office admin to social media and writing copy.

What do you find meaningful about your work here?
It's very rewarding to work towards a cause larger than yourself. It feels good to know that in some small way I am contributing to the mission of preserving the endangered Tibetan culture.



Elyse James, Public Relations

Where are you from?
Elk Grove, CA

What brought you to Tibetan Aid Project?
I wanted to bring spirituality to the forefront of my life, live in a supportive community, and learn more about Tibet.

What kind of work do you do?
I work with donation information. This includes communicating with donors and keeping track of incoming donations.

What do you find meaningful about your work here?
We use the donations we get to create and distribute Buddhist texts, which is an inspiring project to be a part of.

 

Beyond the beliefs of any religion, there is the truth of the human spirit.

Beyond the power of nations, there is the power of the human heart.

-- Tarthang Tulku