Mind & Life Fellows are distinguished leaders in their respective field of expertise who together comprise a network of excellence in the study of the mind and contemplative research.


Inaugurated in 2009, the first Fellows were given their designation based on contributions to Mind & Life programs. Since that time and with the growth of our field, Fellowship has matured beyond a simple designation. Today, the Mind & Life Fellows Program is a formal effort to mobilize and engage a global network of notable scientists, scholars, changemakers and contemplative practitioners. Fellows represent diverse disciplines, sectors and traditions, though all are aligned with the Mind & Life Institute’s mission, vision and core values.

What is a Mind & Life Fellow?

Fellows are selected for this honor based on their exemplary work and are not required to fulfill specific duties, yet are encouraged to support and serve Mind & Life in ways that meaningfully resonate. Most importantly, Fellows provide critical insight and service to Mind & Life  programs and community-building initiatives.

Ongoing revisions to the program include a greater diversification and internationalization of Fellows and new opportunities for networking and mentorship between Fellows and more junior members of the Mind & Life community.

Types of Mind & Life Fellows

  • Research Fellow – A  scientific (basic, clinical or social sciences) or humanistic researcher or scholar engaged in contemplative sciences and/or studies.
  • Leadership Fellow A thought leader or change-maker who facilitates application of contemplative interventions into real world settings.
  • Contemplative Fellow – A contemplative teacher and practitioner who engages in dialogue with scientists and scholars.

Principles of the Fellows Program

  • Honorary fellowship to select group of experts from multiple disciplines who have contributed significantly to the Mind & Life mission and broader community.
  • Service in the Fellows Program is strictly voluntary.
  • Once confirmed by the Steering Council, Fellows are tenured for life.
  • No formal time commitment is required of Fellows, unless a Fellow is asked to join a specific Mind & Life program or activity, for which time expectations are delineated.

Benefits of Being a Mind & Life Fellow

  • Participate in Mind & Life Fellows’ programs and special events.
  • Engage and collaborate with a global network of influential leaders committed to contemplative scholarship and practice.
  • Meet and mentor junior contemplative scientists, scholars and practitioners.
  • Receive recognition and have your work highlighted in Mind & Life communications.

Eligibility Criteria to be a Mind & Life Fellow

  1. Has made significant contributions to the mission and vision of the Mind & Life Institute and more broadly to contemplative sciences, studies and practice through her/his  scholarship, activities and influence.
  2. Is or has been involved with the Mind & Life Institute.
    1. Has been an invited presenter at a Mind & Life program (Dialogue, Summer Research Institute, International Symposium or legacy program).
    2. Has served on a Mind & Life committee (program planning, grant review, Steering Council, board, etc.).
    3. Has partnered or collaborated on a Mind & Life program or grant.
  3. Exemplifies qualities that align with the Mind & Life mission, vision, and core values (rigor, kindheartedness, integrity, synergy and community).

Nominating a New Fellow

The Mind & Life Institute is committed to building a rigorous community of interdisciplinary contemplatives, scholars and scientists which depends upon diversity of perspectives and experiences. Fellows are encouraged to consider candidates of all races, genders, ages, religions and sexual orientations in the nominating process. Service in the Fellows program is strictly voluntary. No fee is required.

Current Mind & Life Fellows and staff members at the Mind & Life Institute are eligible to nominate others who meet the criteria for being a Fellow (see below). Mind & Life Fellows are encouraged to nominate new Fellows who would contribute to the diverse global network of distinguished Mind & Life Fellows across the three different types of fellowship: Research, Leadership and Contemplative.

The Nomination Process

  1. Complete and submit the nomination form
  2. Once a nomination is submitted, each nominee will be notified via email and prompted to accept or decline their nomination
  3. Once accepted, each nominee is invited to complete a personal profile and statement, as well as submit their resume/CV.
  4. Nominations are reviewed and selected annually each fall by the Mind & Life Steering Council.
  5. New Fellows will be notified by November 15 each year.

*Note that the deadline for nominations this year will be October 23, 2017.

If you have any suggestions or questions regarding these revisions to the Fellows program, or about future directions of the program, please direct your query to programs@mindandlife.org.

Nominate a Fellow

Adam Anderson, PhD
Cornell University

Joanna Arch, PhD
University of Colorado–Boulder

Anthony Back MD
University of Washington

Daniel Barbezat, PhD
Amherst College

Larry Barsalou, PhD
University of Glasgow, Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology

Dan Batson, PhD
University of Kansas (retired)

Susan Bauer-Wu, PhD, RN, FAAN
Mind & Life Institute, President

Peter Baumann
The Baumann Foundation

Kent Berridge, PhD
University of Michigan

Michel Bitbol, PhD
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, France

Bhikku Bodhi, PhD
The Bodhi Monastery

Sarah Bowen, PhD
Pacific University

Julie Brefczynski-Lewis, PhD
West Virginia University

Judson Brewer, MD/PhD
University of Massachusetts Medical School

Willoughby Britton, PhD
Brown University

John Canti, MA, MB, BChir
Tsadra Foundation

Linda Carlson, PhD
University of Calgary, Canada

Ram-Prasad Chakravarthi, DPhil.
Lancaster University, UK

Diana Chapman Walsh, PhD
Wellesley College, President Emerita

Khen Rinpoche Jangchup Choeden, Abbot
Gaden Shartse Monastery, India

Kalina Christoff, PhD
University of British Columbia, Canada

John Christopher, PhD

George P. Chrousos, MD
University of Athens Medical School, Greece

Dekila Chungyalpa, MA
World Wildlife Fund
Yale University 2014 McCluskey Fellow

Jim Coan, PhD
University of Virginia

J. David Creswell, PhD
Carnegie Mellon University

Geshe Dorji Damdul, Geshe
Tibet House, India

Richard Davidson, PhD
University of Wisconsin–Madison

Sona Dimidjian, PhD
University of Colorado

James R. Doty, MD
Stanford University

Andrew Dreitcer, PhD
Claremont School of Theology

Georges Dreyfus, PhD
Williams College

John Dunne, PhD
University of Wisconsin–Madison

John Durant, PhD
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Jacquelynne Eccles, PhD
University of California–Irvine

Stuart Eisendrath, MD
University of California-San Francisco

Paul Ekman, PhD
University of California–San Francisco, (retired);
Paul Ekman Group (PEG), LLC

Adam Engle
Mind & Life Institute, President Emeritus

Elissa Epel, PhD
University of California–San Francisco

Monique Ernst, PhD
National Institutes of Health

Norman Farb, PhD
University of Toronto, Canada

Wendy Farley, PhD
San Francisco Theological Seminary

Ernst Fehr, PhD
University of Zurich, Switzerland

Lisa Feldman Barrett, PhD
Northeastern University

Brent Field, PhD
Princeton University

Wulstan Fletcher
Tsadra Foundation

Vibeke Asmussen Frank, PhD
Aarhus University, Denmark

Barbara Fredrickson, PhD
University of North Carolina

Richard Freeman
Yoga Workshop

David Fresco, PhD
Kent State University

Rahul Garg, PhD
Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, India

Eric Garland, PhD
University of Utah College of Social Work

Rip Gellein, MBA
Strategic Hotels & Resorts, Inc.
Mind & Life Institute, Vice Chair, Treasurer

Bill George, MBA
Harvard Business School

David Germano, PhD
University of Virginia

Rupert Gethin, PhD
University of Bristol, UK

Philippe Goldin, PhD
University of California – Davis

Joseph Goldstein
Insight Meditation Society

Daniel Goleman, PhD
Psychologist, Author

Sherryl Goodman, PhD
Emory University

Marcia Grabowecky, PhD
Northwestern University

Mark Greenberg, PhD
Penn State University

Peter Grossenbacher, PhD
Naropa University

Paul Grossman, PhD
University Hospital Basel, Switzerland

Tho Ha Vinh, PhD
Gross National Happiness Centre, Bhutan

Joan Halifax, PhD, Roshi
Upaya Zen Center

Diego Hangartner, PharmD
Institute of Mental Balance and Universal Ethics

Bill Harbaugh, PhD
University of Oregon

Anne Harrington, PhD
Harvard University

Maria Heim, PhD
Amherst College

Barry Hershey, MFA

Zara Houshmand
Author, Translator

Yoshiro Imaeda, PhD
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, France

Carolyn Jacobs, PhD
Dean Emerita, Smith School for Social Work

Patricia (Tish) Jennings, PhD
University of Virginia

Amishi Jha, PhD
University of Miami

Thupten Jinpa Langri, PhD
Institute for Tibetan Classics, Canada
Mind & Life Institute, Chair

Bryce Johnson, PhD

Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD
University of Massachusetts Medical School

Rajesh Kasturirangan, PhD
National Institute of Advanced Studies, India

Al Kaszniak, PhD
University of Arizona

Catherine Kerr, PhD (Deceased)
Brown University

Barry Kerzin
Altruism in Medicine Institute

Shinobu Kitayama, PhD
University of Michigan

Anne Klein, PhD
Rice University

Christof Koch, PhD
California Institute of Technology

Jack Kornfield, PhD
Spirit Rock Meditation Center

Elisa Kozasa, PhD
Instituto Israelita de Ensino e Pesquisa Albert Einstein
Universidade  Federal de São Paulo, Brazil

Linda Lantieri, MA
Inner Resilience Program

Richard Layard, PhD
London School of Economics, UK

Marc Lewis, PhD
Retired Author

Geshe Lhakdor, Geshe
Library of Tibetan Works and Archives, India

Diana Liverman, PhD
University of Arizona

Antoine Lutz, PhD
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Richard Maddock, MD
University of California-Davis

Rhonda Magee, JD/MA
University of San Francisco School of Law

John Makransky, PhD
Boston College

Sara McClintock, PhD
Emory University

Sallie McFague, PhD
Vancouver School of Theology, Canada

David McMahan, PhD
Franklin & Marshall College

David Meyer, PhD
University of Michigan

Donald Morrison, MBA
Research in Motion (Retired

Yoshio Nakamura, PhD
University of Utah

Geshe Dadul Namgyal
Emory University

Geshe Lobsang Tenzin Negi, PhD
Emory University
Drepung Losling Monastery

Lis Nielsen, PhD
National Institute on Aging, NIH

Gregory Norris, PhD
Harvard University

Andrew Olendzki, PhD
Barre Center for Buddhist Studies

Giuseppe Pagnoni, PhD
University of Modena, Italy

Ken Paller, PhD
Northwestern University

Clare Palmer, DPhil
Texas A&M University

Sharon Parks, ThD
Leadership for the New Commons

Luiz Pessoa, PhD
University of Maryland

Claire Petitmengin, PhD
Institut Mines-Telecom, France

Sheryl Petty, EdD
Equity, Personal Transformation & Systems Change Consultant
Movement Tapestries, LLC

john powell, JD
University of California–Berkeley

Charles Raison, MD
University of Arizona

Vijayalakshmi Ravindranath, PhD
Center for Neuroscience, Indian Institute of Science, India

Laura Rendón, PhD
University of Texas-San Antonio

Matthieu Ricard, PhD
Shechen Monastery, Nepal

Tsoknyi Rinpoche
Pundarika Foundation

Andreas Roepstorff, PhD
Aarhus University, Denmark

Robert Roeser, PhD
The Pennsylvania State University

Erika Rosenberg, PhD
University of California-Davis, Erika Rosenberg Consulting

Harold Roth, PhD
Brown University

Bunker Roy
Barefoot College, India

Baljinder Sahdra, PhD
Australian Catholic University, Australia

Sharon Salzberg
Insight Meditation Society

Geshe Ngawang Samten
Central University of Tibetan Studies, India

Saki Santorelli, EdD
University of Masschusetts Medical School

Cliff Saron, PhD
University of California – Davis

Kimberly Schonert-Reichl, PhD
University of British Columbia, Canada

Zindel Segal, PhD
University of Toronto, Canada

Pamela Seigle, PhD
Wellesley College

Peter Senge, PhD
MIT Sloan School of Management

Catherine Shaddix, MA
UCSF Osher Center for Integrative Medicine
Baywell Psychiatry Group

Bennett Shapiro, PhD
Merck Research Laboratories (retired)

Robert Sharf, PhD
University of California–Berkeley

Shinsuke Shimojo, PhD
California Institute of Technology

Joan Silk, PhD
University of California–Los Angeles

Tania Singer, PhD
Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Germany

Wolf Singer, MD, PhD
Ernst Strüngmann Institute (ESI)
Max Planck Institute for Brain Research, Germany

Michael Spezio, PhD
Scripps College

Aaron Stern
Academy for the Love of Learning

P.N. Tandon, PhD
President, National Brain Research Center, India

Mary Taylor
Yoga Workshop

Evan Thompson, PhD
University of British Columbia, Canada

Hilary Tindle, MD, MPH
Vanderbilt – Ingram Cancer Center

John Tresch, PhD
University of Pennsylvania

Jeanne Tsai, PhD
Stanford University

David Vago, PhD
Vanderbilt University

Martijn van Beek, PhD
University of Aarhus, Denmark

William Waldron, PhD
Middlebury College

B. Alan Wallace, PhD
Santa Barbara Institute for Consciousness Studies

Peter Wayne, PhD
Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Helen Weng, PhD
University of California–San Francisco

Rona Wilensky, PhD
PassageWorks Institute

Carol  Worthman, PhD
Emory University

Arthur Zajonc, PhD
Amherst University (retired)

Vicki Zakrzewski, PhD
Greater Good Science Center

Fadel Zeidan, PhD
Wake Forest School of Medicine

Phil Zelazo, PhD
University of Minnesota